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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Cheverly House Fire with Fatality - 59th Place

A Cheverly resident was found deceased this morning after firefighters extinguished a fire in her home.  Firefighters were alerted just before 8:00 am, Sunday, March 31, to a fire at a 2-story single family home in the 2400 block of 59th Place.  Fire/EMS units arrived to find fire showing from the home.  While first arriving firefighters worked to extinguish the fire another team of firefighters performing search and rescue located an adult female in the area of the second floor and removed her to the exterior where she was pronounced deceased by paramedics.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.  The identity and cause of the death will be determined by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.  

Fire investigators did not find any presence of a working smoke alarm in the Cheverly home this morning.  Firefighters will be canvassing communities throughout Prince George's County on Monday, April 1, as part of the Department's "Safety First Day of the month" initiative as well as our standard "Post Incident Neighborhood Intervention Program" (PINIP) where firefighters visit homes in a community where a tragic death has occurred.  Residents are more apt to heed our advice of having working smoke alarms.

No other details of this case are currently available.

Mark E. Brady
Chief Spokesperson


March 29, 2013

Alanna Wellspeak (Mikulski)
Susan Sullam (Cardin)


WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) today announced that the Bladensburg Volunteer Fire Department has been awarded $321,000 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) program to provide tuition assistance and health insurance for volunteer firefighters. As the Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Mikulski fights each year to increase federal funding for the fire grants program. Senator Cardin is a member of the Finance Committee.

“I know how important this funding is to Maryland communities – often it’s the difference between life and death. First responders protect our homes and communities, and the federal government has a responsibility to protect them by providing them with the tools they need to do their jobs safer and smarter,” Senator Mikulski said. “Every day when our first responders report for duty, they don’t know what they will face. That’s why I fight every year for the equipment, training, and staffing our protectors and communities deserve.”

“When a natural disaster occurs or we are faced with a terrorist attack, it is our first responders who provide the first line of defense for our citizens,” said Senator Cardin.  “This federal funding is an important investment in keeping Maryland families and businesses safe if and when a disaster strikes.  It ensures that our first responders have the resources they need to protect us and the equipment and training they need to do their jobs.”

The Bladensburg Volunteer Fire Department will use the grant funds to provide tuition assistance and health insurance for volunteer firefighters enrolled in the Paramedic Training Program at Prince George’s Community College. Upon graduation, volunteers will be fully certified as a Paramedic/Firefighter and have their Associates Degree. With tuition assistance, young volunteers are less likely to work part-time, allowing them more time to respond to the approximately 6,000 calls the Bladensburg Volunteer Fire Department receives each year. The funds will also be used to hire a part time volunteer recruiter and coordinator. For more information, please call Donald Wells at 301-864-4415.

The goal of any SAFER grant is to enhance the ability of grantees to attain and maintain 24-hour staffing. The objective of the program is to award grants directly to volunteer, combination, and career fire departments to help the departments increase the number of frontline firefighters, and to rehire firefighters who were laid off due to the economy.

Since 2001, Maryland fire departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units have received over $120 million in fire grant funding, approximately $22.6 million of which was awarded to fire departments in Prince George’s County.


PGFD Hockey to Compete in DCFD Charity Hockey Tournament

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Fire/EMS Department Valor Awards Luncheon

The following Career, Civilian and Volunteer members of the 
Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department will be honored at this event.

Fire Fighter/Medic Edward G. Adalco

Fire Fighter/Medic Bobby J. Blevins

Fire Fighter Frederick Brewer IV

Fire Fighter/Medic Donald C. Bronson

Fire Fighter/ Medic Jacob T. Brown

Fire Fighter Lieutenant Richard J. Brushwood

Paramedic Stephan Chagnon

Fire Fighter/Medic Leonard F. Collins

Fire Fighter/Medic Kelli D. Cooke

Volunteer Fire Fighter Trey Dalton, Station 833

Fire Fighter/Medic Battalion Chief Alan C. Doubleday

Fire Fighter/Medic Captain John M. Elie

Volunteer Deputy Chief Chase Fabrizo, Station 814

Fire Fighter/Medic Michael K. Fleming

Fire Fighter/Medic Joseph C. Ford

Volunteer Captain Richard Green,  Station 833

Fire Chief's Aide William Hawkins

Fire Lieutenant Thomas D.  Jenkins 

Volunteer Firefighter Timothy Jones, Station 833

Fire Fighter Glenn Travis Lambert

William “Billy” Mills (retired)

Fire Fighter/Lieutenant Michael D. Morehead

Fire Fighter/Medic Alexander H. Myers

Volunteer Sargent Joseph Neville,  Station 833

Fire Fighter/Medic Miles T. Phillips

Fire Fighter/Medic Technician Jamieson Scarlata

Fire Fighter Jonathan M. Sims 

Fire Fighter/Medic Technician Christopher D. Smart

Volunteer Ethan Sorrell, Station 809

Volunteer Captain Ryan Wagner, Station 814

Christian Whiting, Volunteer Firefighter, Station 838

National Harbor Ambulance Gator Ready for Service

Officials of the National Harbor/Peterson Companies and the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center ceremoniously handed over the keys to Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor to a recently purchased EMS unit that will be stationed at National Harbor.  "Cart 858" is a 2013 Polaris Ranger with a fully enclosed compartment designed to carry a patient on a full sized stretcher or stokes basket.

Additional features include a 6X6 chassis, travel at speeds up to 40 mph, on-demand all-wheel drive, independent suspension and has a low center of gravity in order to negotiate challenging terrain.

The unit will be available for service and stationed at the public safety garage on the grounds of the National Harbor.  Staffing will be scheduled during events that would typically attract large crowds, most weekends and on an as-needed basis.

The MedStat off-road ambulance, manufactured by ASAP All Terrain, was purchased in a Public-Private Partnership between the Peterson Company, the Gaylord National and the Fire/EMS Department.  The unit will be used to access patients from areas that cannot be readily accessed by a normal "road" ambulance.  The unit cost $40,000.

Keys to the new Ambulance Gator are turned over to Fire Chief Bashoor.  (L to R) Terry Bauer, Asst. Director of Safety Services/Gaylord National; My Harrison, Exec. Director Security and Safety Services/Gaylord National, Fire Chief Bashoor and Christopher J. Borgal, Senior Property Manager - National Harbor/Peterson Companies.

Fire Chief Leads Many to Glenarden Baptist Church

Glenarden Baptist Church Pastor Jenkins
and Fire Chief  Bashoor
The Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department was honored to have received an invitation to attend the First Baptist Church of Glenarden on Sunday, March 24.

County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor led numerous members of the Department to the church as he addressed multiple services about the importance of smoke alarms, escape planning and carbon monoxide.  An information table with fire safety tip sheets was staffed by Firefighter/Medics and civilian employees who answered many questions asked by members of the church.

Fire Chief Bashoor extended his gratitude to Pastor Jenkins for allowing the Fire/EMS Department the opportunity to meet and talk with members of the Glenarden Baptist Church about the importance of fire safety and injury prevention.

Fire Chief Bashoor reminded all that, "Safety First Ensures Everyone Goes Home."

All photos courtesy of Paul Wall Hawkins

Saturday, March 23, 2013

District Heights House Fire - Marbury Drive

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

Just before 5:00 am, Saturday, March 23, firefighters from the District Heights area were alerted to a house fire in the 2400 block of Marbury Drive.  Fire/EMS units arrived on the scene and found a vacant 1-story single family home with heavy fire showing.  Firefighters initially made their way in to the structure but were soon removed to fight the fire from the safety of the exterior.  At one point, the entire homes interior was consumed with fire.  It required 40 minutes to extinguish the fire.

No injuries were reported with fire loss estimated at $150,000.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Image is provided courtesy of Kentland 33 Facebook Page.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

PGFD Ceremonial Placing of New Apparatus In-Service

Media Contact: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

The Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department placed 19 pieces of apparatus in service today.  In a ceremony held outside Fed Ex Field in Landover, Deputy Fire Chief Neal B. Dennis provided a blessing for the units followed by comments from Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor.

A video of the ceremony can be seen here.

Fire Chief Bashoor's comments included the following;  One of the time honored traditions of the Fire Service is called a "housing" or dedication of new fire trucks. This tradition began over 100 years ago - providing a seamless transition between old and new.  Today we move to dedicate the first of a historic investment for the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department.

Thanks to the County Executive and County Council, for the first time in PGFD's history, we have been blessed with 3 budget cycles of significant apparatus investment.  When we have finished the 3rd cycle this coming fiscal year, we will have added at least 20 ambulances, 11 engines, 5 ladder trucks, 1 rescue squad, 20 command vehicles, and additional specialty vehicles each year.
Additionally, the apparatus maintenance replacement plan we submitted has been accepted, which sets the course for a programmed strategic replacement of our fleet with annual investments, and potential contractual buy-back provisions with industry partners.
In addition to all of the up to date safety and technological advancements, we have included a tech-savvy QR code label on each piece of apparatus - allowing citizens to have quick access to our web-connectivity, using readily available smart phone scanning software.  When fully functional, citizens will be able to scan the QR code and provide tips or feedback, on-the-spot of an incident scene.
All of the pumpers incorporate security and temperature controls to provide safe and secure access for paramedic supplies.  The hose beds are some of the lowest height available in the industry, minimizing injuries to our members pulling hose lines on fire scenes. The 750 gallons of water on each pumper provides more water than our past fleet, in the event of water supply or hydrant problems – which also helps us work towards improvement in our Insurance Service Organization (ISO) rating.
The ladder trucks provide 105’ of climbing height, with technological stabilization controls allowing us to affect operations at as much as 7 degrees below grade. Both trucks have pre-piped waterways, allowing for safe, instant pressurization of an elevated water stream.  As a pilot test, one of the ladder trucks has a small water tank and pump, allowing that truck to potentially pump and supply itself at operations near hydrants where elevated water streams are needed.  We’ll be evaluating the effectiveness of that as we make additional purchases. 
Those familiar with PGFD, also recognize that we are returning to some of the core historical roots of the fire service, with a change in apparatus color, from white to red.  Functionally, fires go out, no matter what the color of the fire engine.  Strategically, research has shown our future potential buyback is maximized with red apparatus over that of white.  As soon as the first fleet of ambulances arrive – they too will be red, with a very distinctively visible marking pattern.
And lastly - while our firefighters and paramedics will drive these rigs, it is important to recognize, that these engines, trucks, and other vehicles belong to the people of Prince Georges County.  As both your Fire Chief and a county resident, I am proud to accept these units on behalf of all of Prince Georges County.  Not only will our customers be safer because of this investment, but our firefighters and paramedics will have the safest most up to date equipment available.  Whether they're driving or parked on the scene of an incident, the conspicuous DOT striping and lighting provide the highest levels of visibility, of any equipment we have ever had.
Fire Chief to Communications:
"Place paramedic-engines 830, 841, 842, 844, and 846; trucks 812 and 832; brush 831, technical rescue 806, fire investigations unit 815, cart 858,  Battalion Chiefs buggies 881 thru 887, and Safety Officer and EMS Supervisor buggies available for service."
Fire Chief  “Ladies and Gentlemen – START YOUR ENGINES!
Fire photographers, fire buffs and media were invited to the event and the event was well documented.  I had positioned photographers in a bucket truck, a helicopter and on the ground.  With so many photographers taking pictures of the apparatus, I decided to take pictures of people taking pictures.  All photos by Mark E. Brady, PGFD PIO.