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Friday, May 30, 2014

Two PGFD LODD Volunteers to be Memorialized on Sunday

The Maryland Fire-Rescue Services Memorial Foundation will hold their annual memorial service this Sunday, June 1, 2014.  Two Prince George's County Volunteers will be added to the Line of Duty Death Memorial.

Landover Hills Volunteer George H. Linnell and Underwater Rescue Volunteer James "Doc" Brooks will be memorialized at the 2:00 pm ceremony.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Friday Press Briefing - Fatal Bowie House Fire

Despite over a dozen recent successful smoke-alarm-saves, a 65 year old male occupant of the home on Grendel Place perished Wednesday night in the midst of an advanced fire and a wild ammunition discharge display.  Firefighters feverishly searched the home, however had to evacuate the home twice due to safety concerns.

Firefighters and paramedics from Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department stations will go door to door Friday checking smoke alarms, beginning with a press briefing by Fire Chief Marc Bashoor at 12:00 p.m. 

Media will be provided the most up to date information available, along with a renewed plea to check and maintain smoke alarms, along with an advance warning of new County-wide legislation set to go into effect July 1, 2014.

Media will be provided the opportunity for individual interviews and walk-along filming.

Marc Bashoor, Fire Chief
Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department
9201 Basil Court, Suite 452
Landover, MD 20774
(o) 301-883-5200
Twitter @PGFD_Chief

Questions???  Call Assistant Fire Chief Paul Gomez, Public Information Officer, at 240-508-6583

NBC Report on Fatal Fire in Bowie

Friday, May 23, 2014

Happy Firefighters Appreciation Day!!!

For the civilian and sworn Local 1619 members of the Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department, today, May 23, 2014 is a Holiday!!!  "Firefighter Appreciation Day" is observed every Friday before Memorial Day Weekend providing a 4-day break for personnel in day work positions.  Firefighter/Medics on shift work will continue to staff Fire/EMS Station and will receive Holiday compensation.  Firefighter/Medics assigned to day work only Fire/EMS Stations will have the day off with fire/EMS services provided by volunteer firefighters.  This staffing model is the same utilized on most every holiday.

This holiday was created several years ago in an agreement between the Prince George's County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics Association, International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 1619, and Prince George's County, Maryland.

So when you see a firefighter or paramedic today wish them a Happy Firefighters Appreciation Day!!!

Being as it is a holiday, PGFD PIO will only be available for breaking news updates via text and Twitter.  Day-to-day media inquiries can be addressed next Tuesday.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Darcy Spencer Report: EMS Week Ride-Along

CTV Reporter Darcy Spencer spent a day on-board a Paramedic Unit as part of an awareness campaign for National EMS Week.  Darcy particpated in a ride-along with the Paramedic Unit from the District Heights Fire/EMS Station #826, one of busier units.  Here is Darcy's report.

Milk-Bone Assists in Firefighter Rescue of Dog "ELLIS"

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

On Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, May 21st and 22nd, strong thunderstorms rolled through Prince George's County, MD.  Ellis, a thirteen-year-old German Shepard, filled with anxiety, sought for shelter, as do many dogs during a storm. He normally roams the back yard of his owners house like any good guard dog does, but the rain was too much for him and sought shelter closer to the house.

Unfortunately, Ellis took a wrong step and fell into a crawl space opening that led under the house.  It was too high for him to jump out of and barely enough room for him to stand.  A neighbor came by to check on him this morning and found him trapped in the hole.

Using the County 311 system the neighbor was able to call and get assistance from the crew from Hyattsville Fire/EMS Station 801 and Battalion Chief 884.  Firefighters ensured all appropriate safety measures were in place and commenced to rescue the dog.  The Incident Commander, Battalion Chief Michael Linynsky, stated, "While the space was tight, the crew from station 801 was able to anchor one of the crew by his feet and reach down to try to grab Ellis."  Just out of the rescuers reach, they needed to coax Ellis a little closer.  The crew grabbed a box of Milk-Bone biscuits that Battalion Chief 884 keeps in his buggy.  Battalion Chief Linynsky likes to keep a box handy when he visits the firehouses so he can give them out to all the firehouse dogs.

They used the Milk-Bone biscuits to coax Ellis closer to their outstretched hands.  When he got closer they were able to grab him and pull him up and out of the hole.  The neighbor then took Ellis for a little walk to stretch out his tired legs from being in that hole all night.  But the crew was able to snap a picture and give him a few more treats before he left for his walk.

Firefighters often will exert extra effort in these incidents where pets get themselves into precarious situations. Primarily because it is the compassionate thing to do but also because if firefighter don't do it, using appropriate tools and safety measures, then a well-intentioned pet owner or neighbor may attempt the rescue themselves and create a larger rescue or civilian injury.

Job well done to the crew!!!  The crew members included; Acting Battalion Chief Michael Linynsky, Fire Lieutenant Greg Mangum, Fire Technician William “Wild Bill” Serra, Fire Fighter Ryan Shipp, Probationary Firefighter Frederick Clarke,  Volunteer Fire Fighter Henry Sullivan and Volunteer Fire Fighter Melvin Wright.

The crew members included; Acting Battalion Chief Michael Linynsky (holding leash), Fire Lieutenant Greg Mangum, Fire Technician William “Wild Bill” Serra, Fire Fighter Ryan Shipp, Probationary Firefighter Frederick Clarke,  Volunteer Fire Fighter Henry Sullivan and Volunteer Fire Fighter Melvin Wright.

The small opening where the dog fell into and where a firefighter had to enter to rescue Ellis.

EMS Services in Prince George's County

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

National EMS Week continues with news of new ambulance transport units on the way to Prince George's County.  We have already told you about what will be a PINK Paramedic Unit #812 College Park.  Now we hear the volunteer membership at the Riverdale Fire/EMS Station #807 has a new ambulance transport unit on the way.  Prince George;s County has 2 new transport units on the way scheduled for delivery to Beltsville Fire/EMS Station #831 and Oxon Hill (Livingstone Road) Fire/EMS Station #821.  The approximate cost of a new transport unit is $260,000.

These EMS units will be staffed by career and volunteer firefighters, EMT's and paramedics.  All of our firefighters are trained to a minimum of an Emergency Medical Technician - Basic (EMT-B).  Additional training allows a member to become a Paramedic and administer pre-hospital care including airway management, administration of medication, IV therapy, application and understanding of results from a 12 lead EKG are just a few of the many skills our paramedics possess.

Pre-hospital EMS care and transport arrives in many fashions.  We dispatch traditional Paramedic Units; staffed by two paramedics, Paramedic-Ambulance; staffed by 1 paramedic and 1 EMT-B with additional medic assist training, Paramedic Engine; a paramedic with ALS equipment is included in staffing for the suppression unit but may arrive first at the scene of a medical emergency and initiate treatment.  The Firefighter/Medic may also be used as an extra set of hands on a challenging medical incident.

Four of our volunteer Fire/EMS Stations are capable of placing a Paramedic Ambulance in service.  Branchville, Berwyn Heights, Hyattsville and Laurel Rescue have members trained as Paramedics.  When staffing and required medical equipment are available, an ambulance from one of these 4 volunteer stations can be upgraded to a Paramedic Ambulance and provide pre-hospital advanced life support care.

Fire/EMS Department civilian members are provided the option of receiving emergency medical training.  Some civilian employees are certified at the First Responder level while some are EMT-B.

There are over 580 career firefighters certified as EMT-B with an additional 380+ members certified as paramedics.

Of the approximately 2000 volunteer members in Prince George's County, about 1000 are certified as EMT-B or paramedic.

There are 45 Fire/EMS Stations located through the 500 square miles that comprise Prince George's County serving over 900,000 citizens and residents.  43 of these stations provide EMS, ALS and BLS, care with an ambulance, paramedic ambulance, paramedic unit, paramedic engine or a combination of these units.  2 of our 45 Fire/EMS Stations provide EMS care at the EMT-B level as first responders on-board fire suppression units.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Presidential Proclamation - Emergency Medical Services Week, 2014

Presidential Proclamation 

Emergency Medical Services Week, 2014

- - - - - - -
Wherever and whenever crisis hits, the men and women of our emergency medical services (EMS) rush to the scene. With unyielding steadiness, they bring care to those who need it most. During Emergency Medical Services Week, we show our gratitude to the EMS practitioners who aid our families, friends, and neighbors in their darkest moments.
We saw their professionalism in action after a devastating storm hit Vilonia, Arkansas. Immediately after a tornado struck, 200 people, including EMS personnel from other counties, were ready to go house to house searching for injured neighbors. We saw it after last month's mudslide in Washington State when first responders and rescue crews braved unsteady ground to search for survivors. And we see it in towns and cities across America every hour of every day. My Administration is dedicated to supporting the vital work of our paramedics, emergency medical technicians, 911 dispatchers, and EMS medical directors.
This week, we thank the EMS providers who ease suffering and so often mean the difference between life and death. Let us honor their service with a renewed commitment to them. Let us ensure that those who watch over our communities have the support they need to get the job done.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 18 through May 24, 2014, as Emergency Medical Services Week. I encourage all Americans to observe this occasion by showing their support for their local EMS providers and taking steps to improve their personal safety and preparedness.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Memorial Day Safety Tips - Grilling and Swimming

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

Memorial Day is commonly thought of as the start of summer.  Some schools have extended their year and the pool water may still be chilly after a cool Spring but the traditional start of summer is here.  Summer vacations are being planned, however,  "staycations" are becoming more popular with residents staying at home enjoying swimming, BBQ'ing and planning many other fun activities right here in Prince George's County.  The Memorial Day weekend is when many private, public and home swimming pools open as well as BBQ 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 when a swimming incident or BBQ grille fire erupt.  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. I recommend that you exercise caution and keep safety in mind when setting up, using and cleaning your BBQ grill," said County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor.   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

Currently our forecast calls for a beautiful Holiday weekend and thousands of residents will be taking full advantage of swimming pools.  Chief Bashoor stated, "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/ or call the Fire/EMS Department CPR Information line at 301-864-LIVE (5483).

For home 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 combined career, civilian and volunteer men and women of the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department wishes everyone a festive and safe Memorial Day.  Keep safety in every aspect of your event!!!

#EMSWEEK2014 PGFD Response Data

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

This is EMS Week 2014.  The following numbers demonstrate the number of incidents our dedicated members (career and volunteer) of the Fire/EMS Department respond to each day.  By far, EMS units respond on more incidents than our suppression units.

In calendar year 2013 the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department (PGFD) responded to 132,930 calls for service.  This total reflects a reduction in our total responses in CY 2012 by 2,453 incidents.


Every 4 minutes, PGFD responds to an incident (Fire/EMS)

Every 5 minutes, someone in Prince George’s County calls for an ambulance

EMS/Fire Ratio - 80%/20%

Per Month...

About 11,000 incidents on average (9000 EMS, 2000 Fire)

Per Day...

About 360 incidents on average (290 EMS, 70 Fire)

About 7 incidents (Potential Cardiac arrest) calls per day

Per Hour...

About 15 incidents on average (12 EMS, 3 Fire)

In 2013, the Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulance transport units (2) from the Silver Hill Fire/EMS Station 829 responded on 7,868 calls for service.  This is more than any other transport unit in the County.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Precautionary/preparedness actions: A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation. Be prepared to take action should flash flood warnings be issued.

Flash Flood Facts...

Flash floods occur within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall or a dam failure. Flooding is a longer-term event and may last a week or more.

Most flash flooding is caused by (1) slow-moving thunderstorms, (2) thunder-storms repeatedly moving over the same area or (3) heavy rains from hurricanes and tropical storms.

Flash floods can roll boulders, tear out trees, and destroy buildings and bridges.

Densely populated areas have a high risk for flash floods. The construction of buildings, highways, driveways, and parking lots increases runoff by reducing the amount of rain absorbed by the ground.

Water can erode the roadbed creating unsafe driving conditions.

Many flash floods occur at night when flooded roads are hard to see.

2 feet of water will float your car, truck or SUV!!! 6 inches of fast-moving floodwater can knock you off your feet.

Nearly half of all flash flood fatalities are auto related. If your car stalls, leave it and seek higher ground, if you can do so safely.

Underpasses can fill rapidly with water, while the adjacent roadway remains clear. Driving into a flooded underpass can quickly put you in 5-6 feet of water.

Media Contact: Paul Gomez, Assistant Fire Chief, 240-508-6583

The Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department wants you to stay safe during this potentially dangerous weather conditions.  Help us by helping yourself and heed warnings and safety tips.

Flash Flood Safety Tips...

Never try to walk, swim, or drive through swift-moving floodwater. Remember, 2 feet of water will float your vehicle and 6 inches of fast moving floodwater can knock you off your feet.

If you come upon floodwaters, STOP, TURN AROUND AND GO ANOTHER WAY!!

Do not attempt to drive through a flooded road.

If your car stalls, leave it and seek higher ground, if you can do so safely.

Stay informed about the storm and possible flooding by listening to your NOAA weather radio, commercial radio or television.


Friday, May 9, 2014

Fire Prevention & Life Safety Open House in Brandywine - This Saturday May 10

Volunteer Fire Department of Brandywine, Maryland Inc. 
Fire Prevention & Life Safety Open House.
Event POC: Brian Clements (240) 682-3192
Date: Saturday, May 10, 2014
Location: Station 40; 14201 Brandywine Road, Brandywine, MD 20613 (301) 372-8507
Time: 11:00am-3:00pm
Weather: Partly cloudy, chance of rain in the afternoon, high temperature of 84.
Free Admission

The Officers and Members of the Vol. Fire Department of Brandywine, Maryland Inc. would like to invite the public to our annual Fire Prevention and Life Safety Open House on Saturday, May 10, 2014 from 11:00am to 3:00pm located at 14201 Brandywine Road, Brandywine, Maryland 20613.

Join our members as we educate the importance of fire prevention and life safety. The department will be offering free literature on 10 year smoke detectors, grilling and summer safety, carbon monoxide detection, provide a live auto extrication demonstration and many activities for children and adults.
Special guest appearance by Nashville country music recording artist Ashley Forrest of Crofton, Maryland. Static fire apparatus displays, an all ages bucket brigade, Sparky the Fire Dog, live firefighter demonstrations, childrens firefighter costume and coloring contests, free blood pressure checks and much more.

The department is currently hosting a Cairns 1010 Defender Helmet raffle. All proceeds from this raffle will benefit the department in refurbishment of station apparatus. Tickets are $5.00 each. Drawing will be held on Monday, July 14, 2014 at 8:00pm. Winners do not need to be present at time of drawing.

Do you have what it takes to become a volunteer firefighter or emergency medical technician? The Vol. Fire Department of Brandywine is constantly looking for members of our community to join our ranks as volunteer firefighters, emergency medical technicians or administrative/support personnel. Potential applicants must be sixteen (16) years of age or older, pass an extensive background check, complete a physical and stress test, and complete firefighter and EMT classes within thirty (30) months of applying for membership.

The Prince George's County Volunteer Fire/EMS Recruiter will be on hand at the Open House to answer any questions or concerns regarding volunteering at Brandywine or any other department in Prince George's County.

For more information, please contact Fire Prevention Chairman Brian Clements at (240) 682-3192 or visit us on Facebook at Brandywine Volunteer Fire Department Station 40.

Firefighters Death Impacts Two Departments

Garrett A. Greene

Thursday, May 8, proved to be a sad day for the fire service in Prince George’s and Montgomery County.  An early afternoon crash on Central Avenue claimed the life of Garrett A. Greene.  This loss of life left two fire chiefs the sad responsibility of notifying their respective departments of the tragic, off-duty, loss of life of a popular and energetic young man.

The Kentland Volunteer Fire Department in Prince George's County, MD, lost a volunteer member and the Montgomery County MD Fire and Rescue Services lost a career firefighter.

Tony Kelleher, Fire Chief of the Kentland Volunteer Fire Department wrote;

I am sending you this email to regretfully inform you of the death of active Volunteer Firefighter Garrett A. Greene of the Kentland Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., Company 46. He was fatally injured today when involved in a motorcycle collision on Central Avenue at Staton Drive. It should be noted that Firefighter Greene was also an active Career Firefighter with the Montgomery County Department of Fire and Rescue. I would like to personally thank the members of the department that responded to the incident and made swift notification to include Battalion Chief 881 (James Reilly) and Executive Officer Assistant Chief Paul Gomez. The Kentland VFD, Inc. will forward your office information as it becomes available.

Tony Kelleher
Kentland Volunteer Fire Department, Inc.
Companies 33 and 46
 Southern Division Chief

Steven E. Lohr, Fire Chief, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services, notified his membership by writing;

I am saddened to announce the sudden death earlier today of FFII Garrett Greene who was unexpectedly and tragically killed in a motor vehicle collision.

I have confirmed that family members and significant others have been notified. It is the family's desire that I announce this to the MCFRS.

As I am writing this email, MCFRS personnel are engaged with family and friends to determine needs as we each struggle with this untimely loss.

On behalf of the entire MCFRS, I would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to family, friends and coworkers. Please keep the Greene family in your thoughts and prayers as they work through their personal loss.

A family liaison will be announced under separate cover as more details become available.


Steven E. Lohr
Fire Chief
Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service
100 Edison Park Drive, 2nd Floor
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

The sudden loss of a young life is tragic and impacts many people.  The loss is borne by family, friends and co-workers at many levels and emotionally handled in many different ways. This sad occasion gives cause to think and pray for Garrett, his family, loved ones, close friends and co-workers and the two fire departments full of extended family.

On behalf of the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department we offer our sincerest condolences for the loss of Garrett A. Greene.

Mark E. Brady
Public Information Officer
Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Hare"y" Extrication Required Skilled Hands - Another Rabbit Rescue

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

The Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department has developed the reputation of being one of the very best in doing everything we can do to assist our citizens, residents and their pets.  In the past we have rescued, revived or resuscitated numerous pets including eagles, sea gulls, wild and domestic birds, dogs, cats, snakes and rabbits.  The Fire/EMS Department has been recognized by animal advocate groups including receiving two Compassionate Fire Department Awards from PETA and have recently partnered with the SPCA of Anne Arundel County to help save pets rescued from home fires.

It is no surprise when a family experiencing a "crisis" with their pets look to the Fire/EMS Department for help.  It seems natural.  On Saturday, May 3, 2014 a family went to the Pointer Ridge Fire/EMS Station 843 at around 8:00 am with a pet rabbit that had it's head caught in between bars of a hard wired cage.  The officer-in-charge of the station wasted no time in directing his personnel to perform the very delicate removal of the rabbit.  With fellow firefighters and family members looking on, Firefighters Leonard Davis, Harvey Bias and Thomas McDonald went to work.  The rabbit had been trying frantically to free itself and had to be held by one of the firefighters while careful cutting of the hard wired bars was being performed.  The station officer, Fire Fighter/Medic Lieutenant Matthew McCloskey stated, "After about 10 minutes of carefully cutting the bars around his head the rabbit was free."  Firefighters used bolt cutters and wire snips to perform the delicate extrication.

The family was extremely grateful and expressed their sincerest thanks to the firefighters.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Bowie Resident Sentenced for Arson

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

On Tuesday, May 6, 2014 Elijah Shahid was sentenced to 30 years in prison (all but 10 years suspended) for 1st Degree Arson.  He was also sentenced to a concurrent 10 years for an Arson Threat.  This will be followed by 5 years of supervised probation.

Mr. Shahid was arrested on July 5, 2013 after igniting a fire at 16312 Pewter Lane, Bowie.

For the original story and arrest, click here.

Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor, upon hearing of the sentence, commended his Fire Investigators by saying, "I am proud of the hard work and dedication our personnel from the Department's Office of the Fire Marshal demonstrated in this incident with an arrest, conviction and sentencing.  I also want to thank the States Attorney's Office for working with our Fire Investigators in bringing this case to a successful conclusion and lengthy sentence for this heinous crime of Arson." 

County Announces Evacuation of 28 Residential Properties in Fort Washington

For immediate release:
May 5, 2014

For more information, contact:
Scott L. Peterson
Press Secretary/Deputy Communications Manager
PH: 240-619-9400

Prince George’s County Announces Mandatory Evacuation of 28 Residential Properties Near Fort Washington Due to Slope Failure

Fort Washington, MD -  Monday, May 5, the Prince George’s County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) announced the Mandatory Evacuation of residents from a section of 28 homes in the Piscataway Hills community near Fort Washington, MD due to a slope failure on Piscataway Drive.  A slope failure occurred over the weekend, collapsing a portion of Piscataway Drive, resulting in water main and sewer failure.  Further roadway failure is occurring.  

The Prince George’s County Government, including the Prince George’s Fire/EMS Department (PGFD), Prince George’s County Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement (DPIE), Prince George’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPW&T), Prince George’s Police Department (PGPD) Prince George's County Department of Family Services (DFS) and the Prince George’s County Department of Environmental Resources (DER), is working with the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) to mitigate problems caused by this slope failure. Due to limited access to water/sewer services and transportation by public safety responders, impacted residents on Piscataway Drive, a wooded dead-end road, are being evacuated.      

Prince George’s County Office of Emergency Management is establishing a temporary reception center for affected residents. County officials are working directly with the impacted residents of this community to ensure their safety, as well as communicating regular status updates of the situation in a timely manner.  The County is taking this action pursuant to the Prince George’s County Code Section 4-120, which states:

Sec. 4-120.  Administration; Section 117, Emergency Measures.

(a)          Section 117.1 is added to read as follows:  "Imminent Danger."  When, in the opinion of the Code Official, there is imminent danger of failure or collapse of a building or structure or any part thereof which endangers life or when any structure or part of a structure has fallen and life is endangered by the occupation of the building or structure, the Code Official is hereby authorized and empowered to order and require the occupants to vacate the same forthwith.  The Code Official shall cause to be posted at each entrance to such structure, a notice reading as follows:  'This structure is unsafe and its occupancy has been prohibited by the Code Official.'  It shall be unlawful for any person to enter such structure except for the purpose of making the required repairs or of demolishing the same. 

See images of events on Piscataway Drive in Fort Washington by clicking here.

Tech Rescue of Contractor from Collapsed Roof of Capitol Heights House

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

At about 1:30 pm, Monday, May 5, 2014 Prince George's County Firefighter/Medics and Technical Rescue Team responded to the 5000 block of Cumberland Street in Capitol Heights for a roof collapse with a worker injured and trapped.  Upon arrival firefighters found a 1-1/2 story single family home with contractors installing an entire new roof assembly with addition.  For whatever reasons the entire new roof assembly unexpectedly shifted and partially collapsed trapping one of the contractors.  The structure has appropriate work permits, both County and City, attached to the front window of the house.

First arriving firefighters were able to remove all the debris covering the injured adult male and started to asses and treat his injuries.  The patient appears to have suffered a temporary loss of consciousness among other injuries.  Medics ascended the ladder to the roof and initiated pre-hospital treatment of the patient before allowing him to be moved.

The Tech Rescue Team arrived and worked with the Incident Commander and Firefighter/Medics in establishing a plan for packaging the patient and removing him from the roof.  The patient was placed on to a backboard and secured into a stokes basket.  Ropes were used to lower the patient down a ladder to the ground where paramedics continued to treat the patient.

He was transported to a trauma center with head and internal injuries in serious condition, however, non-life threatening.  The efficient rescue required about 30 minutes.