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Monday, January 16, 2012

A Day to Work - Not A Day Off in Community of Berwyn Heights

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

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service

The American Red Cross, Prince George’s County Chapter,  held their Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service in the Town of Berwyn Heights today, Monday, January 16, 2012. About 60 members of the community met at the Town of Berwyn Heights Municipal Center to honor and respect Dr. King by offering their to help others.

Participants enjoyed a continental breakfast from 8:00 A.M. until 8:45 A.M. and then listened as speakers provided words of encouragement and thanks.  Calvin Hawkins, Citizen Corp and County employee/Department of Homeland Security, led the program and introduced speakers from the Town of Berwyn Heights Town Council, Volunteer Fire Department, RACES, Citizen Corp, WSSC, American Red Cross and the Fire/EMS Department.  

Prince George's County Fire/EMS Chief Marc S. Bashoor spoke to the task at hand that include the distribution of emergency preparedness and fire safety information throughout the community of Berwyn Heights.  He included several quotes from Dr. King in his comments and spoke of why today was a day for work and not a day off.

At around 9:00 am teams of volunteers went door-to-door, despite chilly temperatures, in Berwyn Heights providing occupants with emergency preparedness information and offered to check on working smoke alarms.

Volunteer Major and Chief of the Berwyn Heights Fire/EMS Station #814 Chuck Fusco speaks to the gathered community members at the Municipal Center.

Fire Chief Bashoor speaks of the importance of smoke alarms and efforts like the one today.

Todays speakers with a memento provided to Fire Chief Bashoor.

 Fire Chief Bashoor and his team go door-to-door providing emergency preparedness information 
and checking for working smoke alarms demonstrating why it is a day to work and provide a service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Fire at the University of Maryland Extinguished

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

At around 3:15 pm, Monday, January 16, 2012, firefighters were alerted to smoke in a educational building on the campus of the University of Maryland in College Park. Fire/EMS units arrived at the JM Patterson Building on Regents Driver and found a working fire in a second floor lab involving electrical components with possible extension to an upper floor.

As a precaution the Department's Hazardous Materials Team was alerted to the incident due to the potential involvement of stored chemicals.  No chemicals or hazardous materials were found to be involved with this fire.

With today being a Holiday for the observance of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day and during winter session there were a limited number of people in the building and they all evacuated safely.

The sprinkler system activated and held the fire in check until firefighters arrived and completed the extinguishment.  Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the remaining fire which involved electrical equipment that powers a system that maintains an appropriate atmosphere inside the lab.

There were no injuries. Firefighters remained on the scene ventilating the building of smoke and overhauling the effected area.  Damage to the lab is considerable, however, an estimated loss figure is still being tabulated.  The scene has been turned over to Environmental Safety and Fire Marshal's office for the University of Maryland for follow-up.