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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Seeking Applicants for Volunteer Fire/EMS Recruiter

Seeking applicants to fulfill the position of Volunteer Fire/EMS Recruiter- FT 40 hr. week with weekend and evening hours (This is a contracted position working for the Prince George’s County Fire Commission) Starting salary - $40,000.

Must be energetic, self-motivated and comfortable in an environment that embraces change and innovation. Applicants must have strong communication skills, verbal and written; detail oriented and proficient in Microsoft Word, Outlook and Excel.

Applicant will be required to identify venues that will be utilized to recruit volunteers as well as implement recruitment and marketing campaigns for diverse audiences to increase volunteer Fire and EMS members from our diverse groups sharing a common mission.

Must be able to perform all general office duties.

Please send resume to Nlroberts@co.pg.md.us

Closing date is March 7, 2013.

DIAMONDBACK NEWSPAPER - Branchville Volunteer Awarded Gates Cambridge Scholarship

Junior wins university's first Gates Cambridge Scholarship - The Diamondback : Campus

Posted on February 27, 2013

by Laura Blasey
Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 12:19 am
Updated: 12:22 am, Wed Feb 27, 2013.

A college student’s time is sacred. Some students devote it to sleep, while others devote it to class. Some devote it to sports; others party or work part-time jobs.

Time is so sacred that Krzysztof Franaszek, a junior biology and economics major, schedules his weeks carefully, making sure to get the most out of every hour in the day.

“I was very efficient,” Franaszek said. “If I was working, I was working. If I was taking leisure time, I was doing that. I was never thinking, ‘What should I be doing right now?’ I always had it planned out.”

For Franaszek, his painstaking efforts are paying off — he was recently awarded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Gates Cambridge Scholarship, a highly competitive grant that funds one year of postgraduate study at Cambridge University. He’s the first student from this university to win the award.

“I was kind of troubled by the fact that I was the first one to win,” Franaszek said. “It’s kind of disheartening, because there’s a pool of people at Maryland who could have a good chance at winning these if they actually applied for them.”

Receiving the scholarship is not all he’s been able to accomplish, though: The junior will be graduating in May, a year earlier than expected, with a 3.9 grade point average. When he’s not in class, Franaszek spends his time doing research in the lab, rowing with men’s club crew and volunteering as an EMT at the Branchville Volunteer Fire Department.

“All the activities I’m engaged in, they have a personal benefit for me, they help me grow,” Franaszek said.

And while it might be a struggle to fit everything in, he said he wouldn’t give up any of it.

“There are days that are pretty tiring; you’re going and pumping at full pistons for like 18 hours,” Franaszek said. “But I want to help people and make some sort of positive impact on society.”

That’s what made him such a competitive student for the scholarship, said National Scholarships Office Director Francis DuVinage. While the number of applications from students at this university is fairly low, DuVinage said those who apply are strong students, and Franaszek stood out.

“The students that are highly competitive are going to be people who identified their intellectual and academic interests early, identified their community service interests early and [are] pursuing them consistently,” DuVinage said. “He’s a very good student with great community service and research accomplishments.”

Franaszek first heard about the scholarship when he began applying to a graduate program at Cambridge. He had always wanted to work with Ian Brierley, a Cambridge researcher whose work revolves around infectious diseases, and was hoping to get into a research-only, yearlong master’s degree program.

The scholarship application didn’t require much extra work outside of his Cambridge application, so Franaszek decided to give it a shot.

This year, 39 students across the country received the award, a testament to their academic records as well as their work helping others, and Franaszek is one of them.

He was studying in Hornbake Library when he got the news. The first call he made was to his mother, who was equally excited.

“I think the first thing my mom said was, ‘Now we have an excuse to visit England,’” Franaszek said.

His mother, Elzbieta Franaszek, said studying at Cambridge will give him the opportunity to use his academic gifts to help others.

“He feels he needs a great education to make sure his work is meaningful,” she said. “He works very hard, but he’s also very independent and mature, even though he’s only 20.”

After telling her the news, Franaszek then picked up the phone to call his family in Poland.

Jonathan Dinman, Franaszek’s adviser and research supervisor, described the junior as a “manifestation of the American dream.”

Franaszek was born in Poland in 1992, when Eastern Europe was shedding the Iron Curtain in the wake of communism’s collapse. Both scientists, Franaszek’s parents decided to leave the country and move to the United States.

“They came to America, and they really had nothing,” Dinman said.

At Thomas S. Wootton High School in Rockville, Franaszek said he took a whopping 17 Advanced Placement classes.

When he walked into his first advisory meeting with Dinman as a freshman, Franaszek brought with him nearly two years’ worth of credits. This semester, Franaszek is only taking 13 credits because he’s run out of classes to take.

“I looked at his transcript and said, ‘Oh my God,’” Dinman said. “He’s brilliant. I did not make a mistake.”

It was clear research was one of his many callings, as Franaszek already had experience at the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Under Dinman, Franaszek studies a complex biological phenomenon called programmed ribosomal frameshifting. Cells have blueprints that allow them to make proteins, and a cell component called a ribosome reads these blueprints like a recipe in its work to produce the proteins.

Franaszek studies variations in the way ribosomes read the blueprints and the resulting proteins. Scientists look at the phenomenon as a way of studying infectious diseases and developing drugs to fight them.

Franaszek hopes to work in public health, so he studies frameshifting to indulge his inner biologist.

“He’s really smart, and he’s a really nice person. It was a real pleasure to work with him,” Dinman said.

On the weekends, Franaszek volunteers as an EMT, riding in the back of ambulances with patients. That kind of interaction with people, he said, is just as important to him as what he does in the lab.

“As a budding scientist, you don’t always get to see the benefit to other people from your efforts, but as an EMT, you have direct interaction with patients,” he said. “I think it motivates my research.”

One of his favorite activities is the training he does with crew. Franaszek first signed up for the team because he wanted to be involved in a sport, but one that wouldn’t encroach on his research and class time. Because the team practices start at 5:15 a.m., it seemed like a perfect fit.

What has kept him coming back, though, is the camaraderie of being on a team. Franaszek plans on trying out for the rowing clubs at Cambridge.

“It’s a physically demanding sport, and you go through hell, but you go through it with other people,” he said. “It’s not your ability to be this super flashy player. Everyone is an equal component, an equal cog or gear in the machine, and if you want that machine to go faster, you have to put in the effort.”



FOX 5 Report - College Park Volunteer FF Recovers from Traumatic Injury

DC Breaking Local News Weather Sports FOX 5 WTTG

Firefighter Released from Curtis National Hand Center - Ryan Emmons

During the early morning hours of January 30, 2013, an engine from the West Lanham Hills Volunteer Fire Department, Prince George’s County Station 828, was involved in a crash on the Capitol Beltway.  Several personnel on board the engine were injured as well as civilians that occupied other vehicles in the crash.

All but one of the injured were treated and released from area hospitals shortly after being admitted.  West Lanham Hills Volunteer Lieutenant Ryan Emmons sustained a traumatic arm injury and was transported to Medstar Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore where the Curtis National Hand Center is located.  

Since his arrival at the specialty trauma center Ryan underwent numerous surgeries and skin graphs to repair his arm. 

According to Ryan's Facebook page he was released from the hospital earlier this week.  Fire service tradition had Ryan riding on a West Lanham Hills piece of apparatus back to the station to finish the call.

We wish Ryan the very best as he continues his recovery and rehabilitation.

The West Lanham Hills Volunteer Fire Department has set up a page with information about making a donation to assist Ryan.  You can visit that page by clicking here.

The volunteer leadership at West Lanham Hills has been coordinating all media requests.  Any outlet seeking additional information should contact a volunteer chief officer by calling 301-883-7728.

Volunteer Lt. Ryan Emmons rides a unit from the West Lanham Hills Volunteer Fire Department
back to the station to finish the call that he started.
(photo from Ryan's Facebook page.)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

MEDIA ADVISORY - Press Conference - New Life Saving Efforts to be Unveiled

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

The Prince George’s County Fire Chief will unveil several new initiatives the Department is kicking off on Safety First Day of the week. “Safety First” to “Ensure Everyone Goes Home” is the Departments motto that serves to remind everyone; firefighter/medics, citizens, visitors and businesses, that safety must be at the forefront of everyday activity to avoid mishaps and tragedies. Every first day of every month the Fire/EMS Department has posted safety tips, such as, “today is the day to test your smoke alarm,” “today is the day to perform your breast exam self evaluation.” The Fire/EMS department has plans to expand efforts and services on every first day of every month.

Additionally, with a spike in the number of house fires in the County and after the recent tragic Glenarden house fire the men of women; career, civilian and volunteer of the Fire/EMS Department are combining tried and proven public education methods with new and innovative ways to communicate our message. This event will be held in Bowie where the number of fire incidents has risen over the past several months.

Fire Chief Bashoor will announce and kick-off the following programs:

“Neighbor Helping Neighbor”

“Safety First ‘Week’ of the Month”

“Elementary Planning to Get Out Alive”

Each of these initiatives stresses the importance of having a “working” smoke alarm in every home, planning and practicing a home escape with emphasis on our younger residents of the County.

WHAT: Press Conference to unveil new efforts in keeping “Safety First”

WHEN: Friday, March 1, 2013, 11:00 am – “Safety First Day of the Month”

WHERE: Northview Community Fire/EMS Station, 14901 Health Center Drive, Bowie

WHO: Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor, City of Bowie officials, Public School System officials, civic and elected leaders, members of the general public as well as firefighters/paramedics.

Post press conference, firefighters from the four Bowie Fire/EMS Stations will return to their communities and visit neighborhoods that have suffered a recent home fire. Safety information, smoke alarm battery checks, installations of a new smoke alarms and assistance in planning home escapes will be performed.

Media Note - This press conference is a sequestration free event (for now).

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Have a Working Smoke Alarm and Plan & Practice Home Escape Plan

Please visit the United States Fire Administrations page for materials and lesson plans for planning a home evacuation plan.  County residents can also contact the Fire/EMS Departments Community Outreach office at 301-883-5250 for additional information and to schdule a fire prevention education visit by firefighters.

Call our Safety First Program at 301-864-SAFE (7233) to make arrangements for a free smoke alarm that will be installed in your home by a firefighter.

Click here for USFA Page for Kids

Media Coverage of Firefighter Croissette's Fire Prevention Message

DC Breaking Local News Weather Sports FOX 5 WTTG

View more videos at: http://nbcwashington.com.

Glenarden Update - Fourth Victim Succumbs

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

It is with deep regret that we announce the death of a fourth victim of the Glenarden house fire that occurred around 4:00 am on Thursday, February 21, 2013.

Daijah Price, 11-years-old, passed away late Friday night, February 22, at Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC) in Washington, DC.  She had been transferred to CNMC after her pulse was restored at Prince George’s Hospital Center on Thursday morning.

Her father and two sisters succumbed to injuries early Thursday morning.  Her mother and 8-year-old sister were treated at a local hospital and have since been released.

Accokeek House Fire - Berry Road

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

Prince George’s County and Charles County Firefighters battled a blaze this morning at an Accokeek home.  Just after 8:00 am fire/EMS units were alerted to a house fire in the 14800 block of Berry Road and arrived to find fire and heavy smoke coming from a 1-story, with basement, single family home.  Firefighters from nearby Charles County also operated on the scene of this fire.

Two occupants escaped safely prior to the fire departments arrival, however, the family dog “Coco” could not initially be found.  Firefighters were able to knock down the bulk of the fire within 20 minutes of arrival.  One firefighter sustained a laceration to his hand during operations.  The injury is considered minor.

After the fire was extinguished and secondary searches of the interior were in progress, a Charles County firefighter located Coco in the kitchen, the dog was removed and handed over to an EMS crew that provided oxygen.  The dog, a Shiatsu, is blind and was not able to find his way outside.  After a few breaths of oxygen the dog appeared to be fine and was reunited with his owners.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated, however, the home was found to be void of any working smoke alarms.  A preliminary fire loss is estimated at $100,000.  The family will be displaced and assisted by the County Citizens Services Unit with temporary shelter.

Having a working smoke alarm increases the chances of every living thing in your home surviving a fire by 50%.

Smokes alarms are proven lifesavers.  It is astonishing to firefighters that there are still homes and families not protected by working smoke alarms.  Residents of Prince George’s County can call 311 or 301-864-SAFE (7233) and arrange for a firefighter to visit your home and install a working smoke alarm for you; free of charge.

Photos by Assistant Fire Chief Ken McSwain unless otherwise noted.
Conditions on arrival had fire and heavy smoke coming from the house.

Heavy fire coming from the rear side of the house.

A Charles County firefighter located Coco in the kitchen, the dog was removed and handed over to an EMS crew that provided oxygen.  The dog, a Shiatsu, is blind and was not able to find his way outside.  After a few breaths of oxygen the dog appeared to be fine and was reunited with his owners. (Photo by Steve Sterns, CSU)

There has been a high demand for smoke alarms within the past few days in Prince George’s County and supplies of the live saving devices are running low.  PEPCO has donated over 10,000 smoke alarms to area fire departments over the past few years and on March 8 will donate additional smoke alarms so that we can continue to provide them free of charge to our citizens.  March 10 is the bi-annual Change Your Clock – Change Your Battery day and firefighter/medics will be out the entire week of March 1 until March 10 going door-to-door to check on smoke alarms and to ensure they have a fresh battery.  Additional information will follow about these events.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Glenarden House Fire Update - Leslie Avenue

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

On Thursday, February 21, 2013, at about 4:00 a.m., a fire occurred in a Glenarden home on Leslie Avenue.  Injuries incurred from this tragic incident include three occupants sustaining fatal injuries, 1 occupant in “critical” condition and 2 residents with smoke inhalation and other minor injuries.

Fire Investigators have determined the preliminary cause of the fire to be electrical in nature and was accidental.

The identities of the deceased are as follows:

Darrell Terrance Price Jr. of Glenarden, MD, 36 years of age, DOB 5/17/1976 (DOB year corrected)
Tania Monae Jeanita Price of Glenarden, MD, 8 years of age, DOB 3/31/2004
Patrice Price of Glenarden, MD, 4 years of age, DOB 1/5/2009

The 11-year-old female remains in “critical” condition.  Her prognosis is not favorable for recovery.

A 33-year-old female and an 8-year-old female (twin sister to Tania) remain hospitalized with smoke inhalation and other minor injuries.

Fire loss is estimated at $100,000.

As additional information about this incident becomes available, including when medical conditions change, this post will be updated.