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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Emergency Services Award - Volunteer Fire Fighter Derek Daves

Media Contact: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930


On Tuesday, January 24, 2012, Prince George's County Fire/EMS Chief Marc S. Bashoor presented an Emergency Services Award to Branchville Volunteer Fire Fighter John "Derek" Daves.  In making the presentation Bashoor stated, "In making awards presentations, it's not always about the end result, which in this incident was tragic, but the actions of the individual or group that made the effort and did the best that they could do under the circumstances."

In a ceremony at the Branchville Volunteer Fire Department in College Park Chief Bashoor presented the Emergency Services Award which was accompanied by a letter that read;
        
On the evening Friday, November 4, 2011, while on your way home after working Bingo at the Branchville Volunteer Fire Company and Rescue Squad, Inc., you witnessed a horrific three-vehicle crash on eastbound Route 50.  There were a total of six passengers involved in the accident, four adults and two children.  The two children were trapped in a burning vehicle that had burst into flames after being struck by another vehicle.  You notified 911 of the incident, and without the protection of fire fighting gear or protective equipment, you immediately advanced to the burning vehicle.  Hearing the screams of the bystanders alerting you of the trapped children and in an effort to access them, you aggressively attempted to open doors or break out the windows.  However, the intensity of the fire, combined with thick black smoke and extreme heat, forced you to retreat without being able to make the rescue.   

You painfully described seeing the two children inside the burning car as a vision that will be indelibly etched in your mind.  It was later determined that the damage to the vehicle was so severe that access would only have been possible with the heavy-duty hydraulic equipment that is typically used by firefighters.

You acted without hesitation or concern for your personal safety, while attempting to save the lives of the two young victims.  As a result of your actions, you sustained some minor burn injuries to your hand and exposure to the intense heat and thick smoke. 

Chief Bashoor presented the award saying, "For your performance on the scene of the aforementioned incident, you are hereby presented a Fire/EMS Department Emergency Service Award. 
Congratulations again, and thank you for an outstanding job.  Your actions represent the excellent service our Department strives to provide to the citizens of Prince George’s County."

Fire Chief Bashoor and Derek Daves.

The award presentation was attended by Derek's wife; Tracey, co-workers from the City of College Park, PGFD Majors Cruz and Snyder, PGFD Deputy Fire Chief Neal Dennis and several volunteer members from Branchville.


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