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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Firefighters Participate in Christmas in April

On Saturday, April 30, Prince George’s County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor joined Department members and community volunteers in the 23rd Annual Christmas in April, a Prince George’s County program to renovate homes for elderly and disabled homeowners.  Homes across the County were repaired, manicured and provided some TLC and the Fire/EMS Department is just one agency of many that worked on homes.  Dozens of career and volunteer men and women of the Fire/EMS Department participated and worked at four houses and provided a variety of tasks including yard maintenance, painting, electrical work, general cleaning and at one home; built a ramp for easy egress and access.
James Jiron, a Firefighter/Medic Captain assigned to the College Park Fire/EMS Station #812, was the house captain at 7937 Fiske Avenue in Glenarden.  Painting, new ceiling fans and general yard work were the major items at this house.  Over a dozen community volunteers assisted Jiron.
The Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire Department and community volunteers had their hands full with a home at 7701 Orange Tree Court in Capitol Heights.  John Weaver, House Captain and Volunteer Firefighter, had already performed over 80 hours prepping the house before today.  With over ¾ of an acre of high over grown grass, bushes and trees in addition to a full list of work intensive items to be performed on the interior.  This Christmas in April project appears to be needed the most attention and labor.  Mid-morning, homeowner Sandra Y. Folsom, reviewed the work in her backyard and could not believe the difference in the appearance of her home, she stated, “Is this really my house??”
John "JP" Callan, a Fire Lieutenant currently assigned to the District Heights Fire/EMS Station #826 was the house captain at 6500 Kenova Street.  Third Battalion Firefighter/Medics were performing yard work, interior/exterior painting and electrical work.  Homeowner Paula Quander stated, “I may not have won the lottery but I sure feel like it today.”
Barry Quade, a Firefighter/Medic from the Fort Washington Fire/EMS Station and crew may have planned and executed the most ambitious Christmas in April project.  This project was formed from first hand experience of firefighter/medics.  Firefighter/Medics from the Fort Washington Station have been requested to assist a mobility challenged individual that resides in the 12200 block of Parkton Street over 100 times since September 2010.  They assist the occupant in exiting from her home to a vehicle followed by a return trip later in the day to assist her back into the house.  With hazardous walking conditions and other factors involved in moving the occupant, firefighter/medic injuries have occurred and the possibility of additional injuries occurring are high.  Quade served as the project house captain and has been working since February with Leon Ram and Ian Stewart, Manager and Assistant Manager of the Oxon Hill Home Depot in negotiating the donation of materials to construct a ramp that will assist the homeowner and firefighter/medics when they are needed to assist in moving the occupant.  In addition to the Oxon Hill Home Depot, stores in College Park, Silver Spring, Brentwood (DC) and Hyattsville worked together to provide well over $3,000 in materials used in the construction of the ramp.

Acting Fire Chief Marc Bashoor visited the four work sites today and met with personnel as well as homeowners.  He stated, “I am proud of our personnel for the work performed to improve the life of our citizens and residents.  It also brings me great pleasure to hear each homeowner convey their sincerest appreciation for the efforts provided from our members through Christmas in April.”  Bashoor concluded, “I commend Battalion Chief Mike Stavely for coordinating these projects for the Fire/EMS Department in addition to the house captains and all the personnel that provided the labor to complete these projects.”

A community volunteer unloads mulch at 7937 Fiske Avenue in Glenarden.  

James Jiron, a Firefighter/Medic Captain assigned to the College Park Fire/EMS Station #812, was the house captain at 7937 Fiske Avenue in Glenarden.  Painting, new ceiling fans and general yard work were the major items at this house.


Fire Chief Marc Bashoor cuts and Capitol Heights Volunteer Chief Jim McClelland removes the trimmings 7701 Orange Tree Court in Capitol Heights. 
Homeowner Sandra Y. Folsom and Capitol Heights Volunteer member and house captain Weaver (background) observe work in the backyard.  Bashoor and McClelland are still working to remove the overgrowth on Orange Tree Ct. 

Capitol Heights and community volunteers work on the front yard of home on Orange Tree Court.

Third Battalion Firefighters paint the front steps on Kenova Street in District Heights.

Third Battalion Firefighters seal and paint the rear door on Kenova Street in District Heights.

Third Battalion Firefighters paint the interior on Kenova Street in District Heights.
Fire Chief Bashoor greets Paula Quander and her mother Bethel Quander, residents of the house on Kenova Street in District Heights.  

Ramp construction at a house on Parkton Street in Fort Washington.


Ramp construction at a house on Parkton Street in Fort Washington.

Ramp construction at a house on Parkton Street in Fort Washington.

Ramp construction at a house on Parkton Street in Fort Washington.

Ramp construction at a house on Parkton Street in Fort Washington.

Ramp construction at a house on Parkton Street in Fort Washington.

Ramp construction at a house on Parkton Street in Fort Washington.

Fire Chief Bashoor, Firefighter/Medic and house captain Barry Quade and Oxon Hill Home Depot General Manager Leon Ram. 

The Christmas in April group on Parkton Street in Fort Washington.



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