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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

UNIT CITATION - 38th Street Bridge Swift Water Rescue

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

Firefighters, Paramedics and Technical Rescue team members were recognized for their actions with a Fire/EMS Department "Unit Citation" at a ceremony held on Monday, February 4, 2013, at the St. Joseph Station 806 in Springdale.  A "Unit Citation" is the highest award bestowed to a group for their combined actions at the scene of an incident where teamwork is put to the test in life or death situations.

Photo by Mark E. Brady

On Friday June 1st, 2012, Fire/EMS units and the Technical Rescue team were dispatched to a report of 3 teenagers stranded in high swift moving water. There had been several heavy thunderstorms throughout the area and many of the creeks and roads were flash flooding. Upon arrival, units found three teenaged males in the fast moving rapidly rising waters of the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia River. The victims were stranded in the middle of a waterway that was approximately 100’ wide. The water depth varied because of the heavy rains from the severe storms passing thru the area causing flash flooding throughout the Metropolitan area.

The victim’s location was created by an eddy which was in jeopardy of being compromised by the fast rising flood water. Due to the extended time in the water the potential for hypothermic conditions existed. Debris was also being washed down the waterway which would cause serious injury and also knock the victims back into the current if they came into contact.

Upon arrival of the Technical Rescue Team, it was quickly decided that the crews would use the aerial from Truck 801 as an anchor point to lower a rescuer down to the three victims and then use a haul system to bring them back up. This was a sound strategy due to the fact that the water was rising very quickly and there was a great deal of debris that was coming from up stream. An additional hazard was the large hydraulics that was created because of the construction of the bridge. This made it nearly impossible to access the victims via the shoreline. With the help of the manpower off Truck 801 and Engine 855, TR 806’s crew was able to utilize this haul system to remove the three patients from the hazardous situation. Once the three victims were removed from the water, the EMS Duty Officer sent them to Children’s Hospital with Medic 844 and Ambulance 801.

The rescue and successful mitigation of this incident was supported by the ability of Fire/EMS crews to work cohesively. Your actions reflect favorably upon yourself, the Fire/EMS units assigned to this incident and on the Department as a whole. Congratulations!!! Keep up the good work.

Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor awarded these personnel for their combined efforts in the rescue of three teen-aged males from the swift moving water underneath the 38th Street Bridge in Brentwood on June 1, 2012.

Photo by Teresa Ann Crisman

Incident Command

Assistant Fire Chief Paul J. Cruz
Technical Services Battalion Chief Steven E. White
Volunteer Battalion Chief 884 Brandon Frieder
Paramedic Lieutenant Earnestine A. “Tina” Fitzgerald

Technical Rescue 806 – St. Josephs

Fire Lieutenant Richard J. Brushwood
Fire Fighter Glenn “Travis” Lambert
Fire Fighter/Medic Joseph C. Ford
Fire Fighter/Medic Alexander H. Myers
Fire Fighter/Medic Robert J. Blevins III

Fire/EMS Station 849 “Swift Water Rescue” - Laurel Rescue

Volunteer Chief Mark Arsenault
Deputy Volunteer Chief Rich Takacs
Assistant Volunteer Chief Clyde Williams
Volunteer Fire Fighter Charles O’Donnell
Volunteer Fire Fighter Richard Muse

Volunteer Marine Division - Company 857

Volunteer Member Mark Adkins
Volunteer Member Doug Gazzale

Fire/EMS Station 801 – Hyattsville

Volunteer Fire Fighter – Eric Smolinski
Volunteer Fire Fighter Lawler Whitman
Volunteer Fire Fighter Matt Lauria
Volunteer Fire Fighter Pat Williams
Volunteer Fire Fighter Josh Murphy
Volunteer Fire Fighter Ivan Lawit
Volunteer Fire Fighter Robert Ridley
Volunteer Fire Fighter Henry Sullivan

Fire/EMS Station 855 – Bunker Hill

Fire Lieutenant Falanda Reed
Fire Fighter/Medic Andrew C. Rohrbaugh
Fire Fighter/Medic Curtis L. Chase
Fire Fighter Monica M. Yates
Volunteer Fire Fighter Tony George
Volunteer Fire Fighter D’Angelo Cooper

Fire/EMS Station 844 – Paramedics – Chillum

Fire Fighter/Medic Sean E. Simmons
Fire Fighter/Medic Nathan N. Davies

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