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Friday, February 24, 2012

Kitchen Fire Extinguished by Sprinklers - Mom Under Arrest

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930, mebrady@co.pg.md.us
Carreen Koubek, Laurel City Police Department, 240-454-4934

A residential sprinkler activated, contained a kitchen fire and spared a Laurel family from tragedy this afternoon.  By the time the event had concluded a mother of 2 young children was under arrest.

At around 1:15 pm, Friday, February 24, 2012, firefighters from the Laurel Fire/EMS Station #849 and Beltsville Fire/EMS Station #831 were alerted to investigate an automatic fire alarm at a 3-story apartment building in the 600 block of Main Street in Laurel.  Firefighters arrived to find an apartment  filled with smoke from ceiling to floor and remnants of a kitchen fire.  The kitchen fire had been extinguished by an activated residential sprinkler.

FIrefighters ensured the fire was completely extinguished and made a disturbing discovery while conducting a search of the apartment.  Two young children, ages 1 and 3, were found just outside of the kitchen area.  They were wet from being sprayed with water from the sprinklers that doused the fire.  Their mother, a 33 year old female, was also located in the apartment.  She was reported to have passed out while under the influence of an unknown substance.

The three occupants were removed from the hazardous atmosphere and tended to by EMT's.  The EMS Duty Officer reported to the scene and used an pulse oximeter to determine if the children were in danger of smoke inhalation or carbon monoxide injuries.  Fortunately, it was determined that they did not need hospitalization and custody of the children was turned over to their grandmother.  

According to Jim Collins of the City of Laurel Police Department, "The mother, Ciarra Williams, was arrested and charged with "Reckless Endangerment" and two counts of "Child Abuse." 

The cause of the fire is "unattended cooking" and fire loss estimated at $500.  The residential sprinkler is credited with containing the fire and limiting the amount of damage as well as injuries to the apartment occupants.

VFW Announce Firefighter and Paramedic of the Year

MEDIA CONTACT: Diane V. Cunningham, Press Information Office, 301-883-5222

The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department received notification that two of our members have been selected to receive a very prestigious award. The Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) chose Fire Fighter/Medic Stephanie A. Buffum as their organization’s “2011 Paramedic of the Year.” The organization’s choice for “2011 Fire Fighter of the Year” is Fire Fighter Nicole Orme.  Both Buffum and Orme will be awarded at the Post and District levels.

Fire Fighter/Medic Buffum, according to the VFW, is being recognized for her “extraordinary knowledge in the medical field, keen ability to problem solve, attention to detail, and profound dedication to the citizens she serves and protects. Her 12 years of service and accomplishments is just a short testament that she loves what she does, and bigger and better things are coming her way.”

Upon being told of her award, Buffum stated, “I am excited and honored to have been selected for this award.”


Fire Fighter Orme, the VFW stated, “has a history of serving our fellow soldiers, including mobilizing the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department and community to create military care packages for more than 100 soldiers serving overseas.  She has made multiple visits to Walter Reed to present care packages to the wounded warriors and their families.  Fire Fighter Orme has worked with the USO Metro out of Fort Meade, coordinating multiple dinners during Thanksgiving and Christmas, whereby hundreds of soldiers unable to be home for the holidays and the families of deployed soldiers were able to a meal.  Fire Fighter Orme makes her family, Department, and community very proud.  It is an honor to present her as our organization’s 2011 Fire Fighter of the Year.” 

“I am both humbled and grateful to be recognized for doing something I absolutely love,” said Fire Fighter Orme.

The VFW traces its roots back to 1899 when veterans of the Spanish-American War (1898) and the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902) founded local organizations to secure rights and benefits for their service. Many arrived home wounded or sick and were left to care for themselves, as there was no medical care or veterans' pension for them.

In their misery, some of these veterans banded together and formed organizations with what would become known as the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. After chapters were formed in Ohio, Colorado and Pennsylvania, the movement quickly gained momentum. By 1915, membership grew to 5,000; by 1936, membership was almost 200,000.

Annually, the 2.1 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliary contribute more than 11 million hours of volunteerism in the community, including participation in Make A Difference Day and National Volunteer Week.
Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor stated, "I am extremely proud that such a noble organization as the VFW has selected two of our personnel for these impressive awards.  The awards reflect favorably on Nicole and Stephanie as individuals and on the entire Fire/EMS Department.  Congratulations."
Fire Fighter/Medic Buffum and Fire Fighter Orme will be presented their awards at a ceremony in March 2012.


Fire Fighter/Medic Stephanie A. Buffum VFW’s “2011 Paramedic of the Year.”

The VFW’s choice for “2011 Fire Fighter of the Year” is Fire Fighter Nicole Orme

Friday Weather Alerts Need Your Attention

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

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Wind Advisory and a Hazardous Weather Outlook for Friday afternoon through midnight.  The Fire Weather Warning is no longer active, however, they warned that high winds and low relative humidity may pose an enhanced threat for the spread of wildfires on Saturday.

This afternoons weather includes high winds which could bring down trees and overhead utility lines.  Any downed utility line should be considered "live" or "energized" and avoided.  If you see a downed line call 911.

There is a potential for afternoon thunderstorms as well.  Citizens and residents should take all precautions to stay safe.

Stay Informed - Stay Ready - Stay Safe.

Stay Informed by monitoring weather broadcasts on TV, radio and the Internet.
Stay Ready by having your home emergency kit prepared and ready to use.
Stay Safe by being informed and ready and making good common sense decisions about safety.

Follow PGFDPIO on Twitter for up to the minute weather alerts and breaking news.

FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE


Wind Advisory

URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
353 AM EST FRI FEB 24 2012

353 AM EST FRI FEB 24 2012

...WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 3 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO MIDNIGHT
EST TONIGHT...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS
ISSUED A WIND ADVISORY...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 3 PM THIS
AFTERNOON TO MIDNIGHT EST TONIGHT.

* TIMING...THE STRONGEST WINDS WILL BE LATE THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH
  THIS EVENING.

* WINDS...SOUTHWEST LATE THIS AFTERNOON 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS UP 55 MPH...
  BECOMING WEST THIS EVENING.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WIND ADVISORY MEANS THAT WIND GUSTS OVER 45 MPH ARE EXPECTED.
WINDS THIS STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT...ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH
PROFILE VEHICLES. USE EXTRA CAUTION.


Hazardous Weather Outlook

HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
513 AM EST FRI FEB 24 2012


513 AM EST FRI FEB 24 2012

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR THE MARYLAND PORTION OF THE
CHESAPEAKE BAY...TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER...AND ADJACENT COUNTIES IN
CENTRAL MARYLAND AND NORTHERN VIRGINIA AS WELL AS THE DISTRICT OF
COLUMBIA.

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT

A GALE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR THE WATERS THROUGH TONIGHT. A
STORM WARNING MAY BE NEEDED FOR PORTIONS OF THE WATERS LATE THIS
AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT.

SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS ARE POSSIBLE THIS AFTERNOON. THUNDERSTORMS
WILL BE CAPABLE OF PRODUCING DAMAGING WIND GUSTS AND HAIL. THE
BEST CHANCE FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE ALONG AND EAST OF THE
INTERSTATE 95 CORRIDOR.

A WIND ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING FOR THE
OUTLOOK AREA. PLEASE REFER TO THE LATEST HAZARD MESSAGE /NPWLWX/
FOR FURTHER DETAILS.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...SATURDAY THROUGH THURSDAY

A WIND ADVISORY MAY BE NEEDED FOR PORTIONS OF THE AREA SATURDAY.

GUSTY WINDS AND LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY MAY POSE AN ENHANCED THREAT
FOR THE SPREAD OF WILDFIRES SATURDAY.

.SPOTTER INFORMATION STATEMENT...

SPOTTER ACTIVATION MAY BE NEEDED THIS AFTERNOON.