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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fire/EMS Department Focus on TNI Community of Langley Park

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

On Wednesday, June 27, Firefighter/Medics from the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department's Fourth Battalion went door-to-door in Langley Park to promote fire safety, injury prevention and the do's and dont's of 911.  This effort was conducted within the Langley Park community, part of County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative (TNI).  The TNI focuses on six specific communities, the overarching goal of the TNI is to achieve and maintain a thriving economy, great schools, safe neighborhoods and high quality healthcare by utilizing cross-governmental resources in target neighborhoods that have significant and unique needs.

This was the first of many door-to-door campaigns over the next 30 days where firefighters, paramedics and civilian personnel will canvass communities armed with smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors as well as printed materials promoting fire safety and staying healthy.  Langley Park is the first TNI community to experience the Department's saturation of Safety and Healthy information.  The printed materials will be available in both English and Spanish.  If a home lacked a working smoke alarm or CO detector firefighters either provided fresh batteries or installed a new alarm for the resident, at no charge.  Firefighters also demonstrated how to test the alarm once-a-month on the first day of every month (Safety First Day of the Month), change batteries at least once-a-year and help occupants to plan and practice a home escape plan in the event of a fire in their house.

Firefighters were welcomed into many home with many positive citizen contacts made.  Each group had a Spanish speaking member with them which proved to be helpful in communicating with many of the residents.  Joining the Fire/EMS Department on this door-to-door effort was Prince George's County Council Member Will Campos, Loretta Tillery from the Office of the County Executive, Daisy Avelar from the Office of Community Relations and Kelly Marshall from Public Safety Communications/Office of Homeland Security.  Fire/EMS Stations conducting the pro-active effort included Chillum-Adelphi 834, Chillum 844, Hyattsville 801, and College Park 812 under the direction of Battalion Chief 804 Grady Valencis.

Firefighters and companions visited over 200 homes in the 4-hour effort.  Over 100 residents were home and allowed personnel into their homes to check smoke alarms and listen to the safety advice the group had to offer.  Just over 20 smoke alarms were found to be non-working and 12 homes were found with no smoke alarm at all.  These alarms were provided a fresh battery or replaced with a new alarm.  About 30 CO detectors were installed in homes that required one.  Over 60 homes were found to have a working smoke alarm and/or CO detector already installed and working.  For residents not home, several printed items were left at their door concerning fire safety, smoke/CO devices and 911.

The Fire/EMS Department will visit every targeted community over the next 30 days in an effort to visit as many homes as possible.  Citizens need not live in a TNI or wait for a firefighter to visit your home to receive a smoke alarm or CO detector.  All county citizens are encouraged to call our Safety First Smoke/CO Line at 301-864-SAFE (7233) and request one of these life-saving devices.  A firefighter will visit your home and install one for you, free of charge.  Additional Fire/EMS Department activities in TNI communities will include, but are not limited to, hypertension screenings, community walks, Fire/EMS Station Open Houses and regular community visits.

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