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Friday, February 22, 2013

Glenarden - Making a Difference in the Life of an 8-Year-Old Girl

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

Out of the ashes of the tragic Glenarden fire on Thursday morning rises a Facebook post that should stir some emotion for every fire service member. I have copied this post below that was written by Prince George’s County Fire Fighter Shawn Croissette. He was on the fatal incident and has taken the time to share his thoughts about what he heard from the 8-year-old girl that survived. She attends a nearby elementary school in Glenarden and she describes what she learned from a visit by firefighters to her school.

Thank you to Fire Fighter Croissette for sharing this story with all of us. It is not always about making a rescue and extinguishing the fire, albeit heroic and providing the satisfaction of helping others while doing what we are trained to do, it is often the routine tasks like fire prevention visits to schools or hosting a group of young children for a tour of the fire/EMS Station that truly make us heroes. I hope members of the fire service read the words of Fire Fighter Croissette and take them to heart about what firefighters and medics do and what our job is really about. We make a difference in the lives of others before the call is ever dispatched.

Shawn Croissette: "To my FD Friends, on that fatal fire this morning I had the privilege to talk to the little girl who survived with non life threatening injuries. When talking with her she told me that she got out of the house and waited by the neighbors yard because she made a family fire evacuation plan. She said she learned this from her teacher and firefighters. Most times when we go to the school to talk we know the kids are excited and not seeming like they are paying attention, but they do. So just remember when the schools call to schedule fire safety classes try to make it there and remember what you tell these kids they will obtain what they need from your speech."

"And To my non-Fire department friends, I hear a lot about making sure you have smoke detectors in your house, and that is very important but if you have kids also do them a favor and make a family fire drill and evacuation plan. Both are very important and can change the outcome of a tragic event."

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