@PGFDPIO Twitter

Thursday, September 27, 2012

University of MD Invites Firefighters to be Their Guest

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930, mebrady@co.pg.md.us

On Saturday, October 6, The University of Maryland Football Terrapins will play Wake Forest in a game scheduled for 3:30 pm in College Park. On a weekend when the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation is memorializing the men and women of the fire service for making the ultimate sacrifice in 2011, the University of Maryland Athletics Department wants to recognize firefighters by providing complimentary tickets to the game. These complimentary tickets are available to all firefighter/medics and their families. “The tickets are just a small token of our appreciation and a way for Maryland Athletics to say thank you for everything firefighters do in the community,” said Nick Lofaro, Associate Athletic Director.

Any member, career, civilian and volunteer that want tickets should email Mark Brady, PGFD Chief Spokesperson/PIO, as soon as possible but no later than Wednesday, October 3, to reserve your tickets. Please include the number of tickets you need and the Fire/EMS Station you are affiliated with. Tickets will be delivered to that station on October 4th and 5th. You may also elect to pick up your tickets in the Office of the Fire Chief.

The October 6th game will also be one of the first public events where the Departments “Breast Cancer Awareness” vehicle will be on display. Stay tuned for additional details.


When Bells Ring and Sirens Sound........

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

The sound of a bell holds special significance for firefighters. Historically, the toll of a bell summoned members to the station, signaled the beginning of a shift, notified departments of a call for help, and indicated a call was completed and the unit had returned to the station.

Departments sounded a series of bells when a firefighter died in the line of duty to alert all members that a comrade had made the ultimate sacrifice. This time-honored tradition continues today during the funerals or memorial services for firefighters.

For the second year, bells will ring from coast to coast as a grateful nation pauses to honor those firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2011. Fire departments in partnership with houses of worship will join the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) for the Second Annual Bells Across America for Fallen Firefighters, part of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend in Emmitsburg, Maryland, on October 6 and 7.

This year, the Archdiocese of Washington has made all of their parishes aware of our request to ring their bells to honor our fallen firefighters. The request from the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department for the Archdiocese to participate was made through an initial contact with Rev. Msgr. W. Ronald Jameson, V.F. who sent our request to the Archdiocese of Washington Communications Office.

Monsignor Sal Criscuolo, Pastor of Saint Patrick’s Church in Washington, DC and one of the Chaplains of the Metropolitan Police Department and the Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department echoed the fire service request. "Father Sal" has encouraged all parishes to join St. Patrick’s in honoring the Firefighters that lost their lives in the Line of Duty by ringing bells and saying a special prayer.

Parishes of the Archdiocese of Washington have also been given the option of saying a special prayer for firefighters among the Prayers of the Faithful on the weekend of October 6-7, according to Brie Hall, Communications Manager of the Archdiocese of Washington.

Throughout the weekend of October 6 – 7 when bells ring and sirens sound you will know that they are doing so to honor the firefighters that died in the Line of Duty in 2011. For additional information about this weekend and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, click here.

All places of worship are invited to join us the weekend of October 6 - 7 as we honor our fallen heroes and ring their bells as we sound our sirens.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

County Police "Ribbing" Fire/EMS Service

To my fire service friends; Earlier this month the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department accepted a friendly challenge from our public safety partners.  The County Police challenged us to a BBQ Grill Off.  Celebrity judges will be on hand and anyone that would like to taste the food and cast a vote can make a minimum $2 donation.  Seemed friendly enough.  However, since then the cops have been having a good ole time with barbs posted on TWITTER and their News Blog about the fire service and how they are going to beat us.

The “Grill-Off” or “Guns and Hoses BBQ Challenge” will be held on Saturday, October 6, from 2 pm until 5 pm and is part of the “Taste of the Boulevard.”  We will be set up in Restaurant Row, 900 Capital Centre Boulevard, Largo. 

I encourage everyone to come out and support this worthwhile effort and try our BBQ cooking and cast your vote for the Fire/EMS Service.  Proceeds will be donated to The County Police Explorers Program in memory of LODD POFC Adrian Morris and to HEROES, Inc.

Fire Fighter Don Purdy and his staff will be our BBQ Grill Masters and have quite a few surprises in store.

I wanted to share some of the “ribbing” (excuse the pun) the PGFD has endured by the Police Department on Twitter and their news blog.  I suspect this abuse will occur every day up until the day of the Guns and Hoses BBQ Challenge.

From PGPD News Blog:
Members of the Prince George’s County Police Department will battle members of the Prince George’s County Fire Department for cooking supremacy in a “Grill Off” during the upcoming Taste of the BLVD event.  Special guests will serve as the judges to pick the culinary winner (it will be PGPD)!  Citizens enjoying the event will also be able to judge the competition for a $2 donation.  Proceeds will go to the Prince George’s County Police Explorers Program and HEROES, Inc. 

Who:            Prince George’s County Police Department  
                    Prince George’s County Fire Department
                    Timothy Dean of Timothy Dean Burger Restaurant

When:          Saturday, October 6th, 2012

Time:           2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (approximate end time)

Where:         Restaurant Row
                    900 Capital Centre Boulevard
                    Largo, Maryland 20774

For more information, please contact the Prince George’s County Police Department’s Media Relations Division at (301) 772-4710.

FROM Twitter accounts:

After meeting with @PGFDPIO I am pretty sure we have the grill off in the bag! #PGPDvsPGFD pic.twitter.com/2sIaX8Iv

@PGPDNews @PGPDJulie Hey @calistablack please tell @cheftdean that @PGFDPIO may need a handicap when judging on Oct 6th #GrillOff

@PGPDNews @PGPDJulie Welcome @JUSTICE3042 who will bring the heat for #PGPD. @PGFDPIO leave the fire extinguishers at the station! #GrillOff

Oct 6 PGPD will prove y we're called the "FINEST". A 2nd alarm or mutual aid won't help but you'll need it PGFD. @PGPDNEWS @MrLJJr @PGFDPIO

@PGFDPIO @MrLJJr @PGPDNews you can talk trash all day long #PGFD, just remember that's exactly where your food will wind up. #GrillOff

RT @GLB62: @PGFDPIO @PGPDJulie @PGPDNews who knew it'd be so hard to pick sides here! It's not. Go w/clear choice. #PGPD

DISCLAIMER: The PGPD and PGFD entered into a mutual friendly agreement to gently antagonize each other leading up to the competition.  So if you wish to Tweet your support, please, do so “tastefully” (excuse the pun again) and with a level of professionalism.

Mark Brady

Crisman Named as the 2012 Life Safety Educator of the Year

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

The Community Outreach Coordinator of the Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department was recognized as the "2012 Life Safety Educator of the Year" today.  Teresa Ann Crisman was presented with her award by State of Maryland Fire Marshal William Barnard at the Mid-Atlantic Life Safety Conference held at the John Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in Howard County.  Crisman, a resident of Greenbelt, was surprised with the award and even more surprised when she learned her mother, father and brother were in attendance.

Crisman is an 11-year employee of the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department where she serves as the Community Outreach Coordinator. She is a longtime volunteer member of the Greenbelt Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad as well as the Branchville Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad. She has dedicated her career to the education of our citizens, businesses and visitors in areas of fire safety and injury prevention.
Ms Teresa Ann Crisman is well known for her dedication and devotion to the Prince George’s County’s Safe Kids Coalition and the Risk Watch Injury Prevention Program. She has provided the leadership and resources to assist EMS providers in educating parents, children, and teachers in protecting children from the highest risk areas of injury. As the Community Outreach Coordinator she has daily contact with citizens and residents about fire safety and injury prevention programs. She coordinates fire prevention activities, open houses, school safety programs, career days and community events for the Fire/EMS Department and volunteer stations.

Teresa Ann Crisman recently received the Maryland Institute of Emergency Medical Services “EMS for Children Award” for her dedication and devotion to the Prince George’s County’s Safe Kids Coalition and the Risk Watch Injury Prevention Program for over a decade. She has provided the leadership and resources to assist EMS providers in educating parents, children, and teachers in protecting children from the highest risk areas of injury. She has championed After School Programs, Child Passenger Safety Training, and Car Seat Checks in the county. She is a long standing member of the Fire and Injury Prevention Committee and serves as the chair of their Risk Watch Injury Preven¬tion Curriculum Task Force. State Fire Marshall Barnard spoke highly of Teresa's accomplishments and highlighted, "Teresa Ann has recently been a strong voice in Maryland for the ban on the sale of novelty lighters and residential sprinkler requirements. She has pulled together multiple partners at the State and local levels to educate everyone on the serious dangers that these lighters bring to young children and the life-saving importance of requiring residential sprinkler systems."

Crisman is a certified Fire Inspector and performs state and county required inspections on day care centers. While she is there not only does she perform the inspection she also uses the time to educate the care givers and children in injury and fire prevention and life safety.

Teresa recently completed her one-year term as President of the Ladies Auxiliary to Maryland State Fireman’s Association (MSFA). During her tenure she travelled thousands of miles and attended countless events representing the LAMSFA as well as the message that community outreach and public education are important components of all fire departments. Teresa Ann Crisman was inducted to the MSFA Hall of Fame in June 2012.

Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor was in attendance for the award presentation and stated, "I can not think of a more deserving person for this award.  Teresa Ann literally has devoted her life to educating others, especially young children, about the importance of keeping safety first.  I am extremely proud of her for receiving this prestigious award and distinction."  he concluded by saying, "This award speaks highly of Teresa Ann and the entire Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department, Congratulations!!!"

A host of Fire/EMS personnel, career, civilian and volunteer, including Deputy Fire Chief's Scott Hoglander, Neal Dennis and Frank Underwood were on hand for the award presentation.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fallen Firefighters Memorial and Founders Circle Celebration

2012 flyer -

PGCVF&RA and Ladies Auxiliary 90th Annual Convention

Chuck Walker, member of the Chillum-Adelphi
Volunteer Fire Department,
was elected as President during last weekends
90th Convention of the PGCVFRA.

The Officers and Members of the Prince George’s County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association (PGCVFRA) and the Ladies Auxiliary held their 90th Annual Convention this past week. This year’s convention was hosted by the Accokeek Volunteer Fire Department.

Activities included a Past Presidents Dinner, Memorial Service, awards ceremony, business meetings, election and installation of the new officers.

Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor extends his sincerest congratulations and best wishes to President Chuck Walker and all of the newly elected officers, award recipients and inductees into the Associations Hall of Fame.

The following information was provided by the PGCVFRA:

2012-2013 Officers and Directors to the PGCVFRA

President: Chuck Walker

1st VP: Harve Woods

2nd VP: Steven King

Secretary: Margie Dickey

Asst. Secretary: Teri Heinicke

Treasurer: Joan Robison

Asst. Treasurer: Margie Dickey

Immediate PP: Glenn Sherman

Chief Chaplain: Rev. Warren Litchfield

Chaplains: Rev. Harry Hetz

Jim Neal

Elaine Huttenloch

1st District: John Hughes

2nd District: Debbie King

3rd District: Laura Woods

4th District: Hilmar Porter

5th District: Bobby Breen

6th District: Buddy King

2012 -2013 Officers of the Ladies Auxiliary to the PGCVF&RA

PRESIDENT: Jennifer Johnson

VICE PRESIDENT – Kristi Grinder


TREASURER – Kitty Gardner

CHAPLAIN - Elaine Huttenloch

Forestville Ladies Auxiliary


West Lanham Hills Ladies Auxiliary

HISTORIAN – Joanne Johnson

GUARD – Becky Allen

COLOR BEARER – Kristi Harmon

COLOR BEARER – Sharon Walker

The following members were inducted into the PGCVFRA and have combined for over 353 years of volunteer service.


Monday, September 24, 2012

PGFD Profile - Steve "Country" White

Assistant Fire Chief Steve "Country" White
Steven E. White is a 17-year veteran of the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department and serves as a Duty Chief and Technical Services Commander. Steve “Country” White is also a loving husband, father and avid hunter.

He started his fire service career as a member of the College Park Volunteer Fire Department in June of 1990 and remained a volunteer for five years until he was hired by the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department in June of 1995. He was a part of Career Recruit School #27. In September 2012, he was promoted to the position of Assistant Fire Chief.

During his 17-year career he worked mostly at Fire/EMS Stations in the Southern portions of the County including serving as Captain at Oxon Hill #821 and Battalion Chief at the 7th, 3rd, 5th and 4th Battalions. He was assigned to work at Hazardous Materials Station #53 during the height of the Anthrax Scare and was part of the staff at the Fire/EMS Training Academy during instruction of a recruit school. As a Duty Chief, Steve is responsible for the overall supervision of all Department activities for a 24-hour time period.

Steve White (with helmet) discusses a challenging rescue
on Van Dusen Road in laurel.
Steve is the recipient of several awards including Unit Citations for the LaPlata Tornado response, Anthrax Scare and the Vermillion Avenue Project. He also received a Knights of Columbus Firefighter of the Year Award in 1994. Recently, he operated as the Technical Services Battalion Chief on the scene of several high profile rescues including a confined space incident on Van Dusen Road in Laurel and a swift water rescue of three teens from the Northwest Branch under the 38th Street Bridge in Hyattsville. Technical Rescue Services consists of firefighters and medics that are highly trained in difficult and challenging rescues. The team responds on all incidents involving water rescue, confined space, high angle and incidents involving structural collapse.

Steve is an avid hunter and coordinates the Southern MD
Chapter of Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry.
Hunting to “Country” is more than a just a sport or hobby. He coordinates the Southern Maryland Chapter of Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry. When asked to describe the Group and their activity, White stated, “This Chapter is a group of volunteers who love to hunt and desire to help our communities. Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry is a National non-profit organization that has chapters throughout the country and Canada and now in Kenya. This Program raises money to pay for the processing of donated deer harvested by hunters and coordinates getting meat to local soup kitchens and food pantries. Over the past four years we have had approximately 2,650 deer donated and processed through the Program within the Southern Maryland region. This accounts for approximately 132,500 pounds of meat donated to local pantries and soup kitchens. This has provided an estimated 530,000 meals to those in need within the community.” The Counties included in the Southern Maryland Chapter are: Prince George’s, Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary’s. Some of the local organizations that have donated to the cause are Prince George’s County Farm Bureau, HuntOnly.com, Charles County Community Foundation, and the Southern Maryland Resource Conservation and Development. For additional information on the organization you can visit their website at www.FHFH.org.

In addition to the busy schedule as a Technical Services Commander, Steve still finds time to coach T-ball, flag football and basketball. He stated, “I also enjoy fishing and anything outdoors. Mostly, I enjoy spending time with my family.” Steve is married and has two “great” boys; Colby, 8 and Trent, 6. He introduced his spouse as his “Wonderful Wife Sayshan.” Sayshan Conver-White is also a Battalion Chief with the Fire/EMS Department and coordinates the activities of the Safety Office. Steve and Sayshan are both very active in their church, Crossroads Apostolic Church in White Plains, and currently coordinate the children’s Ministry.

The nickname, “Country,” Steve said, “The name Country came when I moved in to the College Park Station 812. There was another member named Steve Wright and that’s how they decided to tell us apart on the intercom. It stuck in fact it has stuck so well that my friends from high school now call me Country.”

As far as his goals and aspirations with the Fire/EMS Department, Steve said, “To develop personnel that I come into contact with to become the leaders of the future.” His personal goals include, “To introduce the wonderful outdoors to those who might not have the opportunity to see what God has created. To work with kids who don’t have many of the opportunities to get out and enjoy nature the way that I have so fortunately been able to,” said Steve “Country” White.

Steve, Sayshan, Colby and Trent reside in LaPlata, Maryland.

If you have any questions or need additional information regarding the Southern Maryland Chapter of Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry, please contact them by way of email at Southernmdfhfh@yahoo.com.

Steve White (white shirt wearing glasses) was part of a group of Firefighter/Medics that were
able to greet a man they rescued from a mulch machine months earlier.
Story by Mark E. Brady, PGFD PIO, 240-508-7930
Edited by Paula Black, Administrative Aide, Office of the Fire Chief

Upcoming Fire Prevention and Open House Events

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-78930

The reality is that when fire strikes, your home could be engulfed in smoke and flames in just a few minutes.

It is important to have a home fire escape plan that prepares your family to think fast and get out quickly when the smoke alarm sounds. What if your first escape route is blocked by smoke or flames? That's why having two ways out is such a key part of your plan. This year’s theme, “Have 2 Ways Out!” focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice.

Many of our Fire/EMS Stations will be hosting open house events over the next several weeks. Children and adults can learn how to develop a home escape plan, including, 2 ways out of every room and a designated meeting place outside. We encourage you to take time and visit one of local Fire/EMS Stations and learn something that might just save your life.  Check back often as this site will be updated with new open house events as information becomes available,

The Glenn Dale Fire Association, Inc. Fire/EMS Station 818

11900 Glenn Dale Boulevard, Glenn Dale
Public Fire and Safety Prevention Open House –
Saturday, September 29, 2012, 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

For additional information: 301-805-2400 www.gdvfd.com

Planned activities include:

Apparatus Displays
9-1-1 emergency system demonstrations
Hector the Fire Safety Clown
Free blood pressure checks on request
Automobile extrication demonstration
Fire safety trailer
Fire safety brochures and handbooks
Fun activities and fire hats for the kids!
US Park Police “Eagle” Helicopter (subject to availability)

The Brandywine Volunteer Fire Department, Fire/EMS Station 40

14201 Brandywine Road, Brandywine, MD
Third Annual Fire Prevention and Life Safety Open House - Saturday, October 6, 2012
11:00 am - 3:00PM

Planned activities include:

Firehouse and apparatus tours
Auto extrication demonstrations
Static apparatus displays from surrounding companies
Coloring books
Meet the Firefighters
Best coloring book pictures contest
Volunteer recruitment
Opportunities for citizens to ask questions concerning fire & life safety.

For additional information:
(after 5:00 pm weekdays) http://www.brandywinevfd.net

Bowie Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad, Fire/EMS Station 839

15454 Annapolis Road, Bowie, MD
Fire Prevention Day, October 13, 2012, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

This annual event is held each October to educate the Community of Bowie in fire prevention and home safety. This year will be the 28th annual program. Attendance has grown over the years, with attendance in years past being in the thousands of visitors. Bowie's Fire Prevention Day is one of the biggest in the state, and the 2008 event was honored as one of the best in the state by the Maryland State Firemen's Association.

Come join the Bowie Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad as we continue to make Bowie a safer place to live. Help us help you by attending a full day of fun, sights and sounds. See live demonstrations and displays of fire trucks, as well as other public safety vehicles/equipment. This year, we will follow the theme established by the National Fire Protection Association for Fire Prevention Week, "Have 2 Ways Out."

Events include:

11:00 - Opening Ceremonies
11:30 - Fire Department Operations Demonstration
12:00 - First Hut Burning Demonstration
12:15 - Residential Sprinkler Demonstration
12:30 - Fire Extinguisher Demonstration
1:00 - Helicopter Static Demonstration
1:15 - Second Hut Burning Demonstration
1:30 - "What Fills a Firefighter's Boots?" Presentation
1:45 - "When the Ambulance Comes" Presentation
2:00 - Auto Accident and Extrication Demonstration
2:15 - Auto Fire Demonstration
2:30 - Third Hut Burning Demonstration
3:00 - Fire Extinguisher Demonstration
3:20 - Fourth Hut Burning Demonstration
3:40 - Residential Sprinkler Demonstration

Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department, Fire/EMS Station 801

6200 Belcrest Road, Hyattsville, MD
Fire Safety Open House – Saturday, October 13, 2012, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

We will have fire safety demonstrations, hands on educational experiences, raffles, food, music and fun!

For additional information: 301-883-7701 www.hvfd.com

Branchville Volunteer Fire Company and Rescue Squad, Fire/EMS Station 811

4905 Branchville Road,
College Park, MD
Open House, Saturday, October 13, 2012, 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm

For additional information: 301-883-7711 www.bvfco11.com

Laurel Volunteer Fire Department, Fire/EMS Station 810

7411 Cherry Lane, Laurel, MD
Open House – Sunday, October 14, 2012, 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

For additional information: 301-883-7710 www.laurelvfd.org

Beltsville Volunteer Fire Department, Fire/EMS Station 831

4911 Prince George’s avenue, Beltsville, MD
Open House – Sunday, October 21, 2012, 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

For additional information: 301-883-7731 www.beltsvillevfd.com

Sentinel Newspaper - Bunker Hill volunteer firefighters answer call from Oklahoma

Bunker Hill volunteer firefighters answer call from Oklahoma

Published on: Friday, September 21, 2012

By Jim Davis, Sentinel Newspaper

Firefighters usually help residents in their own community — extinguishing house fires, rescuing people from car accidents and transporting patients to the hospital when they are sick or injured.

But sometimes, firefighters help each other.

That was the case when the volunteer firefighters at Bunker Hill Volunteer Fire Department in Mount Rainer decided to assist the Silver City, Okla., firefighters — nearly 1,250 miles away.

In August, Silver City Volunteer Fire Department responded to one the Creek County’s biggest brush fires. As firefighters were battling the massive fire in drought conditions, their 30-year-old fire truck gave out, said SCFD Fire Chief Billy Rusco.

“The pressure dropped from 100 pounds to zero,” Rusco said.

The firefighters determined that the water pump and the transmission in the fire engine were tapped out.

“If the pump goes out, it won’t pump any water,” Rusco explained.

Rusco said his department couldn’t determine if the pump went out because of the demand of pumping water for hours or if time just caught up with the old fire truck. Either way, Rusco said that the department has been feeling the strain of being without the pumper truck.

In the meantime, Silver City has been using a smaller pumper truck. The smaller truck had previously belonged to Silver City, but it was donated to another department about four years ago. Basin Volunteer Fire Department re-donated the truck back to Silver City.

“We can’t afford the $15,000 it would take to fix the engine, let alone purchase a new one at a cost over $400,000. Our annual (budget) is only $20,000 a year,” Rusco said.

In need of a new or used fire truck, SCFD Treasurer Bill Beal sent out several hundred emails to fire departments throughout the United States looking for help.

A few days later, Silver City firefighters received a phone call from BHFD President Richard Melito offering to donate Bunker Hill’s 1988 FMC fire truck for $1. Silver City just had to transport it back to Oklahoma.

“We are here to help people in need,” Melito said. “In this case, it was another volunteer fire department in need of help.”

After several phone calls, the deal was set. But the volunteers of Silver City still needed someone to help them transport the fire truck from Maryland.

An Oklahoma trucking company came to their rescue. Around 1:30 a.m. last Thursday, the fire truck was placed on a flatbed and transported back to the volunteers in Silver City. It arrived safely late Sunday night.

“We are very happy about the fire truck,” Rusco said. “It’s a good feeling to know that another volunteer fire department is willing to help us in our time of need.”

Rusco also said his 17 volunteer firefighters are grateful for the truck.

“We are going to keep in touch with the volunteers in Silver City to see how things are going,” Melito said. “We are planning to make them our sister station.”

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Transforming Neighborhoods Intiative - One Home at a Time in Kentland-Palmer Park

Residents in the Kentland-Palmer Park communities were visited by firefighters knocking on their door Wednesday morning, September 19. It was not for an emergency, it was to help prevent an emergency!!!  The Kentland-Palmer Park Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative (TNI) Team conducted door-to-door fire safety inspections within the community. This effort was supported by recruit firefighters that are currently attending the Fire/EMS Department’s Training Academy, volunteer firefighters from the Kentland Fire/EMS Station #833, Departmental of Environmental Resources and County Executives Office.  Dozens of homes were inspected with smoke alarms either refreshed by a new battery or a new one installed.  Some homes were also provided with a carbon monoxide alarm and every home received fire safety and additional handout materials aimed at improving their communities.

This effort was conducted within the Kentland-Palmer Park community and is part of County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative.  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.

Fire/EMS personnel and TNI/Agency representatives met at the intersection of Columbia Place and Flagstaff Street at 10:00 am, divided into teams and went door-to-door, one home at a tim.

All homes in Prince George's County can have this same service provided. Please call our Safety First program at 301-864-SAFE (7233) and a firefighter will visit your home and install these life saving devices for you. free of charge.

Fire/EMS Station "Safe Place" for Female Student - CORRECTED

As with many public safety facilities across the Country, Prince George’s County, MD, Fire/Emergency Medical Stations (EMS) are considered a “Safe Place” or "Safe Haven." In addition to being a facility whereas an adult can surrender a baby within 72 hours of birth, our Fire/EMS Stations can provide temporary shelter to youth and adults with nowhere else to go for help. Fire/EMS personnel will provide assistance in the form of notification to the appropriate agency that can assist the person and arrange for transportation to that agency or facility.

This morning, a female middle school student felt threatened by a man in a car that was following her while she walked to school.  She went inside the Riverdale Heights Fire/EMS Station #813 and sought assistance from firefighters.  

Notification was made to Public Safety Communications of the situation and police officers were immediately dispatched.  The firefighters kept the youth in an office with a female firefighter until police arrived.  Once on the scene the police handled the remainder of the incident.

While we can not share any additional details of this particular incident I feel it is important to note that this youth sought safety at a Fire/EMS Station.  Every child and adult should know that our community facilities are considered "Safe Places" and "Safe Havens" and should always be considered as a place to seek safety, refuge or a place to turn if they find themselves helpless with no where else to go.

This youth found a safe place at a Fire/EMS Station and experienced a positive reaction to what she felt was a threatening situation.

No additional details about this incident are available from the Fire/EMS Department.

** Note: Correction made to reflect the correct Fire/EMS Station.  Originally reported as Hyattsville, it was actually at the Riverdale Heights Fire/EMS Station. Corrected, Thursday, 9-20-12 at 3:20 pm

Mark E. Brady

Fire at Bowie YMCA Mostly Held to Exterior

Around 4:00 am, Thursday, September 20,  Firefighters from the Bowie area responded to the 3500 block of Moylan Drive for a report of a possible building fire.  Firefighters arrived to a 2-story former school building that has been converted into a YMCA.

Firefighters arrived to find an outside fire of roofing materials stored on the side of the building with the blaze impinging on the side of the building.  A precautionary 2ND Alarm was sounded and staged in the event the fire extended to the interior.

Quick extinguishment by firefighters limited the extension to portion of the roofline and the majority of the fire was contained to the exterior.  All searches for occupants were negative.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and fire loss is estimated at $50,000. No injuries were reported.

WUSA 9 TV photo shows the damaged area outside of the building itself.  Damage to the structure itself was minimal.  Photo from WUSA TV 9 website.

Mark Brady