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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.”