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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Park Employees Save Co-Worker from Cardiac Arrest

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

The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department is pleased to acknowledge employees of the Maryland National Capitol Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC) that saved the life of a fellow employee this afternoon. 

Just after 12 pm today, Thursday, March 1, 2012, Firefighter/Medics from the Largo/Kettering Fire/EMS Station #846 were alerted for an unconscious person at Watkins Regional Park in Kettering.  A 911 caller described the situation as saying that someone was performing CPR on the downed man.

Firefighter/Medics arrived and encountered an adult male employee of the MNCPPC that was reported to have gone into cardiac arrest.  Fellow employees swiftly moved to render care by performing CPR and using an AED.  Bystander CPR was immediately started and a MNCPPC owned and maintained Automatic External Defibrillator  (AED) was quickly applied.  The AED detected a “shockable” heart rhythm and administered two “shocks.”

Firefighter/Medics arrived and the found the patient alert and conscious.  Paramedics transported the patient to a nearby hospital. The patient has survived sudden cardiac arrest and has been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital.  The AED was downloaded and confirmed the patient was in cardiac arrest.

“This incident demonstrates the necessity for community involvement in CPR training. This gentleman was afforded a much better chance of survival from his cardiac arrest due to the efforts of his co-worker who started CPR immediately. Survival rates in sudden cardiac arrest drop drastically in cases where CPR is not started until after the arrival of EMS units,” stated Fire/EMS Department Assistant Chief Dennis Wood.  “Recent changes to American Heart Association recommendations describe excellent improvements where bystanders initiate chest compressions only until EMS units can arrive. The addition of a facility automated external defibrillator again improves outcomes significantly.”

Prince George’s County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor stated, “I am pleased to hear of the fast thinking and quick work of the employees that I credit with saving a co-workers life.  The chain of survival worked in this case; 911 notification, bystander CPR, early access to AED, paramedic intervention and quick entry into a medical facility.  I commend the employees and the MNCPPC for maintaining an AED on-site.”

Everyone should know CPR and how to use an AED.  Anyone interested in learning these skills should call 301-864-LIVE (5483) for additional information.

PEPCO Donates Smoke Alarms to Residents of the County

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

The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department graciously accepted a generous donation of smoke alarms from PEPCO.  The donation was made this morning while at the Line of Duty Death Memorial, located at the Cranford-Graves Fire Services Building in Landover Hills.   

The Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department has historically gone door-to-door within our communities, spreading fire safety information and checking smoke alarms.  When a home is in need of a working smoke alarm, the Department installs one at no cost to the resident. 

Smoke alarm checks are a staple of the fire service and community outreach efforts. We do this because we know that having a working smoke alarm increases the chances of you surviving a fire in your home by 50 percent.  Tragically, we have seen home fires where loved ones have perished, and the home did not have a working smoke alarm.

Working smoke alarms save lives.  The generosity of organizations providing us with free alarms enables us to help you.  PEPCO is a true public safety partner, providing the Department with free smoke alarms that we in turn install in your home—Keeping Safety First to ensure everyone goes home.  PEPCO has donated 7000 smoke alarms over the past 8 years.

Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor acknowledged the donation of smoke alarms, saying, “We graciously accept the 1000 smoke alarms and 30 hearing-impaired smoke alarms that PEPCO is donating to us today.  We accept these life-saving devices as we stand at the Line of Duty Death Memorial for Prince George’s County Firefighters.  A working smoke alarm provides you with an early warning of a fire, allowing you time to escape and notify 911.”  He concluded by saying, “With an early 911 notification, the Fire/EMS Department arrives sooner, before the fire grows in intensity.  Early notification also enables you to save yourself, instead of firefighters having to rush into your home to save you.  Having a working smoke alarm helps both you and us, in the prevention of injuries and death.  It allows us to arrive sooner; it allows you and your loved ones to get out safely.” 

The Fire/EMS Department also acknowledged the donation of 300 smoke alarms this past December, when our community saturation increased after a fire claimed three lives in a Lewisdale home.  1-800-BOARD-Up donated the alarms to bridge the gap between the larger donations by PEPCO.  During our Safety First – Home for the Holidays smoke alarm check, firefighters found that nearly 25 percent of homes did not have a working smoke alarm.  Most homes had an alarm that did not work, mostly due to the lack of a battery.  In other instances, the smoke alarms failed to work because they were more than 10 years old. 

“This donation is a great way to support the community and strengthen the partnership that exists between PEPCO and the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department,” said Jerry Pasternak, PEPCO Regional Vice President for Maryland. “Getting these alarms into people's homes is important to our customers, our communities, and our first responders.  PEPCO is proud to support this life-saving initiative.”

Homeowners and occupants must take personal responsibility to ensure they have a working smoke alarm.  Test your alarm on the first day of each month, Safety First Day of the Month, and replace your battery at least once a year.  The ideal time to remember to perform this important function is when we adjust our clocks for Daylight Saving Time.  This year, we move our clocks forward one hour on Sunday, March 11, 2012.  This serves as a natural reminder to install a fresh battery in your home’s smoke alarm.  

Any County citizen or resident may contact our Safety First program at 301-864-SAFE (7233) and request a smoke alarm installed in their home free of charge.

Fire Chief Bashoor speaks at the podium with support from members of his command staff and members of the Community Advisory Council. (BRADY)

Today's press briefing was held on the grounds of the PGFD Line of Duty Death Memorial and Founders Circle to support the importance of having working smoke alarms. (BRADY)

Fire Chief at the podium with Pete Pederson and Jerry Pasternak from PEPCO and Hugh Owens Sr from 1-800-Board-Up.

Unloading and storing 1000 smoke alarms and 30 hearing impaired smoke alarms. (BRADY)

Riverdale Arson Fire

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

We are asking for the community‘s involvement and assistance in helping to identify the person(s) responsible for setting these fires. If you have information about either of these incidents, call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). You may also send your tips, SECURELY and ANONYMOUSLY, via TEXT MESSAGE by typing "PGPD" plus your message, and sending it from your cell phone to "CRIMES" (274637). If your information leads the capture of any of these fugitives, you may be eligible for a CASH REWARD up to $1,000.

The Prince George’s County Arson Tip Line will also accept information at 301-77-ARSON, or email at 77ARSON@co.pg.md.us

Safety First Day of the Month - Test your Smoke Alarm

Safety First Day of the Month - Test your Smoke Alarm

Today is March 1, 2012, and being as it is the first day of the month, it is time to perform the most basic function in ensuring you, your family and loved ones are protected by a working smoke alarm.

On the first day of every month the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department will remind you to test your smoke alarm to ensure it is working.

Push the “test” button on the front cover of your wall/ceiling mounted smoke alarm.

An audible warning tone should be heard loud and clear throughout the area it is located.

• If your smoke alarm does not emit a sound when tested:

1. Provide a fresh battery to the smoke alarm and re-test.

2. Still no audible warning?? Replace the smoke alarm with a new one immediately.

When testing your smoke alarm, it’s a good time to gather your family and allow them to hear the audible warning signal. Let them know what to do in the event they hear the warning, discuss two ways out of every room and designate a safe meeting place outside in the event of a fire or other emergency.

If you have any questions about fire safety, escape planning or smoke alarms contact our Safety First program at 301-864-SAFE (7233) or complete the on-line request form by clicking here.

On Sunday, March 11, 2012, we will move our clocks forward one hour to reflect Daylight Saving Time.  This is a good time to provide a fresh battery to your smoke alarm.  "Change Your Clock - Change Your Battery"
We are looking forward to providing additional fire safety and smoke alarm information on the first of next month. Until then, remember, “Safety First – Everyone Goes Home.”