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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fire/EMS Department Generates Donations for Food Basket Program

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

Responding to a call for monetary donations to assist the Public Safety Assistance Program (PSAP), the combined career, civilian and volunteer membership of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department answered in a resounding manner.

In September 2011, The Clerk of the Circuit Court warehouse in Upper Marlboro sustained significant flood damage due to Tropical Storm Lee. This resulted in the loss of over fifteen thousand dollars worth of Public Safety Assistance Program non-perishable food supplies stored in that warehouse for the annual Holiday Food Basket Program.

The Board of Directors of the Public Safety Assistance Program asked public safety agencies to conduct a special in-house monetary donation campaign to help replace these supplies through bulk purchase. Fire Chief Marc Bashoor wrote to members of the Department stating, “This is an extraordinary request, which I would not personally make if there were not an urgent need. Any assistance you can provide would be greatly appreciated. We need to pick up as much as possible, as quickly as possible – once again, any assistance you are able to provide NOW would be greatly appreciated.”

The combined membership of the Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department answered the call and tallied a very generous donation of $1,500. These charitable donations will ensure families in our community will have a happy holiday. PSAP is a 501 (c) 3 charitable organization.

A special thank you and acknowledgment to the Fourth Battalion and Battalion Chief Grady Valencis that collected nearly $900 for the cause. Of that amount, the Bladensburg Volunteer Fire Department donated almost $400. Valencis stated, “Thanks for stepping up together and Happy Thanksgiving to each one of you and your families.”

Monetary donations to the PSAP may still be made.  Please contact Fire Fighter/Medic Nicole Orme, Office of the Fire Chief, at 301-883-5200 for additional information.

The PSAP is currently setting up shop at the Bunker Hill Fire/EMS Station for their annual Holiday Food Basket distribution. Work will be on-going collecting food products and assembling baskets. The kick-off event for distribution is Monday, December 19, 2011, 8:00 am, at Bunker Hill Fire/EMS Station #855.

Battalion Chief Valencis provides nearly $900 in donations to the PSAP to
Deputy Fire Chief Neal Dennis, Commander of Emergency Operations.

Bill Milligan, Executive Director of the PSAP, accepts the Fire/EMS Department donation of around
$1,500 from Deputy Fire Chief Ben Barksdale, Administrative Services Commander.

Beltsville Bomb Squad Call was "Good Intent"

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

Sometime this morning a Powder Mill Village apartment complex maintenance employee while working in an apartment discovered a suspicious looking item. He brought the item to the rental office and apartment complex management notified 911 of the situation at around 8:30 am. Based on the suspicious appearance of the item, which included a section of PVC pipe, wires and switches, the Fire/EMS Department Bomb Squad was alerted to respond to the 11300 block of Evans Trail in Beltsville.

Upon arrival, bomb technicians gathered as much intelligence about the package as possible, donned their protective garments and proceeded to enter the building and move forward with their investigation. After observing the package it was quickly determined it did not contain explosives. It appeared the item was a homemade electronic device similar to a science experiment project.  The appearance of the item would make any observer to be concerned.  Lt. Col. Scott Hoglander, Deputy Fire Chief of Special Operations, stated, “A call to 911 and a response by the Bomb Squad was certainly warranted in this matter. The item had a suspicious appearance and we fully endorse, ‘If you see something, say something’."

Bomb Technicians labeled the incident as “good intent” and called an all clear at about 10:30 am. “Render Safe” operations were not required. Powder Mill Road and Evans Trial were closed during the investigation and were re-opened immediately following the all clear.