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Friday, March 8, 2013

PEPCO to the RESCUE

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

Nine PEPCO employees were awarded by the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department for their actions, whereby property was saved and a toddler was spared injury.


Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor recognized 9 PEPCO employees for extinguishing a fire that could have jeopardized a sleeping toddler’s life. Around 9:00 A.M., Wednesday, October 17, 2012, PEPCO crews were performing scheduled work at 2605 Ritchie-Marlboro Road in Upper Marlboro. The residence is an occupied 2-story, single-family home that is undergoing heavy renovation.

A mother had left the residence to walk her older child down their very long driveway to a bus stop located on Ritchie-Marlboro Road. While she was away from the house, the PEPCO crew heard a sounding smoke alarm and proceeded to the house to investigate. While walking around outside the residence, they discovered a fire in the first floor kitchen. It appeared to have started in a trash compactor built within the kitchen cabinets and had extended into the cabinets and propane stove area. As a result of the fire, a large amount of smoke and high heat was filling the home.

The PEPCO employees immediately notified their dispatcher of the situation. Then, without concern for their welfare, they entered the residence and yelled out several times to see if anyone was home. Hearing no response, the crew used a dry chemical extinguisher from their truck, entered the kitchen area, and was successful in knocking down the bulk of the fire. While a small fire still burned, the large amount of toxic smoke ceased filling the house.

Other members of the PEPCO crew rushed to the end of the driveway to alert the mother to the situation. The woman ran toward the residence and within minutes was upstairs retrieving her sleeping 3-year-old child. A couple of the PEPCO employees ran inside after the woman but were unable to locate her, as she had escaped with her child to safety by way of a second stairwell. The toddler’s presence in the home was not known to PEPCO employees at the time of their investigation. Their prompt notification of their findings to the mother was critical in the child’s rapid removal from the increasing danger of smoke and high heat.

According to firefighters, had the fire been allowed to burn, a larger fire would have developed very quickly. In which case, the thick toxic smoke and high heat would have filled the home and jeopardized the toddler’s life. No injuries were reported.

Fire Chief Bashoor presented the 9 PEPCO employees with the Fire Chief’s Award, during a press conference today at the Cranford/Graves Fire Services Building in Landover Hills. In making the presentation, Chief Bashoor stated, “For your rapid notification to 911, alerting the homeowner to the danger in her home, and placing yourselves in harm’s way to extinguish a kitchen fire, you are hereby presented with the Fire Chief’s Award.” He concluded by saying, “Your quick thinking and fast actions, which saved property and prevented injuries to a child, are highly commendable.”

The following PEPCO employees received recognition:

Donald Pfeifer

Ryan Callahan

Ricardo Johnson

Sean Cecil

Tim Chick

Brandon Edwards

Steve Brown

Eric Tatum

Johnnie White

PEPCO used the occasion to present 700 smoke alarms and 30 hearing-impaired smoke alarms to the Fire/EMS Department. Over the past 9 years, PEPCO has annually donated a quantity of smoke alarms. Bashoor stated, “Knowing the importance of having a working smoke alarm in your home, PEPCO has continued to be a partner in helping us keep Prince Georgians safe by allowing us to install these life-saving devices into homes free of charge. On behalf of every resident of Prince George’s County, I offer our sincerest thanks for this donation.”

George Nelson, PEPCO Holdings Vice President of Operations & Engineering, said, "PEPCO truly appreciates the dedication of the men and women of the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department and hopes that our annual donation in some small way contributes to the life-saving work they do every day for the residents of Prince George's County." He further stated, "This donation is a great way to support an initiative that is so important to our customers and communities, as well as strengthen the partnerships that exist with our first responders.”

Over the past week, firefighter/medics have gone door-to-door checking for and installing new, working smoke alarms. Since the implementation of “Neighbor Helping Neighbor” and “Safety First Week of the Month” on March 1, 2013, over 150 smoke alarms have been installed in homes.

"Pepco truly appreciates the dedication of the man and women of the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department and hopes that our annual donation in some small way contributes to the life saving work they do every day for the residents of Prince George's County", said George Nelson, Pepco Holdings Vice President of Operations & Engineering. "This donation is a great way to support the community and strengthen the partnerships that exist between our First Responders,” says Nelson. “Pepco is proud to support an initiative that is so important to our customers, communities and First Responders.

Fire Chief Bashoor describes the quick thinking and fast actions of PEPCO employees that minimized damage to a house and prevented injuries to a toddler.


PEPCO employees, their supervisors and Pete Pedersen during award presentation.

Ryan Callahan of PEPCO describes the actions of his crew-members on October 17, 2012.

Pete Pedersen, PEPCO, Emergency Services Partnership Coordinator announces a donation of 700 smoke alarms and 30 hearing impaired smoke alarms to the Fire/EMS Department.


Related stories:

http://pgfdpio.blogspot.com/2012/10/pepco-crew-knocks-down-fire-in-house.html

http://pgfdpio.blogspot.com/2012/10/nbc-4-news-pepco-employee-douses-fire.html

http://pgfdpio.blogspot.com/2012/03/pepco-donates-smoke-alarms-to-residents.html (2012 Donation)

http://pgfdpio.blogspot.com/2013/03/media-coverage-of-new-and-expanded.html



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