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Friday, August 31, 2012

Firefighter Interview Availability at 12 Noon

The Firefighter that made the rescue of an adult female from 3317 Huntley Square Drive last night will be available for interviews this afternoon.

He will be at the St. Joseph's Fire/EMS Station 806 at 2901 St. Joseph Drive in Springdale between 12 noon and 1 pm today.

Please let me know if anyone from the media will attend.

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Mount Rainier Building Fire - 34th Street

Prince George’s County Firefighters battled a fire in Mount Rainier early Friday morning.  At around 3:30 am, August 31, firefighters were dispatched to a building fire in the 3800 block of 34th Street.  Fire/EMS units arrived to find fire showing from the roof of a 2-story building with a commercial occupancy on the first floor and an apartment on the second floor.

Firefighters quickly located a fire in the attic and extinguished it within 15 minutes of arrival.  The occupants were displaced and assisted by the County Citizen Services Unit.

Fire loss is estimated at $45,000 and the cause of the fire is “accidental” and attributed to an electrical malfunction.  No injuries were reported.

Mark E. Brady

Glenarden House Fire Displaces Family

Firefighters from the Landover area were alerted to a fire in a Glenarden home on Thursday night.  Just after 11:00 pm, Thursday, August 30, firefighters responded to 8650 Fulton Avenue and arrived to find fire coming from the roof of a 2-story duplex.  Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fire located in the attic.  There were no injuries reported and an adult female and her child were displaced.  They were assisted by the County Citizen Services Unit with temporary accommodations.

The fire resulted from a malfunctioning HVAC system and caused an estimated $25,000 in fire loss.

Mark E. Brady

4 Rescued at Temple Hills 2-Alarm Fire -- 5 Firefighters and 1 Civilian Injured

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

Four occupants were rescued and five firefighters and one civilian were injured during a 2-alarm fire in Temple Hills Thursday night.  At around 10:00 pm, Thursday, August 30, Prince George’s County Firefighter/Medics were alerted to an apartment fire at 3317 Huntley Square Drive in Temple Hills.  Fire/EMS units arrived to find a fire in a terrace level apartment of a 3-story (front) 4-story (rear) garden style condominium building.

One team of firefighters started to position themselves with hose lines to initiate an attack on the fire as other firefighters went to the upper floors to search for trapped occupants.  A sudden rush of superheated air escaped from the burning apartment consuming the stairwell where firefighters were still positioning themselves.  The intense heat and smoke filled the stairwell and hallways injuring firefighters and blocking egress for those on the upper floors.

Firefighters regrouped to advanced hose lines into the burning apartment, as firefighters performing search and rescue on the upper floors were forced to shelter-in place with four occupants, found during the search, unable to escape via the stairwell. 

One firefighter located an adult female occupant in the apartment directly above the unit on fire.  She had sustained burns to her lower extremities and her apartment was charged with thick toxic smoke.  Unable to escape via the stairwell he sheltered-in-place and called for help on his radio.  The firefighter removed his face piece that provides him fresh breathing air and placed in on the face of the female.  The firefighter radioed his position to incident commanders and requested immediate assistance.  The firefighter and the female then took turns taking breaths of fresh air from the face piece.  A few moments later the firefighter radioed that his air was running low just as other firefighters arrived to assist him and the female out of the apartment.  The female was transported to the Burn Unit and has been admitted.   The firefighter was transported to a local hospital where he was admitted overnight for treatment of heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation.  He has since been released this morning.  Both are expected to fully recover.

Three other occupants were removed from the building by firefighters from their upper floor apartments.  There were no injuries to these occupants or firefighters during the rescues.

There were four firefighters that sustained minor burn injuries from the rush of superheated air while in the stairwell.  They were transported to the Burn Unit at Medstar Washington Hospital Center.  They were all treated and released last night.

During the height of the incident with firefighters sustaining injuries and numerous rescues in progress, incident commanders requested a Second Alarm and additional EMS resources to the scene.  There were about 65 personnel operating on the scene.

The fire in the terrace apartment was extinguished within 20 minutes.  Fire Investigators determined the cause of the fire was “accidental” and attributed to unattended cooking.  Fire loss is estimated at $25,000.  Cooking, most notably unattended cooking, is the leading cause of fires and fire related injuries in Prince Georges County and throughout the Country.

There were 7 condominium units that were declared uninhabitable.  12 adults and 4 children occupy those 7 units.  They were assisted on the scene by the County Citizen Services Unit and declined Red Cross assistance, as they will make their own temporary living arrangements.

MEDIA NOTE - Audio tapes of the rescue will be released later today and a request has been made to see if the firefighter is able to be interviewed.  

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Barrier Protection - the Difference Between Tragedy and Everyone Going Home

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

Apparatus placement at the scene of a high-speed highway motor vehicle crash (MVC) proved to be the difference between a tragedy and everybody going home.  Firefighters from the Branchville Volunteer Fire Company, Prince George’s County, Maryland, Fire/EMS Station 811, recently experienced a close call whereas their engine was positioned to provide barrier protection for personnel operating at the scene of an MVC.  All personnel returned to the station shaken but unharmed after the recent close call on the Capital Beltway in College Park. 

Branchville Engine 111 is a 2008 Pierce.
A Branchville Volunteer Firefighter/EMT describes the roadway as, “Interstate 95/495 or more commonly known as the Capital Beltway is a four lane high volume congested loop highway that surrounds the DC Metro area. The area of the beltway located in Prince George’s County typically has one of the highest accident and fatality rates of any portion of the beltway.”  

The incident scene was located on the Beltway's Outer Loop (North Bound) between Route 1 (Baltimore Avenue) and the interchange of Interstate 95.  This particular stretch of road has six travel lanes with multiple on/off ramps.  Vehicles must maneuver with other traffic and between lanes to access the North Bound I-95 towards Baltimore or to remain on the Capital Beltway headed towards Silver Spring.  The posted speed limit is 55 MPH.

At about 4:15 am, August 18, Fire/EMS units and the Maryland State Police were dispatched to a personal injury accident on the Capital Beltway near the interchange with Interstate 95 in College Park.  EMS personnel tended to the civilians involved in the crash, firefighters inspected the vehicles involved and police were starting to document the crash scene when without warning a car slammed into the side of the Branchville engine.

Upon arrival, Engine 811's wagon driver, a long-time and experienced emergency vehicle operator, had purposely placed the engine in a position to provide barrier protection to personnel and civilians at the original crash site.  This decision and correct placement saved lives and prevented serious injury to many that were just on the other side of the unit.  The original crash did not involve any injuries and the crews from Branchville were preparing to board the apparatus to leave the scene when their apparatus was struck.

A vehicle in total disregard of multiple emergency warning lights broadsided the Branchville engine at a high rate of speed.  The striking vehicle was totaled and the Branchville engine sustained significant damage, estimated at about $50,000 +.  The damage rendered the unit unusable and will not be available for several months.  

The striking motorist miraculously was not injured and was taken into custody by police.  He underwent testing for impairment and intoxication.  He has since been charged by the Prince George's County Police Department with multiple traffic violations.

Barrier protection, never turning your back to on-coming traffic, wearing high visibility vests and exercising extreme caution at all times while operating on a roadway will help to make sure everyone goes home after every call.  Remember - SAFETY FIRST.

All photos were provided courtesy of the Branchville Volunteer Fire Co. and Rescue Squad, Inc.

Firefighter/Medics Help Pick-Up Community - TNI

The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department, in cooperation with other County agencies, participated in an effort to help remove tree trimmings and bulk trash from a Bladensburg community this morning.  The Roger Heights neighborhood suffered a large amount of tree damage from strong storms that rolled through the Bladensburg and Riverdale Park areas in July.  This effort is 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. 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. 

Firefighter/Medics from the Riverdale Heights Fire/EMS Station 813 and Battalion Chief Doubleday joined County Council Chair Andrea Harrison, other members of the Roger Heights TNI committee, the Police Department, Department of Public Works and Transportation and the Department of Environmental Resources to accomplish this effort.

The group canvassed streets collecting piles of tree trimmings and bulk trash.  Firefighters also checked with residents about smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and made arrangements to return to install these life saving devices.

Mark E. Brady