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Monday, July 30, 2012

Photo Day at St. Joe's

I was pleased to have particpated with Firefighter/Medics from the St. Joseph Fire/EMS Station #806 in a photo day.  Personnel particpating were photogrpahed by shift in regular work uniform, with PPE and in Class A uniforms.  A large group image was taken with Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor.

Here is just a smaple of images that were taken.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Fire/EMS Department Awarded Federal Grant to Hire Firefighters

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

The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department was notified late this week that we were awarded a federal grant to hire 18 new firefighters.  The Fire/EMS Department has been awarded $2,589,516 to hire 18 new fire fighters under the Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program which was created by Congress to help address the significant staffing, equipment, training and health and safety needs of fire departments.

Under SAFER, fire departments apply for federal grants to help pay the costs associated with hiring new personnel to maintain safe staffing levels. The importance of adequate fire department staffing has been well documented by independent studies. The National Fire Protection Association and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration promulgated standards for the minimum number of fire fighters needed to respond safely and effectively to emergencies.

Prince George’s County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor stated, “The ability to hire 18 firefighters through the SAFER Grant will help us improve service delivery and will increase the safety of our first responders by ensuring adequate staffing levels.  Our Department motto of ‘Safety First so Everyone Goes Home’ is reinforced by having the ability to hire additional staffing to increase safety and reduce on the job injuries.”

The eighteen (18) SAFER grant funded positions are in addition to the 70 firefighters that will be hired under the FY13 Budget. They will be deployed at the Department’s busiest stations, will help reduce the number of understaffed responses, and will decrease the injuries to personnel attributed to understaffing.

Receipt of our grant award would not be possible if it were not for the hard work of our partners in the United States Congress. U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin and U.S. Representatives Steny Hoyer and Donna Edwards have always helped to support and ensure continued funding for these important programs. Congressman Hoyer, a champion for the fire service and one of the key sponsors of the SAFER program stated “I’m so delighted that Prince George’s County was awarded this SAFER grant that will help our Fire Department safely respond to emergencies and protect our residents. Democrats have consistently fought for investments in the SAFER grant program, and I remain committed to protecting these critical funds so that our fire stations have the personnel and resources needed to do their jobs safely and effectively.”

"I want to thank Senator Mikulski and all of our Congressional delegation members for providing this needed funding that will make a significant impact on improving the public safety of Prince George’s County residents," stated Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III. "One of the top priorities of the Prince George’s County government is the safety and security of our citizens. With this grant, the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department will be able to increase the quantity of the greatest and most effective public safety resource they have – the firefighter.”

This is the second SAFER grant that has been awarded to the Prince George’s County. In 2010, the Fire and EMS Department received $3,458,682 to hire twenty-four (24) Fire Fighters and Emergency Medical Providers.

Fire Chief Announces Promotions

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

Prince George's County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor spent Friday evening, July 27, notifying sixteen members of their promotion.  He was able to personally contact three soon-to-be Lieutenants personally at their respective Fire/EMS Stations.  The other individuals were contacted by phone.  A formal promotional ceremony will be held for all personnel promoted during this calendar year in early 2013.

In an Email to the Fire/EMS Department, Fire Chief Bashoor wrote, "Please join me in congratulating the following folks on their promotions that will be effective Sunday August 12, 2012.  I had the distinct honor meeting and or speaking with most of them today."

Michael Marshall

Ryan Adkins
James Billings
Kimberly Bunn
Nicole Duppins
Donald Fletcher
Christopher Hill
Carey Holsey
Brent Lockwood
Michael Moorehead
Michael Perritt
John Scruggs
Justin Shea
Israel Tabak
Rafael Wells

Chad Boggs

Congratulations to all on a job well done.  I expect additional sworn and civilian promotions in the coming weeks.

Christopher Hill is congratulated by Fire CHief Bashoor at the Landover Hills Fire/EMS Station #830.

Michael Moorhead is congratulated by Fire Chief Bashoor.

Michael Perritt congratulated by Fire Chief Bashoor.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Department Promotions

Please join me in congratulating the following folks on their promotions that will be effective Sunday August 12, 2012. I had the distinct honor meeting and or speaking with most of them today.

Michael Marshall

Ryan Adkins
James Billings
Kimberly Bunn
Nicole Duppins
Donald Fletcher
Christopher Hill
Carey Holsey
Brent Lockwood
Michael Moorehead
Michael Perritt
John Scruggs
Justin Shea
Israel Tabak
Rafael Wells

Chad Boggs

Congratulations to all on a job well done. I expect additional sworn and civilian promotions in the coming weeks.

Marc S. Bashoor
Fire Chief

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County Government or Prince George's County 7th Judicial Circuit
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which is privileged and confidential. This E-mail is intended
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you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution,
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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Golf Course Fire

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

At about 3:30 pm, Wednesday, July 25, firefighters were dispatched to the Henson Creek Golf Course located in the 1600 block of Tucker Road in Fort Washington. The golf course is operated by the Maryland National Capitol Park and Planning Commission.

Firefighters arrived to find a large garage designed to store golf carts well involved with fire.
It required about 45 minutes for firefighters to extinguish the fire which generated a large plume of black smoking rising high into the sky that could be seen for miles.

The cause of the fire is under investigations and fire loss is estimated at $150,000.  No injuries were reported.

County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor was on the scene and provided the attached images.

District Heights Apartment Fire - Rochelle Avenue

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

At about 7:45 pm a County Police Officer saw a column of smoke and tracked down the source to an apartment building on fire in District Heights. The Police Lieutenant immediately notified dispatchers and proceeded to enter the burning building.  He knocked on as many apartment doors as possible to alert residents of the need to evacuate.

Fortunately all residents were able to escape without injury.

Firefighters arrived at 1971 Rochelle Avenue, a 3-story apartment building, and encountered a well-advanced fire burning on all floors and in the attic. A Second Alarm was sounded and a precautionary Third Alarm was sounded a short time later.

About 75 firefighter/medics battled the fire for nearly an hour before declaring extinguishment.

All firefighters were rotated through a rehab area and no injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and damage estimates are still being tabulated.

Twenty-one apartments, approximately 30 residents, will be displaced. The Office of Emergency Management and the Red Cross are assisting those displaced.  A temporary shelter has been opened at the Central High School for displaced residents.

UPDATE - Wednesday morning - Fire loss is estimated at $500,000.  The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Conditions on arrival by firefighters.  This is a view from the rear of the building.  Photo by Brian Padgett.

Photo by Brian Padgett

Apparent Drowning in Laurel Pond

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

Prince George’s County Firefighter/Medics from the Laurel area and the Technical Rescue Services Team worked to find a teenager that had gone missing in a Laurel pond on Tuesday evening.  Just before 8:45 pm Fire/EMS units were alerted to a possible drowning at a pond in a Laurel apartment complex.  Witnesses reported that a male had gone under the water and never resurfaced. 

The closest Fire/EMS Station to the incident in the 13000 block of Old Stagecoach Road is the Laurel Volunteer Rescue Squad, which is one of the Department’s Water Rescue Teams.  A rescue boat was deployed and water rescue team members were soon in the water searching for the teen.  The County Police helicopter flew above using their infrared equipment in hopes of pinpointing a location of the teen and they used their high-powered lights to help illuminate the scene.

The Water Rescue Team consists of personnel and equipment from numerous stations throughout Prince George’s County and a total of 30 personnel were on the scene within a short period of time.  Eleven team members, all wearing required safety equipment, entered the water and systematically walked the area where the teen was last seen.  The water ranged in depth from about 2 to 4 feet. 

After about a 80-minute search, at 10:20 pm, one of the rescuers came into contact with the teen at the bottom of the pond.  He was immediately removed from the water and given to awaiting paramedics on the shore.  A quick assessment revealed the patient to be not breathing and without a pulse.  Advanced pre-hospital care measures and CPR were initiated and the male was transported to a nearby hospital.  Despite the very best efforts of the firefighters, the water rescue team, paramedics and emergency room staff, the teenaged male was pronounced deceased at the hospital.

The Prince George’s County Police Department will be conducting a follow up investigation as they do with any death of this nature.

These images are from myfoxdc.com website.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Train VS SUV Results in One Injury in Hyattsville

View more videos at: http://nbcwashington.com.

Video courtesy of NBC 4 Washington Web Site

Prince George's County Firefighters and Paramedics worked for nearly 30 minutes to free a female trapped in her SUV after being involved in a collision with a CSX freight train.  The incident occurred at about 10:00 am at the crossing in the 4500 block of Decatur Street in the Town of Edmonston and City of Hyattsville.  The collision occurred on the City of Hyattsville side of the tracks.

The northbound CSX frieght train and SUV each came to a stop about 30 feet north of the crossing.  There was no damage to the train and the SUV was found on it's side with the female, 30ish years of age, trapped inside.

Firefighters carried their heavy-duty hydraulic extrication tools through a fence and dealt with an uneven and challenging terrain to reach the vehicle.  Despite those challenges the victim was removed and in the hands of paramedics in about 30 minutes of arrival.

The injured female sustained "Serious" but what appear to be non-life threatening injuries.  She was transported to a nearby Trauma Center.

The City of Hyattsville Police Department will be conducting an investigation into the cause of the crash.  Firefighters were clearing the scene at about 11:00 am.

Mark Brady
PGFD Chief Spokesman

Monday, July 23, 2012

9-11 Memorial Stair Climb and Walk

This fall, fire service members convene in high-rise buildings across the United States to climb 110 stories as a tribute to their fallen brothers. Some use air pack or carry hoses; many are in full turn-out gear; others are accompanied by rescue dogs. Each climber carries the photograph and biographical sketch of a firefighter who was lost on September 11, 2001.

Several climbs have been modified to enable civilians to participate, and are generally held in outdoor venues. For both types of event, the 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb is not a race, but an opportunity to honor and remember the 343 FDNY members who selflessly gave their lives so that others might live.

The Prince George's County Maryland Chapter will conduct their 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb and walk on Saturday, September 8, 2012.  The event will be held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, 201 Waterfront Street, National Harbor.

For additional information and online registration, click here.

Event Organizers Contact Information

Gloria A. Lowe

Kellie L. Bornman
firekellie17@aol.com Email Us

Sunday, July 22, 2012

PGFD Firefighter/Medics Conducted Mass Casualty Exercise with an Eerie Focus

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

Prince George’s County Firefighter/Medics remained focused on their assignment early Friday morning, July 20, 2012, despite thinking of the tragedy that occurred earlier that morning.  Details about the mass casualty shooting incident in Aurora, Colorado were still emerging as the Prince George’s County, Maryland, Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department prepared for a previously scheduled drill that would test their skills in dealing with casualties of an “active shooter.”

The multi-agency training drill was set up weeks ago and would involve a mock scenario of heavily armed suspects entering a County high school with the intent of injuring and killing as many people inside as possible.  In addition to the Fire/EMS Department, participants included the County Public School Security, Police, Office of the Sheriff and Public Safety Communications.

Firefighter/Medics started to gather in the Upper Marlboro staging area as early as 7:30 am with the Aurora movie theater shooting being a main topic of discussion.  Some firefighter/medics felt eerie that the very morning of a tragic incident involving an active shooter at a movie theater in Aurora that Prince George’s County public safety personnel would be conducting a similar mock scenario.  Firefighters and Paramedics spoke about what their counterparts in Aurora must have had to deal with that morning in handling over 70 innocent civilians hit with gunfire sustaining a variety of injuries from fatal to critical to minor.  Personnel used their thoughts about the mornings tragedy in preparation and motivation for what they would be faced with later that day; as many as 50 high school students causalities, role played by County Police recruits, that needed their attention in dealing with injuries and transportation to appropriate medical facilities.  Injuries ranged from fatal to critical to minor.  Mass casualty skills including triage, treatment and transportation of the injured would be tested as well as the capabilities of the Departments Bomb Squad that was called in to render safe explosive devices left behind by the shooters.

As the morning wore on and our Law Enforcement partners handled the situation at the high school while injured students were ushered over to the triage area in an adjacent elementary school where firefighter/medics had set up a triage and treatment area.  The injured were transported out of the treatment area based on the severity of injury.

As police controlled the mock suspects, the Fire/EMS Department Bomb Squad was called into the high school to render safe explosive devices planted inside the school.  All devices were disrupted and rendered safe, another similar circumstance ongoing at the Aurora apartment of the shooting suspect.

Overall the mock “active shooter” drill proved to be a success for personnel of the Fire/EMS Department that honed skills in a multi-agency incident command system, inter-operability with other members of public safety, mass-casualty incident scenario and Bomb Squad operations.

Battalion Chief Denise Dickens was the Fire/EMS Department incident commander and experienced first hand the stress of working such an incident.  “Even though this was a controlled situation, as an incident commander, you still need to make the right decisions and use your available resources in the most efficient manner possible,” stated Dickens.  “I am extremely satisfied with the actions of our Department including the 40 firefighter/medics and the personnel from our bomb squad.  I am confident in our ability to respond to these type of incidents.”

Prince George’s County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor said, “I believe the tragic news from Colorado actually created a greater focus on the days exercise for all the personnel involved.  Our citizens, businesses and visitors should know that we have highly dedicated and trained personnel capable of dealing with any incident that we may face.  Fridays exercise was just one demonstration of our commitment to train and provide the very best in fire and emergency medical services.”

Friday’s drill included Firefighter/Medics and fire/EMS apparatus from the Upper Marlboro Fire/EMS Station 820, 845 (Croom) and Capitol Heights Fire/EMS Station 805.  Fire and EMS supervisors and the Ambulance Bus from Landover Hills Fire/EMS Station 830, Mass Casualty Support Unit from Bunker Hill Fire/EMS Station 855 and the Bomb Squad. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Former PGFD Fire Chief Receives 2012 Everett E. Hudiburg Award

We are pleased to pass along good news about former Prince George's County Fire Chief Ronald J. Siarnicki.  Ron is not only our former Fire Chief he remains a good friend and mentor to many members of our Department.  Ron received a very prestigious award that he is well deserving of.  Congratulations Ron!!!

National Fallen Firefighters Foundation
Foundation E-News Alert

July 16, 2012

Chief Ronald J. Siarnicki Receives 2012 Everett E. Hudiburg Award

In recognition of outstanding contributions to the training of our nation's firefighters, the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA) presented the 2012 Everett E. Hudiburg award to Chief Ronald J. Siarnicki, Executive Director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation during the IFSTA Validation Conference on July 14. The award is named in honor of Hudiburg who was a former Stillwater, OK Fire Chief, former Editor of Fire Protection Publications and the first Executive Director of the Fire Service Training Association, now known IFSTA.

Chief Siarnicki joins some of the nation's most notable fire service leaders who have set the national standard of achievement for training and education, including: John Hoglund, Lou Amabili, Carroll Herring, Alan Brunacini, Gerald Monigold, Marvin Austin, Harold Mace, and more recently Steve Edwards, Dr. Denis Onieal, and Billy Goldfeder.

Ronald J. Siarnicki began his career as a volunteer firefighter in Monessen, Pennsylvania. He joined the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department in 1978 and, over 24 years, progressed through the ranks to Chief of the Department. In 2001, he retired from PGFD and was appointed Executive Director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation where he manages the daily operations of the Foundation. Under his direction, the Foundation developed the Everyone Goes Home® Program designed to reduce the number of firefighter line-of-duty deaths that occur each year in the United States.

Chief Siarnicki accepted the award on behalf of the Foundation, the board of directors, the survivors of the fallen and in recognition of the Everyone Goes Home® Program. "The overall mission of Everyone Goes Home is to remind firefighters that personal accountability is critical," he explained. "We want everyone to arrive at the scene quickly and safely. And to return quickly and safely to the people who love them."

In addition, he has been recognized for his outstanding leadership by numerous organizations, including: The Fire Engineering Lifetime Achievement Award, Alan Brunacini Fire Services Executive Safety Award from the International Association of Fire Chiefs, Metropolitan Fire Chiefs' Presidents Award of Distinction, University of Maryland, University College Distinguished Alumnus, American Burn Association's Moncrief Award and the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Silver Medal of Valor.

Chief Siarnicki holds a Bachelor's Degree in Fire Science and a Master's Degree in Technology Management from the University of Maryland University College (UMUC).

The NFFF is also pleased that Dan Madrzykowski of the National Institute of Standards and Technology received IFSTA's Dr. John Granito Award for Excellence in Fire Leadership and Management Research Award. This award is presented for exceptional contributions to fire service and academia.

Another Hazy, Hot and Humid Period - Safety Info and Cooling Centers

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

Throughout the course of the summer there will be periods of unhealthy high temperatures and humidity. Drink plenty of water throughout the course of each day, wear light colored clothing and take frequents breaks in an air conditioned environment.

Heat Related Illness

If someone is sweating profusely with a pale skin color and is ill with any or all of the following symptoms; cramps, light headiness, dizziness, shortness of breath and nausea; remove them to a shady or air conditioned area, provide them with water and cool wet compresses to help reduce their body temperature. These symptoms could indicate that the person is possibly suffering from heat exhaustion. If their condition does not improve within a matter of a couple minutes; call 911.

If a person is experiencing similar symptoms and goes unconscious, does not display signs of sweating and skin color is red; call 911 immediately as this person may be experiencing heat stroke; a life threatening condition. Relocate this person to a shady or air conditioned area, provide cold compresses and loosen clothing in order to reduce this person's body temperature. Do not provide any fluids to an unconscious person. 

Hazy, hot and humid conditions are forecast for Prince George's County over the next couple of days.  Firefighters and Paramedics want you to stay safe and healthy.  Stay informed about weather conditions, Stay Ready and Stay Safe.  Remember to check on senior citizen neighbors and family members during periods of high heat and keep your pets indoors and provide them plenty of drinking water.

Stay Informed throughout the day by monitoring media updates on the radio, TV and Internet.

Stay Ready – by being prepared with plenty of water and an emergency kit.  Visit www.READY.Gov for additional info on your kit.

Stay Safe – Always use good common sense in matters of safety and health – remember – Safety First so Everyone Goes Home!!!

The following is information concerning Cooling Centers located throughout the County

Prince George’s County Cooling Center Locations 
(July 16 thru July 20, 2012) 
The National Weather Service continues to issue extreme heat and humidity conditions for Prince George’s County and surrounding jurisdictions. 

The following cooling centers will be available to seniors and residents to offer air-conditioned refuge.  

Cooling Center for Senior Citizens from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.:

·       Camp Springs Senior Activity Center, 6420 Allentown Road, Camp Springs, MD
Cooling Centers open for the General Public at the following County locations and hours:
from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

·         Rollingcrest-Chillum Community Center, 6120 Sargent Road, Chillum  
·         Hillcrest Heights Community Center, 2300 Oxon Run Drive, Temple Hills 
·         Oakcrest Community Center, 1300 Capitol Heights Boulevard, Capitol Heights
·         Fairland Sports and Aquatics Center, 13820 and 13950 Old Gunpowder Road, Laurel
·         Palmer Park Community Center, 7720 Barlowe Road, Landover
County residents should also be mindful of their neighborhood Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission’s recreational facilities and utilize libraries, shopping centers and malls to keep cool.  For additional information, please contact the Prince George’s County Office of Emergency Management at 301-780-8313.