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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Arrangements for Retired Fire Fighter Bernard Hoffler

Retired Fire Fighter Bernard Lamont Hoffler passed away on May 24, 2013, after battling a lengthy illness.  The funeral arrangements are as follows:
Funeral Service:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Viewing – 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Service – 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

JB Jenkins Funeral Home
7474 Landover Road
Landover, Maryland 20785


Chapel Oaks VFD
5544 Sheriff Road
Capitol Heights, Maryland 20743
Final Resting:

Charleston, South Carolina

Our thoughts and prayers are with Bernard’s Family.

SILVER ALERT Man Found by a Compassionate Volunteer Firefighter

A couple lessons were re-inforced this afternoon in West Lanham Hills.  First, Silver Alerts do work.  Second, firefighters help members of the community in many different ways and often go above and beyond the call of duty to help. 

Earlier today, while Life Member Ed Stoner of the West Lanham Hills Volunteer Fire Department was on the way to the station he noticed a disabled vehicle on Veterans Highway near the intersection of Annapolis Road.  Stoner stopped to help the senior citizen and discovered the car was disabled because it ran out of gas.  The volunteer firefighter also recognized the man and the vehicle as matching the description broadcast as a critical missing person, Silver Alert. on Friday.

The County Police were notified and arrived to confirm that this was the missing man.  Police drove the man away to be reunited with family members.  Rather than allow the mans vehicle to be impounded, Ed Stoner called his fellow volunteers and asked that they bring some gasoline to him.  The vehicle was filled with the gasoline and driven back and parked at the West Lanham Hills Fire Station where a family member came to retrieve the vehicle later in the day. 

Congratulations to Ed Stoner for being compassionate to stop and help a senior citizen in need of help and observant to recognize the man and vehicle were part of a Silver Alert.  Furthermore, Stoner and other volunteers went above and beyond to help recover the vehicle and avoid additional costs to the family.

Anyone needing additional information about this incident should call Jeff Miller at the West Lanham Hills Volunteer Fire Depart at 301-883-7728.

Mark E. Brady

West Lanham Hills Volunteer Life Member Billy Padgett Jr putting gas in the car.

Friday, May 24, 2013

PGPD Searches for Critical Missing Person

Richard Walter Haynes

The Prince George’s County Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in finding a critical missing person. He is identified as 82-year-old Richard Walter Haynes of the 1000 block of Brightseat Road in Landover. He was last seen leaving his home on May 23, 2013. Haynes suffers from high blood pressure and may be in need of medication.

Haynes is described as a black male, 5’6” and 175 pounds. He was last seen wearing a blue jacket and khaki pants. Haynes may be operating a 1994 two door green Cadillac Eldorado with Maryland Tags 03427AE.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the Prince George’s County Police Department’s Regional Investigative Division Central (District III) at 301-772-4911.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Memorial Day Safety Tips - Grilling and Swimming

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

Memorial Day is commonly though of as the start of summer.  Some schools have already started their summer recess with others closing within the next couple of weeks.  Summer vacations are being planned and enjoyed.  The Memorial Day weekend is when many private, public and home swimming pools open as well as grills are cleaned off and readied for summer cook-outs.

The men and women of your Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department
unfortunately have seen many festive occasions quickly turn into tragedy and we want to help you avoid those circumstances. 

Everyone needs to keep safety at the forefront of every activity.  We offer these common sense safety tips that will help to keep everyone safe including our firefighters and paramedics.  By you staying safe keeps our emergency personnel in the Fire/EMS Station and available for other incidents.  Remember, "Safety First Ensures Everyone Goes Home."

Grill Safety

It is anticipated that many backyard barbeque's will be in use over the course of this long holiday weekend and throughout the summer months. We ask that you exercise caution and keep safety in mind when setting up, using and cleaning your BBQ grill. Did you know that cooking, most notably "unattended cooking" is the number one cause of fires and fire related injuries in Prince George's County, this includes both inside and outside cooking: WATCH WHAT YOU HEAT!!!

•NEVER use a grill indoors including garages, overhangs and canopies

•By Law - Grills must be at least 30 feet away from any multi-family apartment dwelling.

•When using a grill at your single family home – homeowners should use a 10-foot perimeter from anything combustible – including your house!!! Never place a grill up against your house, wood deck or fence.

•In Prince George’s County - all grills are illegal to use on balconies of apartments and condominium apartments

•Do not allow children and pets to play near a grill - set up a 10 foot safety zone around your grill.

•Only use approved ignition fluids – NEVER use gasoline to ignite a grill

•Keep a fire extinguisher, garden hose or bucket of sand nearby to douse a grill fire that gets out of control.

•Inspect your grill before you ignite to ensure everything is in working order. This inspection includes all connections on your gas grills are tight and not leaking.

Charcoal ashes and used briquettes should be disposed of in a metal container and allowed to cool down for up to 48 hours before disposal.  Keep ash container off of your wood deck and away from your house.
Swim Safely

Even though our temperatures are only forecast to be in the 70's over the Holiday weekend, thousands of residents will be swimming this weekend and keeping safety first will help to prevent such a festive occasion from becoming a tragedy.

For parents:

•Always watch your children and never leave them unattended.  A lack of adult supervision is one of the leading contributing factors to children drowning.

•Do not rely on flotation devices to protect your children from drowning. You must supervise at all times.

•Have a phone nearby in the event you need to call 911.

•Have children swim in pairs - the "buddy system"

•If a child is missing - check the pool first.

•Teach your child how to swim. Visit www.pgparks.com/aquatics.htm for additional information.

•Learn CPR. Visit http://www.redcrossnca.org/ for additional information.

For pool owners and managers:

•Install a fence around the perimeter of the pool.

•Use self closing latches and gates.

•Install a door alarm from the house to the pool area.

•Have life saving equipment nearby such as life rings or reaching poles   Speaking of swimming pools, Firefighter/Medics can perform a wide variety of services, emergency and non-emergency, to assist our citizens, visitors and businesses.  One of the services we do not provide is to fill your swimming pool with water.  Please contact a contractor that can provide this service for you.   The Fire/EMS Department wishes everyone a festive and safe Memorial Day.  Keep safety in every aspect of your event!!!

Fort Washington House Fire - Loughran Terrace

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

A fire that was accidental in origin caused significant damage to a Fort Washington home and displaced the family.  At around 10:00 pm, Wednesday, May 22, 2013, firefighters were alerted to a house fire in the 8900 block of Loughran Terrace.  Upon arrival, fire/EMS units found a 2-story in the front, 3-story in the rear, single family home with fire showing from the rear.  The fire touched all 3 levels before being brought under control.  Additional personnel were brought to the scene to assist in the extinguisment.  There were 40 firefighters on-board 11 pieces of apparatus in addition to command officers that operated on this incident.

For whatever reason the house had no electricity and occupants were using a gasoline powered generator on the exterior of the structure under a upper level deck.  The generator ignited nearby combustibles which spread up the structure exterior including the wooden deck and then inside the homes interior.

The family was displaced and assisted by the County Citizen Services Unit.

No injuries were reported and fire loss is estimated at $100,000.

Images provided by Assistant Fire Chief Steve White.

Rear of the house shows basement level and 2 upper floors.  The fire started on the ground level, extended to the deck and into the homes interior.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Home Depot Fire - Capital Heights

At around 3:30 pm, Tuesday, May 21, firefighters responded to a report of a fire inside a Home Depot Store in Capital Heights. Fire/EMS units arrived at the large, box style, 1-story home improvement store on Hampton Park Boulevard with smoke showing. A fire involving products that included patio furniture and other outdoor items on shelves was located just inside the store between the main entrance and garden center. This area is where seasonal products are typically stored.

The sprinkler system activated helping to limit any fire extension. Firefighters had the fire extinguished within 10 minutes of arrival. The store was evacuated and no injuries have been reported.

Courtesy of Local News Service helicopter image 
An equivalent of a 2nd Alarm was on the scene to assist with extinguishment, smoke removal, salvage and overhaul. There were 25 pieces of fire/EMS units on the scene with staffing of 55 personnel.

Two airboats from Montgomery County Department of Fire and Rescue Services were utilized to assist with the heavy smoke removal.  Units were starting to be released at around 4:45 pm.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. A preliminary fire loss is estimated at $500,000.  Due to the amount of damage and all utilities being shut off by firefighters the store will not re-open for an extended period of time (days or weeks).

The following images were captured by County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor as he surveyed the fire ground.

Mark E. Brady
Chief Spokesman/PIO
Prince George's County Fire/EMS

High School Cadet Recognition Program

EMS Week - "One Mission - One Team" Experience It!!!

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

The Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department kicks off the 40th annual EMS Week starting May 19th with opportunities for our media partners to join us for a shift with our paramedics.  This year's theme is "EMS: One Mission. One Team."

The extraordinary response by first responders to the bombings at the Boston Marathon and the devastation of tornado's in Moore, Oklahoma illustrated what is best about EMS professionals and their commitment to saving lives. This year’s theme of “One Mission – One Team” was never more evident in the response demonstrated by EMS personnel on these high-profile incidents. The EMS theme also resounds on the local level as well with previous incidents that include 3 Fire Fighter/Medics risking their own lives to enter a hazardous area to help save the life of a man trapped in a mulch dye machine or when medics knew what to do upon arriving on the scene of a child birth with a prolapsed cord. These are just two examples of the extraordinary care provided by Prince George’s County Paramedics that help to enable patients to leave the hospital alive and well. This type of care in a pre-hospital environment occurs on a regular basis and accounts for countless lives being saved.

EMS providers include 911 call takers, dispatchers, paramedics, emergency medical technicians and firefighters, some paid, some volunteer. Each of these disciplines require hundreds of hours of training and regular re-certifications. In 2012, the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department responded on 135,383 calls for services. Nearly 80% of these incidents were requests for emergency medical services.  Of our 45 Fire/EMS facilities, 43 provide paramedic and/or Basic Life Support (BLS) transport services.  22 units are capable of  providing Advanced Life Support/Paramedic Services including paramedic engine companies in Calverton, Landover Hills, Largo/Kettering, Oxon Hill and Chillum. 

In 2012, the BLS unit assigned to the District Heights Fire/EMS Station 826 was the busiest ambulance responding on 6,194 calls for service and the Paramedic Unit assigned to the Landover Hills Fire/EMS Station 830 was the busiest paramedic unit with 4138 responses. 

We invite members of the media to join paramedics as they work their shift. Experience for yourself what paramedics experience in a day. Not all of our incidents are dramatic rescues and life-saving actions, however, you can experience the day in a life of a paramedic in Prince George’s County.  We have enjoyed several excellent pieces of media coverage of these ride-along's over the past few years.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The 10-Year Smoke Alarm Era is Here

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
New Life-Saving Campaign Includes 10 Year Smoke Alarms
Your relationship with your smoke alarm is changing and there’s important information everyone needs to know. Maryland is the most recent state to require that battery-only operated smoke alarms be equipped with sealed-in, 10-year lithium batteries. The new law takes effect on July 1, 2013. 

Maryland’s new law is part of a nation-wide trend to ensure new and replacement smoke alarms have this new technology.  It is anticipated that smoke alarms with long-life batteries will have a significant impact on reducing the number of residential fire fatalities, which stands at approximately 2,600 people annually across the U.S.

“The emerging technologies of smoke alarms in the interest of life safety are ever changing.  The
development of expertise in creating a device that detects smoke particles produced by fire is credited with saving countless lives for nearly 40 years.  As the years progress, smoke alarm manufacturers continue to make a progressive advancement in designing these exceptional life safety devices.  The development of long-life, 10-year sealed smoke alarms is yet another example of the forward thinking by scientists and engineers dedicated to preventing the loss of lives due to uncontrolled fire”, stated State Fire Marshal William E. Barnard.

Currently, two-thirds of all home fire deaths occur in residences with no smoke alarm or no working smoke alarm, primarily due to dead or missing batteries, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Smoke alarms with sealed-in 10-year batteries are tamper proof and eliminate the need to replace the battery – something many homeowners fail to do. 

Recognizing the difference it can make, one fire department is providing the new smoke alarms to its entire community. Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire Station 805 of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department is using a federal grant to install 10-year smoke alarms to all residents within their primary response area. Firefighters from the station started visiting homes at the conclusion of a press conference held at the Fire/EMS station on May 20, 2013 to install the alarms.Jim McClelland, President of the Capitol Heights Volunteer Station, spoke on behalf of the Department.  He stated that in addition to 10-year smoke alarm installations that his station will also be conducting an extensive campaign promoting fire and injury prevention.

Prince George’s County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor stated, “We are honored to join the State Fire Marshal today, in a new journey that will take us on a path of landmark changes for the fire service, for the State of Maryland, for Prince George’s County, and specifically today for the Town of Capitol Heights and the first due response area of the Capitol Heights Fire Station.  This unique effort by the firefighters in Capitol Heights will help keep the community and our firefighters safe,” said Chief Bashoor. 

Prince George’s County has an extensive array of programs designed to improve the number of working smoke alarms in homes.   Long-standing and successful smoke alarm programs including Post Incident Neighbor Intervention Program (PINIP) and Pro-Active Residential Information Distribution Effort (PRIDE) are now joined by the Departments Safety First Day of the Month and Neighbor Helping Neighbor programs.  “Our efforts will continue to be ensuring home and families are protected by having working smoke alarms and we will now focus on the installation of 10-year smoke alarms and replacing alarms that are 10 years of age and older,” said Bashoor.

Representing the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) at the press conference was Cathy Hedrick who stated, “Through the Foundation’s Be A Hero, Save A Hero program we work with fire departments and our partners to educate the public about fire prevention and fire safety. Fewer firefighters need to be in harm’s way when residents have already evacuated a burning home.”The NFFF and Kidde have partnered through the Be A Hero, Save A Hero program to provide 10-year smoke alarms to other communities and to educate consumers about the alarms. To learn more and to take the Be A Hero, Save A Hero pledge, go to www.alarmpledge.com.  Similarly, The United States Fire Administration encourages the public to become more active in fire prevention and safety through its "Fire is Everyone's Fight™" program.

Kidde Fire Safety (Kidde) is the leading manufacturer of residential fire safety products; including the 10-year sealed lithium battery operated smoke alarm.  “Alarms with sealed-in long-life batteries are always on, ready to provide warning in the event of a fire,” said Neal Zipser, community affairs manager of Kidde.  “On average, you only have three minutes to escape a fire, so these alarms offer families the chance to escape quickly and safely.  By being able to escape, the risks firefighters face will also be reduced as they will work on controlling the fire rather than extracting residents.”
Prince George's County citizens in need of a working smoke alarm and can not afford to purchase one themselves are encouraged to contact the Fire/EMS Departments Safety First Smoke Alarm Program at 301-864-SAFE (7233) or by calling 311.

Photos and video by Mark E. Brady, PGFD PIO @PGFDPIO

The Volunteer President of Capitol Heights, Jim McClelland listens as Chief Bashoor states, "This unique effort by the firefighters in Capitol Heights will help keep the community
and our firefighters safe.” 

Representing the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) at the press conference was Cathy Hedrick who stated, “Through the Foundation’s Be A Hero, Save A Hero program we work with fire departments and our partners to educate the public about fire prevention and fire safety. Fewer firefighters need to be in harm’s way when residents have already evacuated a burning home.”

The development of long-life, 10-year sealed smoke alarms is yet another example of the forward thinking by scientists and engineers dedicated to preventing the loss of lives due to uncontrolled fire”, stated State Fire Marshal William E. Barnard.

“Alarms with sealed-in long-life batteries are always on, ready to provide warning in the event of a fire,” said Neal Zipser, community affairs manager of Kidde.

Firefighters on Altoona Street to start the installation of 10-year smoke alarms.

A young Capital Heights resident watches his new 10-year smoke alarm being installed.

Firefighters test the alarm after installing.
Neal Zipser of Kidde address those gathered at a press conference held at the Capitol Heights Fire/EMS Station 805.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

MEDIA ADVISORY - New Technology, New 10-Year Alarms, New Law, New Effort to Protect Homes

Media Contacts: Bruce D. Bouch, Office of the State Fire Marshal, 410-653-8999
Mark E. Brady, PGFD Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

New Technology, New 10-Year Alarms, New Law, New Effort to Protect Homes

The Fire Service constantly strives to increase the number of homes with working smoke alarms. However, convincing residents that a working smoke alarm dramatically increases the chances of surviving a home fire has proven to be rather challenging. As we entered the 21st century, the United States Fire Administration (USFA) estimated that 94 percent of all U.S. households had a smoke alarm. We believe, based on community canvassing, that in 30 percent of those households the smoke alarm was inoperable, as the device had no battery or a dead battery. In the combined 36 percent of homes without a smoke alarm, or a working smoke alarm, according to the USFA, is where 75 percent of fire fatalities have occurred and continue to occur. Nearly 2,500 fire fatalities occur each year in the U.S. with fire service leaders estimating that 1/3 of these people could have been saved if they had a working smoke alarm.

An additional challenge is the over-aged smoke alarms found in homes during safety checks. Smoke alarm manufacturers recommend that a smoke alarm be replaced every 10 years. Battery-powered smoke alarms were first introduced in 1970. By 2000, smoke alarms were installed in 94 percent of U.S. households. How old is your alarm? A manufactured date is listed on the back of alarms. Check the date, and replace the device if the date is close to or past the 10-year mark. If there is no date, it is well past the 10-year point and should be replaced immediately.

The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department believes that technological advances in the manufacturing of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors will save lives, including the lives of firefighters entering homes to rescue occupants who were never alerted by a working smoke alarm. The 10-year smoke alarm currently available allows the installed device to operate for up to 10 years without having to change the battery. This action alone will reduce the high percentage of residential fire fatalities occurring in residences that have no smoke alarm or one that is inoperable due to a battery issue.

Installing the 10-year smoke alarm will also provide homeowners with a fresh date to begin a 10-year countdown to replacement, thereby eliminating older smoke alarms that may not operate. A local volunteer fire department will provide details of a federal grant and their goal of installing new 10-year alarms in every home within their primary response area.

Fire service leaders from local, County, State, and Federal organizations will gather to discuss new State of Maryland legislation requiring 10-year smoke alarms with a hush feature; a local Fire/EMS Department's goal to install 10-year alarms in every home within their primary response area; and the benefits of working smoke alarms for firefighters and their families. Additionally, a leading manufacturer of smoke alarms will discuss the advances in technology with the 10-year alarms.

Homes within walking distance of the Capitol Heights Fire/EMS Station will be visited by
firefighters that will install the new 10-year alarms.

WHAT: Press Conference – 10-Year Smoke Alarms

WHEN: Monday, May 20, 2013, 11:00 am

WHERE: Capitol Heights Fire/EMS Station 805, 6061 Central Avenue

WHO: MD Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown along with other elected/civic leaders have been invited, MD State Fire Marshal William Barnard, County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor, Capitol Heights Volunteer President James McClelland, National Fallen Fire Fighters Foundation Executive Director Ron Siarnicki and Survivor Cathy Hedrick and Neal Zipser from KIDDE.

Community Advisory Council Forum in Seat Pleasant

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Metzerott Road Fire

At around 4:00 pm, Tuesday, May 14,  firefighters from Prince George's and Montgomery County were alerted to a building fire. Fire/EMS units arrived at 1836 Metzerott Road in Adelphi to find fire and smoke coming from an 8th floor apartment balcony.  This is a 20-story high-rise apartment building.

Residents were evacuating the structure and a 2nd Alarm was requested by first arriving firefighters.

Firefighters made their way to an apartment on the 8th floor, east wing, and found a fire on the balcony with some extension to the interior. The fire was quickly contained and extinguished. Residents were advised to shelter in place as the situation was brought quickly under control with little to no smoke in the building hallways.

No injuries were reported and only the apartment of origin will be displaced.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation and fire loss is estimated at $1,200.

Mark E. Brady
Chief Spokesman/PIO
Prince George's County Fire/EMS

Updated Wednesday, 5-15-13 at 9:25 am

Monday, May 13, 2013

"She Tore Up Some Stuff Prior to our Arrival"

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

Earlier this month on Thursday, May 9, Prince George's County Firefighters from the Camp Springs area responded to an incident  involving a release of natural gas.  A high-pressure natural gas line had been struck and broken by a contractor while digging in the 7000 block of Berkshire Drive.  A strong natural gas odor permeated the air and as a result several homes in the neighborhood were ordered to evacuate.  When firefighters came upon a home in the "hot zone" with no response at the door, they forced entry to ensure everyone was OK and out of the house. 

In one of the homes, a dog was found inside along with high levels of natural gas.  The following letter was written by one of the owners to Prince George's County Government leadership and explains what happened next.

I would like to begin by saying thank you. You and the Prince George’s County Team are doing an excellent job. Since you have taken office, the county is taking on the biggest positive change I have seen in years and it is all thanks to you and your leadership.

Over a year ago, we began seeing signs around our Camp Springs neighborhood that advised us that WSSC would be replacing the water-mains. The replacement work began approximately two months ago. Everything had been going great until last week when unfortunately, the contractor that WSSC approved to do the work hit a gas line. Since we work during the day, our dog was left home alone.

I received a phone call from my alarm company, informing me that there had been a break-in at our home. My partner left his job and ran home immediately to find out exactly what was going on. The alarm company representative called me back to let me know that after the invasion occurred, they spoke through the alarm system to ask the intruders to identify themselves. To our benefit, it was a group of Prince George’s County Firefighters. The Firefighters identified themselves and informed the alarm company of the situation. The alarm company immediately called me to let me know that the firefighters were in our home because they were trying to evacuate the neighborhood because of the gas leak.

When my partner arrived in our neighborhood, Washington Gas and the Prince George's County Fire Department would not allow anyone in the neighborhood for safety reasons. However, eventually the fire department allowed him into the neighborhood and when he arrived at our home, we found a note written on a piece of cardboard that said:

“There was a gas leak outside of your house & we had to break your door in to make sure no one was home. Once in, we found high levels of gas & had to get your dog outside to fresh air. She was scared at first, but came outside after some coaxing. She pee’d and pooped around noon & hung out with us at the fire truck. We put her back inside & gave her fresh food & water.”

When my partner called me at work and read the note to me, I was amazed. The reason I was amazed is because I would not expect anyone to take care of a strange dog. In addition to them taking care of our baby, they opened all the windows for safety reasons. I truly give Captain D. Fletcher and his team an infinity amount of kudos for the work they did and the care that they showed by taking care of our baby and our home. This was truly going above and beyond the call of duty and I wanted to take the time out to say thank you. Thank you to the firefighters that stopped by and made it a point to watch out for our home as well as thank you to all of County Management for hiring and having such excellent professionals.

We turn on the news each day and it seems like every Washington, DC metro television station has a lot of negative news reports regarding Prince George’s County (not to mention having to go to work in Virginia and hearing the negative things that they have to say). As a proud Prince George’s County resident, I make it a point to tell of the wonderful things that are going on in our neighborhood. When I told my co-workers (whom 90% live in Virginia) about the excellent service we received from Captain Fletcher and his team, they were speechless. I believe I even have one co-worker convinced to move her and her family to our neighborhood.

Again, I just wanted to take the time out to say thank you to Captain Fletcher (PGFD# 16182) and his team for what they done for us back on May 9th around noon. Their response, professionalism, and compassion for our dog, home, and neighborhood will always be remembered. Please pass this letter of appreciation along to them and let them know that Duffy says, “thank you!”


Name Withheld by PGFD PIO

Fire Fighter/Medic Captain Donny Fletcher and his crew from the Morningside Fire/EMS Station may not have realized what an impact their actions would have on these residents.  Captain Fletcher also probably never thought his handwritten notes would be published. 

When notified of the actions of the firefighters and the very complimentary note, Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor stated, "I am constantly amazed at the things our people do, job well done to Captain Fletcher and his crew for going above and beyond."

These are the notes that Captain Fletcher had left for the home owners once the
"all clear" was given and he returned the dog to his house.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Law Enforcement Ride has Rest Stop at District Heights Fire/EMS Station

The Law Enforcement United, Annual Memorial Bicycle Ride, traveled through Prince George’s County this morning.  The “Ride To Hope” contingent of approximately 50 law enforcement officers are in the final leg of their tour from Redding Pennsylvania, in route to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.  Once in DC, the tour will meet up with a second contingent of 350 bicycle riders that are in route from Chesapeake Virginia. 

Each rider must be a current or retired law enforcement officer or family survivor of a fallen officer.  Each cyclist peddles to honor the sacrifice of their law enforcement colleagues and family members who have died in the line of duty.  The officers and survivors also ride to raise awareness and provide monetary support to Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) and the Officer Down Memorial Page (O.D.M.P.)

The group traveling from Redding Pennsylvania is on day three of their tour, and at 1030 hours, the cyclists utilized Fire/EMS Station 826 as rest stop.  The cyclists are being escorted by a large group of law enforcement motorcycles, medical staff, and logistical support vehicles.

Alan C. Doubleday
Battalion Chief 883 D-Shift
5900 Marlboro Pike
District Heights MD 20747

WASHINGTON POST - Prince George’s firefighters poised for large pay hikes

Prince George’s firefighters poised for large pay hikes

Prince George’s County is poised to give raises of as much as 22 percent to unionized firefighters, who have not received pay increases in three years, according to documents and interviews.
The raises could cost the county at least $9 million over two years, depending on the current pay levels of the 768 unionized firefighters. To get a raise, they must receive a positive performance evaluation and be eligible for the increases. The package, which also calls for firefighters to increase their pension contributions, was ratified by union members May 1 and awaits County Council review.
Officials in the administration of County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D), who negotiated the agreement with the union, declined to discuss the details of the deal, the result of talks that began last fall. Around that time, an arbitrator ordered the county to give police officers raises of up to12 percent to make up for wages lost to pay freezes.
Tom Himler, a top Baker aide who was part of the negotiating team for the firefighters’ contract, said he was withholding details of the agreement until the county concludes negotiations with other public employee unions in the next few weeks. A letter from the union to its members outlining the negotiated agreement with the firefighters shows that the contract is for two years and that the first raises would be paid July 1 .
“The big thing was getting everyone on the wage scale places on the step they are supposed to be on based on years of service,” said Andrew Pantelis, president of the Prince George’s County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics Association, who confirmed the details of the letter. The agreement also includes staffing increases that will place four firefighters at most stations around the clock, Pantelis said. Previously, some had been staffed with two firefighters during the day, augmented by volunteer firefighters in the evening, he added.
Of the 768 union members, about 100 would get only one raise, several would get two raises and the average increase would be about four raises, Pantelis said. “Those who will benefit the most from this are people with four to 10 years on the job,” he said.
The county is is negotiations for pay and benefits for about 60 civilian employees, Pantelis said.
Most of the county’s 6,000 employees are unionized and have recently begun to get salary increases after years of pay freezes and furloughs that began during the administration of former county executive Jack B. Johnson (D), Baker’s predecessor.
Baker asked county employees this year to take several unpaid days off. The council has accepted two pay increases in recent years, and members are paid $102,486, among the highest wages for local legislative bodies in the Washington region. The county’s 9,000 teachers, who negotiate with the school system rather than the Baker administration, recently received one-time lump sum payments of about 2 percent.
Last month, in neighboring Montgomery County, lawmakers approved a package of raises averaging 7 to 10 percent for most police, fire and general non-uniform employees for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The pay raises, a combination of cost-of-living and step increases, total about $32 million