MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
A Prince George’s County Firefighter is hospitalized in "good" condition after sustaining an electrical shock inside his Fire/EMS Station. On Wednesday evening, February 1, the career firefighter was unplugging a shoreline from a fire engine at the Beltsville Fire/EMS Station 831 when the incident occurred.
A shoreline is a heavy-duty electrical cord that carries an electrical charge from a fixed outlet in the station to a piece of Fire/EMS equipment. The shoreline power charge, 120 volts, is used when a unit is turned off and a continuous electric charge is needed to maintain the heavy-duty battery system and for electrical components on-board the fire/EMS apparatuses that require a “trickle” charge while the unit is not operating.
The firefighter and other crewmembers were preparing to leave the station for training when he was in the process of disconnecting the shoreline from the fire engine. It appears the wires pulled away from the protective housing where the shoreline is connected to the piece of apparatus. The exposed wires came in contact with the firefighters arm causing an electrical shock that was powerful enough that he was thrown to the engine room floor.
Advanced Life Support paramedics from the nearby Calverton Fire/EMS Station #841 responded and together with personnel from Beltsville Fire/EMS Station #831 transported the injured firefighter to the Burn Unit at Washington Hospital Center where he currently remains.
The injured firefighter experienced an inability to move his right hand with an accompanying loss of sensation and disorientation. The firefighter remains hospitalized at least through tonight as he still has not regained feeling in his hand and arm. His condition will be re-assessed in the morning.
Battalion Chief Joe Cardello stated, “Captain Kilpatrick (Injured firefighters supervisor) and I, along with the leadership of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department and the Beltsville Volunteer Fire Department, have, and will remain in constant contact with the injured firefighter to ensure that he has what he needs and that he remains in good spirits.”
Prince George’s County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor is one that remains in contact with the hospital and command staff personnel on the condition of the firefighter. He plans on visiting the firefighter later today. He stated, ”Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured firefighter and his family. This incident demonstrates the hazards of our job as firefighters extends well beyond the fire ground.”
The injured firefighter is currently in Room 28, Wing 3E, in the Burn Unit at Medstar.