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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.

PGFD is a "HOMETOWN HERO" for Girl Scouts


The Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department has received a sweet distinction.  Girls Scout Troop 413, Bowie, MD, has selected the Department as their "Hometown Heroes." This is a distinction we are very proud of because it demonstrates that we are making an impact and positive impression to members of the community.

As part of being "Hometown Heroes," Girl Scouts Troop 413 will deliver boxes of cookies to our firefighter/medics.  A meeting with the troop and firefighter/medics will be set up later this month or early April after the troop has completed selling the famous and delicious Girl Scout Cookies!!!

If anyone is interested in supporting the Bowie Girl Scout Troop 413 and order cookies you may contact them at 240-691-6163 or email at MLC7424@aol.com.  Make sure you mention the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department.