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Thursday, April 14, 2011

MIKULSKI, CARDIN ANNOUNCE FEDERAL FUNDING TO UPGRADE COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT IN PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
April 14, 2011 

CONTACT:
Rachel MacKnight (Mikulski)           
202-228-1122  

Susan Sullam (Cardin)
410-962-4436     
                                                                                                                                                            
MIKULSKI, CARDIN ANNOUNCE FEDERAL FUNDING TO UPGRADE COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT IN PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) today announced Prince George's County Fire/EMS was awarded $1,267,200 in federal grant funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program to upgrade its fleet with state-of-the-art communications equipment. As a member of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Mikulski fights each year to increase federal funding for the fire grants program. Senator Cardin is a member of the Finance and Budget committees.

"I know how important this funding is to Maryland communities – often it's the difference between life and death. First responders protect our homes and communities, and the federal government has a responsibility to protect them by providing them with the tools they need to do their jobs safer and smarter," Senator Mikulski said. "Every day when our first responders report for duty, they don't know what they will face. That's why I fight every year for the equipment, training, and staffing our protectors and communities deserve."

"Now more than ever, we need to make sure that our first responders have the resources they need to protect our families and communities," Senator Cardin said. "From fires to natural disasters to possible terrorist threats, these brave men and women put their lives on the line for all of us.  Federal investment in our first responders is vital because we must ensure that they have the equipment and training they need to protect us from harm and to perform their jobs safely and efficiently."

Prince George's County Fire/EMS will use the grant to purchase approximately 300 mobile data terminals (MDTs), improving communication among Prince George's County first responders and increasing interoperability with other jurisdictions. MDTs are computer-like devices that provide electronic information about the location and nature of an emergency, as well as information about any special considerations or hazards. For more information, please contact Mark Brady, Public Information Officer, at 301-883-7154.

AFGP grants fund firefighting equipment, personal protection equipment, training, firefighting vehicles, firefighter/first responder safety projects, and staffing recruitment and retention, as well as public fire safety education.

Since 2001, Maryland fire departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units have received more than $95 million in AFGP funding, more than $17 million of which has gone to fire departments and EMS units in Prince George's County. 

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Photos of School Bus Fire

These photos show the conditions on arrival by firefighters from Greenbelt and Beltsville.
Firefighters used foam to help in extinguishing the fire.

These photos are take by Billy McNeel of the Fire/EMS Department Citizen Services Unit and are provided as a courtesy.

Mark Brady
PGFD PIO
2405087930

PGFD BREAKING NEWS - Loaded School Bus Catches Fire on BW Parkway

At about 10:30 am today Prince George's County Firefighters and Paramedics responded to North-Bound Baltimore-Washington Parkway prior to the Powder Mill Road exit in Beltsville for a report of a bus fire. 

Firefighters from Greenbelt and Beltsville arrived quickly and encountered a school bus well involved with fire.  There are approximately thirty 8th grade students from an academy school in NW Washington DC that were on-board for a field trip. 

Paramedics described everyone as being in good condition even though some of the children may have been exposed to smoke.  No actual injuries have been reported.  All the children and their teachers are accounted for.

Firefighters have the fire extinguished and the BW Parkway remains closed.

11:20am UPDATE

2 children will be transported to a local hospital for further evaluation of exposure to smoke.  Paramedics on-scene continue to monitor remaining students and chaperone's.

Some fire department apparatus are leaving the scene.

US Park Police are now in charge of the scene.

12:52 pm Update

All children have been loaded on to another school bus and headed back to school.

All Fire/EMS Department personnel are clear the scene.

US Park Police remain on scene.

Chuck Ryan Update, Blood Drive and Fund Raising Information

There are two updates from Washington Hospital Center this morning.  The first was provided by PGFD Acting Fire Captain Christian Wargo on behalf of the DC Firefighters Burn Foundation:

Mike Deavers from Rescue 3 was released from the Burn Center Sunday. He is doing well, still with dressings on his arms and follows up with the burn doctors in outpatient clinic next week.


Lt. Robert Alverado “Cadillac” Truck 13 was released yesterday (4/12/11). He also remains in dressings on his arms and hands but is expected to be back on the Guinness very shortly.

On Tuesday afternoon, Ramon Hounshell Rescue 3 had surgery on his arms for skin grafts to help heal his arm wounds. His arms will be re-evaluated by the burns surgeons Thursday to determine how his burns are healing.

Firefighter Charles Ryan Rescue 3 is still in the Burn Center ICU on a ventilator and received skin grafts to his hands Tuesday. He will return to surgery Friday for skin grafts to his legs. For the past few days Firefighter Ryan has continued to show progress with rehab, walking and exercising his arms.

The injured firefighters, their families, Local 36, and the DC Firefighters Burn Foundation would like to thank everyone for their continued support. Please continue to keep these firefighters and their families in your thoughts and prayers. Please continue to check our website for updates. http://www.dcffburnfoundation.org


The second update comes from the President of the Riverale Volunteer Fire Department where Chuck Ryan serves as the Volunteer Fire Chief.  Steve Lamphier also includes information about an upcoming fundraiser.
As reported on Tuesday, Chuck underwent several hours of surgery on Monday. He is expected to go through additional surgery on Friday. I understand that the surgeries are for skin grafts. Chuck is on the respirator, but he is being weaned off of it. And, he still can not have any visitors.


The other DCFD firefighters are improving, and in fact, two have been released to go home. We all hope that Chuck, and the other firefighter will be released as soon as possible.

The officers and members of the Riverdale Fire Department greatly appreciate the Town of Riverdale Park's outreach. The Town will have a community card at today's Farmer's Market in the Riverdale Town Center starting at 3 PM. If you can't make it today, the card will be at town hall through next Tuesday, please come by and ask the staff to let you sign it.

The Town is also organizing a blood drive. From Mayor Archer: "on Wednesday the 20th anyone interested in going to the burn center and donating blood please join me at town hall and we will caravan down together. We will depart from town hall at 12:30. We will take the community get well card at the same time."


And finally, the Riverdale Fire Department is holding a fundraiser at Franklin's on Tuesday, April 19. Franklin's will donate 20% of your purchase, but you must turn in your itemized receipts to the host and ask that their receipt be added to the Riverdale Volunteer Fire Department fundraiser. The fundraiser lasts all day and includes dining, carryout and general store purchases. Franklins is located at 5121 Baltimore Ave Hyattsville MD. I want to make it clear that this fundraiser was organized prior to the occurrence of Chucks' injury. But, the department will consider the best use of the proceeds to assist Chuck and/or the burn center.


As always, thank you for your thoughts and support.

Steve Lamphier