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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wind Advisory for Friday

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930, mebrady@co.pg.md.us

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The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory for Prince George's County and surrounding areas.  The ground is saturated from recent snow melt with a forecast of a heavy rainfall overnight combined with the wind could spell trouble for downed trees.  Citizens should stay prepared, stay informed and stay safe.  Have your emergency kits prepared and ready to use in the event of power outages and other emergencies.

The National Weather Service has Provided the following information:

Event: Wind Advisory


Alert: ...WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM TO 7 PM EST FRIDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS
ISSUED A WIND ADVISORY...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM TO 7 PM
FRIDAY. THE HIGH WIND WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.

* TIMING...FRIDAY 11 AM TO 7 PM.

* WINDS...WEST-NORTHWEST 30 MPH WITH GUSTS OF 45 TO 50 MPH
POSSIBLE.

* IMPACT...BE PREPARED FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF POWER OUTAGES...
AND DOWNED TREES AND LARGE BRANCHES.

ENSURE LOOSE OBJECTS ON YOUR PROPERTY ARE SECURED OR BROUGHT INSIDE.

Instructions: A WIND ADVISORY MEANS THAT WINDS OF 35 MPH ARE EXPECTED. WINDS THIS STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT...ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. USE EXTRA CAUTION.

All Clear Given at Day Care Center Haz Mat

Just before 12:30 pm, Thursday, February 24, 2011, fireifghters and the Department's Hazardous Materials Team were dispatched to investigate a "chemical odor" with a sick person.  Fire/EMS/Haz Mat units responded to 310 Garrett A. Morgan Boulevard in Landover, a commercially run daycare center in a building shared by County and METRO employees.

According to Fire/EMS Department Major Steve Hess, "There were a total of 20 staff members and 75 children in the center. An employee mixed bleach and Windex (ammonia) in a room where there were no children in close proximity. A small cloud caused some employees to feel sick. EMS personnel evaluated staff that were near the cloud and there was only one employee that complained of any symptoms. The employee refused transport after symptoms went away."

At no time were the children in any danger.  Hazardous Material personnel evaluated the building, neutralized the compound and ventilated. There are no lasting effects and the building was turned back over to the occupants and are back in business as of 1:45 pm. The Department's EMS Duty Officer had a briefing with the staff to discuss any questions or concerns from a medical perspective.

Long Time Volunteer Fire Fighter "Jimmy Hook" Passes Away


MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930, mebrady@co.pg.md.us


It is with deep regret that the Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department announces the sudden and unexpected death (medical) of one of our volunteer members.

We join the officers and members of the Berwyn Heights (BHVFD) and Hyattsville (HVFD) Volunteer Fire Department's in the sad task of announcing the passing of Jimmy Hook.

James Thomas Hook was born to Donna and Tommy Hook on March 29, 1966, and grew up along with his sister, Brenda, in Berwyn Heights. He attended Parkdale High School and joined the BHVFD in 1986.

While a member of the BHVFD he was a live-in member, served on the Board of Directors and attained the rank of Captain. His father, Tommy, was a Volunteer Chief and Life Member of BHVFD. His Mother, Donna, is a Life Member of the Berwyn Heights Volunteer Fire Department's Ladies Auxiliary.

He joined the HVFD in 2001 and was serving as the Volunteer Deputy Chief at the time of his death. He had attained his tenth year of membership at the HVFD just this month. One of the many highlights of his membership at HVFD was serving as the chairman of a committee to design and purchase a new heavy-duty Rescue Squad.

His former wife, Lori, also held a position as the HVFD recording secretary. He has one son – Tommy, who is currently 11 years of age. Young Tommy would often frequent the fire/EMS station with his father and desires to follow his father footsteps to be a Fire fighter.

In 1990, Hook was hired as a County 911/police dispatcher. His final position with the county was that of a Fire Dispatch Supervisor in 2008. Jimmy was instrumental in the transition of Bureau of Fire/Rescue Communications becoming one integrated Police/Fire/EMS/Sheriff known today as Public Safety Communications.

Jimmy Hook passed away on the evening of Wednesday, February 23, 2011, at Laurel Regional Hospital where he was taken after suffering a medical emergency.

Funeral plans are still being made and we will provide updated information as soon as it is available.















Forest Heights House Fire Displaces Residents - UPDATE

A Forest Heights house fire this morning caused significant damage and displaced it's occupants.  At about 8:45 am, Thursday, February 24, 2011, Firefighter/Medics from the Oxon Hill area were alerted to a house fire in the 100 block of Seneca Drive.  Fire/EMS units arrived to find a 2-story single family home with fire showing from the first and second floors.  Five occupants were at home when the fire started and were able to escape without injury.  There were about 45 firefighter/medics and incident commanders on the scene.  It required 15 - 20 minutes to extinguish the fire.

A preliminary investigation indicates the cause of the fire as accidental and is attributed to unattended cooking.  The fire caused an estimated $150,000 in fire damage to the structure and contents.  There are a total of 6 people that normally occupy the house.  The 2 adults and 4 children are being assisted by the Fire/EMS Department's Citizen Services Unit and the American Red Cross with temporary shelter.  Initial reports from the scene indicated there were as many as 15 occupants but that number was soon adjusted after interviewing the residents.

Unattended cooking is leading cause of fires and fire related injuries in Prince George's County.  Citizens should use this incident as a reminder that you should never leave the kitchen with food cooking.  If you must leave the kitchen, turn the stove/oven off, and turn it back on when you return.  Leaving the kitchen, even just for a moment, is hazardous and should be avoided at all costs.

It has been determined that six occupants actually reside at the house.  Two adults and four children will be displaced and assisted by relief agencies.  Additionally, the home did not have a working smoke alarm.  Anyone that requires a working smoke can contact our Safety First Smoke Alarm Line at 301-864-SAFE (7233).

This Seneca Drive home sustained $150,000 in damages after a fire started in a first floor kitchen.  (photo by Steve Hess - PGFD)