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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Safety Investigative Team Report to be Released for Incident where 7 Firefighters were Injured

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930, mebrady@co.pg.md.us

On February 24, 2012, just after 9:00 pm, seven firefighters were injured shortly after arriving at a fire that was intentionally set at 6404 57th Avenue in Riverdale.  A Safety Investigative Team (SIT) was assigned to thoroughly review the incident and produce a "After Action Report" documenting their findings and recommendations.

The report has been completed and the findings and recommendations will be shared with the injured firefighters, their families, the volunteer leadership of stations affected and the command staff of the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department just prior to public release.

Two of the most seriously injured firefighters were members of the Bladensburg Volunteer Fire Department.  The Bladensburg Volunteer leadership will announce their significant contribution increasing the reward money being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for setting the house on fire.  The reward money is being provided directly from the volunteer station.

WHAT:     Release of Safety Investigative Team After Action Report
                  on 6404 57th Avenue and
                  New Reward Fund Announcement

WHEN:     Monday, June 3, 2:30 PM

WHERE:   Fire/EMS Department HQ, 9201 Basil Court, Largo, Penthouse

Today is "Safety First Day of the Month" - What You Need to Do

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

Saturday, June 1, 2013, is Safety First Day of the Month!!!
  • Test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms today to ensure they are working.
  • Check the age of your alarms.  Alarms have a life expectancy of 10 years.
  • Consider replacing your alarms with a new 10-year alarm.
  • Test your alarm and check with your neighbors to see if they tested theirs.
The Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department has developed a program to help remind you to keep Safety First.  Our “Safety First Day of the Month” program is a reminder that the first day of each month is the day to perform quick and easy tasks that will help keep you, your family and your property safe and healthy. 

By following our Safety First tips you can help us to reduce the number of incidents we respond to as well as early 911 notification will reduce the intensity and impact a fire will have by reducing injuries and death to our firefighters.  You are helping us to help you.  Keeping Safety First will help to ensure everyone, firefighter/medics and you, to go home.

Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors 

Test your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide (CO) detector by pressing the TEST button on the cover of your devices.  If they emit an audible warning – you are done until next month.

If no audible warning is heard after pressing the TEST button – replace the battery and re-test.  If your alarm still does not emit a warning – immediately replace the alarm or detector with a new one.  Smoke alarms have a productive life of about 10 years.  CO detectors last about 8 years.

Clear dust particles on and around your alarms and detectors.  Dust particles may effect the detection of smoke or CO.  Use a clean dust rag or vacuum your device.

Install a working smoke alarm on every level of your home, especially outside of sleeping areas and in every bedroom.

When testing your smoke and CO alarms – allow your family or other home occupants to hear what the audible alarm sounds like.  This would also be an excellent time to review and practice your home escape plan.  Your plan should include 2 ways out of every room in your house and a safe meeting place outside.

Important – Check the age of your alarms!!!  Remove the alarm from it’s mounting bracket during this “Safety First Day of the Month” and locate a date on the backside of the alarm.  If the manufacture date is 10 years or older, replace the alarm!!!  Smoke alarms have a life expectancy of 10 years and may not operate correctly, even if they monthly test demonstrates it works.  If there is no date on the back; your alarm is well beyond the 10-year expectancy – replace the alarm with a new one.

Replace your older alarms with up-to-date technology and install 10-year smoke alarms.  You will still need to perform monthly tests, however, the need to replace a battery once or twice a year is longer needed.  See our story here.

Need a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector??  Call our Safety First Safety Program at 301-864-SAFE (7233) and arrange for these devices to be installed in your home; free of charge.

Prince George’s County Firefighters will be going door-to-door today and will assist you in checking your alarm and if needed, installing a new one for you.  Firefighters will also provide information on how to plan, with 2-ways out of every room, a home-escape.

All Fire/EMS station will be open from 6 to 8 this evening if you would like to stop by and visit.  BP checks and fire safety information will be provided.

The Fire/EMS Department is also promoting “Neighbor Helping Neighbor” by asking everyone that after they test their smoke alarm to go the neighbors on either side of you and ask if they have checked their alarms today.  Senior citizens often are challenged to reach the alarm on the ceiling and may not ask for assistance in testing the alarm or replacing batteries – this is the day to be neighborly by helping your neighbor.

Breast Cancer Self-Exams

The Fire/EMS Department has committed to keeping Breast Cancer awareness a year round event.  Every month we will post reminders that adult women of all ages are encouraged to perform breast self-exams at least once a month. Remember, Safety First Day of the Month.  

Johns Hopkins Medical center states,

“Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.”

While mammograms can help you to detect cancer before you can feel a lump, breast self-exams help you to be familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can alert your health care professional if there are any changes.


The Fire/EMS Department responds to about 130,000 incidents per year.  About 100,000 of these incidents are EMS calls and there are a high percentage of these incidents that are for some type of diabetic related episode.  We want you to stay healthy and you can help reduce the number of paramedic responses by doing so.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends getting regular exercise to help manage diabetes. However, people with diabetes may need to take certain precautions to ensure that exercise does not induce hypoglycemia (in someone taking insulin), hyperglycemia, or exacerbate complications resulting from their disease.
To work out safely, the ACSM suggests that you: 
Check your blood sugar before you exercise. If it is > 300 mg/dL and no ketones are present, proceed cautiously.
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Check your urine or blood for ketones before exercising. Postpone if your blood sugar is greater than 250 mg/dl and ketones are present.
 Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your exercise session.
Have a carbohydrate-rich snack, such as a piece of fruit or some yogurt or crackers—especially if you are taking insulin—if your blood glucose is < 100 mg/dL.

 Keep carbohydrate-rich snacks or drinks handy to eat before or after exercise to avoid hypoglycemia. If you are taking insulin, you know that when it peaks, your blood sugar drops—so avoid exercise during these times.

Examine your tootsies before and after exercise for foot ulcers if you have lost sensation in your feet, and stick to moderate or low-weight-bearing activities.

Avoid high-intensity exercise or any activities involving jumping up and down or dropping your head below your heart (such as yoga inversions) if you have diabetes-related vision issues. The increased pressure can damage the eyes.

Get your doctor's approval before undertaking any exercise more intense than brisk walking.

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