MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
Many were inspired by the words of a young student, following her escape from a fire in her Glenarden home in February of this year. She told the firefighter, who found her in a neighbor’s yard, that the teachers at her school and firefighters had instructed students on how to make and practice a home escape plan. When the fire occurred in her home, she remembered what she had been taught in school. She used that information to escape out of her second means of egress, a bedroom window. She then went to a neighbor’s front yard and waited, just as she had learned.
The student’s actions confirmed that the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department’s community outreach and fire prevention efforts do work. This resulted in a long-standing program, “Escape Drills in the Home,” already a staple of fire safety education in schools, to be expanded in a renewed effort to reach out to all County elementary schools. After the selection of one school to participate in the expanded effort, students were given a take home assignment.
Fire/EMS Department Community Outreach Coordinator, Teresa Ann Crisman, visited Apple Grove Elementary School in Fort Washington, where she worked with the staff, teachers, and students in grades 3 through 5. Ms. Crisman educated them on how to plan, identify 2 ways out of every room, and designate a safe meeting place outside. Students were asked to sketch their plan and include the location of smoke alarms in their home. As part of the homework assignment, the smoke alarm had to be tested and working.
Students were given a little over a week to complete their home escape projects before turning them in. Nearly 3 dozen projects were submitted and evaluated by a group of fire service professionals, who ranked the top 3 entries. Clarity, the diagram’s overall effectiveness and ability to be understood by others, was a factor in the judging. Three winners, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, were identified; and each of the other participants received an Honorable Mention certificate.
To highlight the Home Escape Poster Contest and emphasize the importance of having a plan in place, the Fire/EMS Department sought the assistance of the two professional sports teams whose home games are played in Prince George’s County. The National Football League Washington Redskins and the AA Affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, Bowie Baysox, demonstrated once again that they are our partners in community service.
“We are honored to partner with the Fire/EMS Department on this very worthwhile effort,” said Lon Rosenberg, Washington Redskins, Senior Vice-President of Operations. The Redskins provided the winners of this program with 2 tickets to a pre-season home game, parking, a tour of their command post, and on field recognition.
The Bowie Baysox awarded the recipients of the winning submissions with 4 tickets to a home game, an opportunity to throw out the first pitch before the game, and a gift pack. Brandan Kaiser, Director of Marketing of the Bowie Baysox, said, “We look forward to having the winners come out to a game and throw a first pitch!!!”
Our partnerships with both the Redskins and Bowie Baysox, goes a long way in helping us keep “Safety First – Everyone Goes home.”
Fire/EMS Department Chief Spokesperson Mark Brady and Community Outreach Coordinator Teresa Crisman had the pleasure of attending the start of school on Wednesday, June 5, at Apple Grove. Working in concert with the school’s principal and staff, the names of the 3 winners were announced over the school’s PA system. The recipients are:
1st Place – D. Marcus Holmes – Ms. Wright, Teacher
2nd Place – Ashley Marcelo – Mrs. Kirby, Teacher
3rd Place – Ethan Martin – Ms. Crisman, Teacher
Congratulations to all of our student participants in this contest, everyone is a winner and each student will bring home a Honorable Mention certificate and their home escape plan to practice with their family.
Parents looking for a summertime assignment to keep their kids busy?? Families can download a blank home escape form and have their children plan their escape in the event of an emergency. Simply click here for your form.
|1st place is D. Marcus Holmes – Ms. Wright is the teacher|
2nd place is Ashley Marcelo – Mrs. Kirby is the teacher
|3rd place is Ethan Martin – Ms. Crisman is the teacher|