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Thursday, April 21, 2011

IAFF Local 1619 Firefighters and Paramedics Donate Smoke Alarms

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E.Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
The Prince George's County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics Association donated over 100 smoke alarms to the Fire/EMS Department to be distributed to the citizens and residents of Prince George's County.

(L to R) IAFF Local 1619 Vice-President Christian Wargo, Acting Fire Chief Marc Bashoor and Local 1619 President Andrew Pantelis. 

Every firefighter knows that a working smoke alarm provides residents with an early alert of a fire inside their home, this is especially important when everyone is asleep, a time when the most home fire fatalities occur. A working smoke alarm improves the chances of you and your family surviving a home fire by 50%. With an early warning of a fire and the fact that everyone inside the home is safe outside also increases the probability that firefighters will be able to stay safe and go home at the end of the shift without injury.

The Prince George's County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics Association donated over 100 smoke alarms to the Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department today. These smoke alarms will be added to the inventory that firefighters provide free-of-charge to our citizens and residents. One duty a firefighter performs includes going door-to-door throughout their local communities checking to ensure that everyone has a working smoke alarm. If an alarm is found to be non-working; a fresh battery is provided and this will often correct the issue. There are times when an alarm is found to be old and in poor condition and there are times when a home is found with no smoke alarm at all. In these cases, firefighters will install a new working smoke alarm for you and then demonstrate how to test the alarm monthly and change the battery at least once-a-year.

Local 1619 President Andrew Pantelis stated, “A working smoke alarm should be considered the most important item in every home. We are proud to be able to provide new smoke alarms that will protect our citizens, residents and our firefighters.”

Acting Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor accepted the donation at the Fire/EMS Department Headquarters in Largo and stated, “I accept these smoke alarms on behalf of the men and women of our Fire/EMS Department and for our citizens and residents. We must keep safety first and ensures everyone goes home.”

By law; Prince George’s County requires at least one smoke alarm in every home. The Fire/EMS Department recommends you have a working smoke alarm on every level of your home and one inside your bedroom if you sleep with your door closed.

Check your alarms once-a-month by pushing the test button on the cover. If the alarm does not sound, replace the battery and try again. If the alarm continues to be non-working; replace it with a new one.

Batteries should be changed at least once a year.

Regular maintenance should be performed to keep dust and other particles clear of your smoke alarm.

Citizens and residents of Prince George’s County can contact our Safety First Smoke Alarm Line at 301-864-SAFE (7233) and request a smoke alarm. A firefighter will arrange a convenient time to come to your home and install a new working smoke alarm; free of charge.

Fire/EMS Department Valor Award Recipients

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

Congratulations to all of our Valor Award recipients.  Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals of Valor will be awarded as well as a Paramedic of the Year and a Fire Fighter of the Year will be recognized at an upcoming awards luncheon for all Prince George's County Public Safety Agencies.  Personnel are being recognized for actions they performed during incidents in 2010. 

Additional information about the scenarios and levels of awards will be made available on April 27, 2011, after the awards have been presented.

Melvin F. Batts, Sr.  (Retired PGFD)

Christopher B. Blackistone, Fire Fighter/Medic III

Walter “Joe” Brown, Volunteer Lieutenant, Kentland VFD

Darryl H. Bullock, Fire Fighter Technician

Antonio D. Cole, Fire Fighter/Medic II

Justin Eric Davidson, Volunteer fire Fighter, College Park VFD

George E. Flanagan III, Acting Fire Fighter/Medic Lieutenant

Binokhar J. Harris, Acting Fire Fighter/Medic Lieutenant

James M. Jiron, Acting Fire Fighter/Medic Captain

Anthony Kelleher, Volunteer Chief, Kentland VFD

H. “Butch” Leonhard, Jr., Major

James “Kyle” Schultz, Volunteer Fire Fighter, Bladensburg VFD

Al Schwartz, Volunteer Chief, Beltsville VFD

Grady A. Valencis, Acting Battalion Chief

William Vanarsdale, Fire Fighter/Medic II

Stephen Lawler Whitman Jr., Volunteer Fire Fighter, Hyattsville VFD

Nik Zupancic, Volunteer Fire Fighter, Hyattsville VFD

34 Valor Awards Employee Flyer -