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Friday, July 13, 2012

PIO Presentation at FIREHOUSE EXPO in Baltimore

July 17–21 | 2012

Exhibit Hall: July 19-21, 2012

Baltimore Convention Center

Baltimore, MD

New & Social Media Explosion

Getting Back To Basics With PIO 101

Jul 21 2012 12:00PM
Room: 336

Category: Social Media

Mark Brady, Prince George's County, MD FD
Pete Piringer, Washington D.C.

As new media explodes, some of the basic principles upon which the discipline of PIOs is founded can help with assimilation of these technologies.
It is timely to resurrect these core values and guiding principles and integrate them into professional practice.
Numerous established practices with proven success can translate effectively with the new media.

Fire/EMS Department Safety and Staffing Enhancements

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

The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department has made and is preparing to make several enhancements to improve service delivery to the citizens, businesses and visitors and improve the safety and health of our membership.  These enhancements are in part a result of an agreement between Prince George’s County and the Firefighters and Paramedics Association, International Association of Firefighters Local 1619.  “The increased staffing and additional emergency medical services will improve response times, provide a wider coverage area of advanced life support services and reduce stress placed on our busiest Fire/EMS Stations,” said Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor.  “I applaud Local 1619 leadership for working with myself and the County in reaching this agreement,” concluded Bashoor.

One of the enhancements is the addition of four dedicated career Safety Officers.  These Safety Officers will be assigned to each of the four shifts and assist incident commanders on operational matters.  Additionally, they will provide a resource to assist members with training and when an injury or illness occurs while on duty.  The four career safety officers have been selected and have gone through additional training and an orientation period and are assigned and working on their respective shifts.  The career safety officers will join an already established and on-going safety program operated by a career Battalion Chief and volunteer members who have successfully met the criteria and training requirements to be a safety officer.  Volunteer Safety Officers are selected by the Fire Chief.  “The career safety officers will work along with the successful on-going volunteer safety officer program,” said Fire Chief Bashoor.  “The experienced eyes and ears of career and volunteer safety officers on incident scenes serve to improve overall safety of our personnel.”

Another enhancement will place additional EMS units in service and up staff fire apparatus.  These changes will improve EMS response times to areas that have the highest demand for service and place additional advanced life support (ALS) paramedics on the street.  Additional EMS units, with dedicated staffing, are being placed in service in areas, or adjacent areas, where the call volume exceeds a 4,150 incident threshold.  Currently the District Heights, Suitland and Oxon Hill areas meet the criteria.

The up staffing enhancement will ensure that fire apparatus in some stations will have dedicated staffing of four personnel. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) conducted a 2010 study on staffing levels that showed that the size of firefighting crews has a substantial effect on the fire service's ability to protect lives and property in residential fires.  Performed by a broad coalition in the scientific, firefighting and public-safety communities, the study found that four-person firefighting crews were able to complete 22 essential firefighting and rescue tasks in a typical residential structure 30 percent faster than two-person crews and 25 percent faster than three-person crews.  Fire Chief Bashoor commented, “The addition of a dedicated fourth firefighter on-board fire apparatus has been proven to improve safety, accountability and overall fire service delivery.  It is my intention to continue in this direction to ensure everyone goes home after every call.”

The following is a breakdown of Fire/EMS Stations receiving additional staffing and new EMS units.  These changes will go in service on Sunday, July 15, at 7:00 am.

The Silver Hill Fire/EMS Station #829 will receive an additional 3 personnel per shift and will operate the following Fire/EMS units:

Engine/Truck – 4 personnel
Ambulance 829 – 2 personnel
Paramedic Unit 829 – 2 personnel
Paramedic Ambulance 829 (new unit) – 2 personnel

The District Heights Fire/EMS Station #826 will also receive an additional 3 personnel per shift and operate with the following Fire/EMS units:

Engine/Truck 826 – 4 personnel
Ambulance 826 – 2 personnel
Ambulance 826B (new unit) – 2 personnel
Paramedic Unit 826 – 2 personnel

St Josephs Fire/EMS Station #806 in addition to providing Fire/EMS services also provides the staffing and resources for technical rescues (high-angle, trench, confined space, water rescue, etc) will receive an increase of 3 personnel per shift. The St. Joseph Fire/EMS Station will operate with the following Fire/EMS units:

Engine/Squad/Technical Rescue – 4 personnel
Ambulance 806 – 2 personnel
Paramedic Ambulance (new unit) – 2 personnel

The Chillum-Adelphi Fire/EMS Station 834 will have 1 additional personnel assigned to day work, 7:00 am to 3:00 pm.  The addition will enable the Engine/Truck and Ambulance to each respond with full staffing during these hours.  Station #834 has a strong volunteer membership that provides additional staffing during the evenings, weekends and holidays.

“Overall, these additions provide improved Fire/EMS service delivery as well as improving the safety of all of our career and volunteer members,” stated Chief Bashoor. 

The Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department responded to nearly 130,000 calls for service in 2011.  FIREHOUSE MAGAZINE ranked the Department as the 13th busiest Department in the Country based on a recent survey.  Based on the survey, the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department is the largest and busiest combined; career, civilian and volunteer, Department in the Country.

American Legion Career EMS Provider of the Year

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

A Prince George’s County Firefighter/Medic was recognized as the American Legion - Department of Maryland - Career EMS Provider of the Year.  Fire Fighter/Medic Stephanie A. Buffum was presented with her award on Thursday, June 12, at the organization’s annual convention in Ocean City, Maryland.  In order to attain the Maryland State designation as the Career EMS Provider, Stephanie had to be selected among other nominees at the County and District levels as well.

Fire Fighter/Medic Buffum, according to the American Legion, 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.”  

The award ceremony was attended by Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor, Fire Fighter/Medic Lieutenant Michael Buffum (Stephanie's husband), and four members of her crew that work with her at the Chillum Fire/EMS Station #844.

Chief Bashoor stated, "To be recognized by such a noble organization as the American Legion brings with the award a sense of honor and duty.  I'm proud of Stephanie and her career accomplishments in the field of emergency medical services, not only with the Fire/EMS Department, but also for her work at area hospitals."

The American Legion, Department of Maryland, is a community-service organization which now numbers nearly 81,000 members -- men and women -- in 157 American Legion Posts throughout the state of Maryland. These posts range in size from 15 members to over 4,700 members in a given post.

Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor and Fire Fighter/Medic Stephanie A. Buffum

Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor, Fire Fighter/Medic Stephanie A. Buffum and Fire Fighter/Medic Lieutenant Michael Buffum (Stephanie's husband)

The PGFD delegation included Buffums shift members from Chillum Fire/EMS Station #844

PGFD Assists at 3-Alarm Montgomery County Apartment Building Fire

Prince George's County Firefighters are on the scene of a 3-Alarm apartment building fire in Montgomery County.  Fire/EMS units responded mutual aid to 14005 Castle Boulevard, 3-story garden style apartment building, for a report of a fire with people trapped around 7:15 - 7:30 this morning.  According to Montgomery County officials numerous rescues were made by first arriving units.

Prince George's County units working on the scene include Battalion Chief 886, PGFD Safety Officer, Volunteer Chief 831B, Engine 810 (Laurel), Engine 811 (Branchville), Truck 831 (Beltsville), Rescue Squad 814 (Berwyn Heights), Paramedic 810 (Laurel), Paramedic 812 (College Park).

Courtesy of WUSA TV 9 Web

Photo by Ed Aldaco, PGFD