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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

CAO Majett Meets with Fire Chief and Reviews Apparatus

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

The recently confirmed Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) is making his rounds around the County to meet with agency directors.  The Fire/EMS Department landed on Mr. Nicholas A. Majett's calendar for Tuesday, July 29.   

On July 23, 2014, the Prince George’s County Council unanimously confirmed the appointment of Nicholas A. Majett to serve as the County’s CAO, which is the highest non-elected position in the  Executive Branch and has oversight responsibility for the operations of the government.

After meeting with Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor and his Deputies at Fire/EMS Department Headquarters in Largo,  CAO Majett was provided the opportunity to review some of the Departments fleet of apparatus.

After CAO Majett's initial meeting with agency directors, it is anticipated he will be scheduling meetings with boards and commissions in the near future.

































Sneak Peek at New PGFD Pink/Lavender Pumper

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

The reaction from citizens and residents across the region has been over whelminging positive to our fleet of pink fire and EMS units.  Prince George's County Firefighters and Paramedics have committed many hours to help raise the awareness and funds for a cure of Breast Cancer.  With the support of Fire Chief Bashoor, the Fire/EMS Department has committed to being proactive with awareness 365 days a year by keeping some of apparatus pink in color.  We have expanded our fleet of units from just one pink pumper to soon having 2 pumpers and a medic unit.

Our pink fleet has attended many cancer awareness events not only in Prince George's County but also across the region.  We are constantly receiving requests for our pink fleet to attend events and we strive to accommodate as many requests as possible.  Keep in mind that these are not reserve units, these are front line apparatus that respond to emergency calls every day.

One of the most commonly asked questions is why just the color pink??  There are many other forms of cancer that could also use some awareness to find a cure and to encourage people to have check-ups and tests.  Cancer in the fire service is also a matter of high concern and is one of the leading causes of death among current and retired firefighters.  We hear compassionate stories every day about all types of cancer and agree that all cancers need awareness.

While our membership remains committed to breast cancer which almost everyone can relate to either personally, family member, friend, co-worker, etc., our newest addition to the pink fleet, scheduled for delivery in the next couple of months, will have an additional color added that represents all cancers.

Lavender has been nationally accepted as the color to represent all cancers.  A lavender stripe has been added to the new Pierce Pumper which remains predominately pink.  "If just one person sees one of our pink fleet of apparatus either at an event or responding on a call motivating that person to have an annual check-up or reminds them to do a monthly self-check, than we have accomplished our goal," said Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor.  "We understand the immense responsibility we have accepted in promoting cancer awareness year round and it is a challenge we are willing to take on."

The image of our new pink pumper below shows the recently added lavender stripe.  This unit is still in production and is scheduled for delivery later this year.






Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Emergency Services Award - Volunteer Deputy Chief Chris Saputo


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

Christopher Saputo, a Volunteer Deputy Chief with the Landover Hills Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. was presented with an Emergency Services Award today.  Prince George’s County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor presented the award to Saputo with Volunteer Chief John Roberts and station crew in attendance while at the Landover Hills Fire/EMS Station.

Saputo and Bashoor
Bashoor started the award presentation by telling Saputo,  “Congratulations on receiving a Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department Emergency Services Award.”

Volunteer Deputy Chief Saputo was awarded for his actions on Thursday, May 29, 2014, while returning from Maryland Shock Trauma; he was flagged down by bystanders requesting his assistance for a motor vehicle accident on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway just outside the City of Baltimore.  

He responded to find a male driver trapped inside a pickup truck that had veered off the road and into some trees.  Fire had spread from the engine compartment to the passenger area and the undercarriage.  Donning his personal protective equipment and self-contained breathing apparatus, he approached the truck.  The victim was conscious and able to move his upper body, but his legs were pinned.  The vehicle’s damaged cab prevented Saputo from opening the doors.  Without the protection of a hose line and operating by himself, Saputo placed himself in harm’s way and continued efforts to rescue the victim.  However, the fully engulfed passenger compartment forced him to retreat.  Sadly, despite his valiant efforts and the fire department’s quick response and knockdown of the fire, the victim was declared deceased on the scene. 

Chief Bashoor closed by saying to Saputo, “For your performance on this incident, which demonstrated courage in the face of danger, you are hereby awarded a Fire/EMS Department Emergency Service Award.  Your actions reflect favorably on you, the Landover Hills Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., and the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department."


Landover Hills Volunteer Chief John Roberts, Vol. Deputy Chief Saputo and County Fire Chief Bashoor

Monday, July 28, 2014

McClelland is PGFD's Newest Deputy Fire Chief

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

James “Jim” McClelland, a longtime volunteer member will report to work this week at the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department Headquarters in Largo as a Deputy Fire Chief.  For the first time in many years, he will have both a new employer and title.

The largest and busiest combination—career, civilian and volunteer—system in the country, the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department has 45 stations and annually responds to more than 130,000 calls.  It employs over 800 firefighters, paramedics and civilians and has about 1600 volunteer members. 

Jim McClelland was appointed as Deputy Fire Chief by County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, and will head the Volunteer Services Command.  While this is a salaried position, he had been serving in a non-salaried position as Assistant Fire Chief and Volunteer Operations Commander for the Department.  He reported to both emergency and non-emergency scenes, where he commanded or assisted in the command of incidents.

McClelland was working at the University of Maryland but retired from there after accepting this appointment.  McClelland replaces Frank Underwood who was the first to be appointed as the Commander of the Volunteer Services and served nearly two years until his departure in 2013.  The position has remained vacant since that time. 

McClelland has been a member of the Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire Department since October 1970, having served in a variety of capacities that include line officer, command officer, and executive officer.  He also served 14 years as Deputy Chief, 24 years as Chief, and President for 6 years.  Jim represents the third of four generations serving in the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department.  In April 1991, he was appointed to the position of Volunteer Division Chief and Volunteer Major in December 2000.   

McClelland has served in other leadership roles within the County’s fire service, including 12 years as Vice Chairman of the Prince George’s County Volunteer Chiefs’ Council and 3 years as the Chairman.  He has also served on numerous committees, task forces and work groups and currently chairs the Communication Work Group and co-chairs  the 57th Avenue SIT Implementation Task.

In 2001, James McClelland was inducted into the Prince George’s County Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association’s Hall of Fame and selected as the Maryland State Firemen’s Association “2003 Firefighter of the Year.”  

McClelland resides in Bowie, Maryland.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

POTENTIAL FOR SEVERE WEATHER TODAY - STAY INFORMED!!!



MEDIA CONTACT: MARK E. BRADY, CHIEF SPOKESPERSON, 240-508-7930
MEBRADY@CO.PG.MD.US     @PGFDPIO




The National Weather Service has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for Prince George's County and surrounding jurisdictions. There is a potential for sever weather this afternoon and evening.  


The Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department urges everyone to take
appropriate measures to stay safe if sever weather does occur. Become familiar with how to stay safe and monitor local media reports for breaking weather news,


THE FOLLOWING IS THIS MORNINGS FORECAST FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE:

HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
732 AM EDT SUN JUL 27 2014

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR THE MARYLAND PORTION OF THE
CHESAPEAKE BAY...TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER...AND ADJACENT COUNTIES IN
CENTRAL MARYLAND AND NORTHERN VIRGINIA AS WELL AS THE DISTRICT OF
COLUMBIA.

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT

THUNDERSTORMS ARE LIKELY TODAY AND TONIGHT. THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE
CAPABLE OF PRODUCING DAMAGING WIND GUSTS...LARGE HAIL...ISOLATED
TORNADOES AND LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL THAT COULD LEAD TO FLASH
FLOODING. THE MOST LIKELY TIME FOR THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WILL
DURING THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING HOURS.

A SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT FOR THE WATERS THIS AFTERNOON
AND EVENING. A SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY CONTINUES LATE TONIGHT FOR THE
MARYLAND CHESAPEAKE BAY FROM SANDY POINT TO SMITH POINT AND THE
LOWER TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER FROM COBB ISLAND TO SMITH POINT.



It is important that everyone monitors local media updates concerning the weather.

Keep your phones, tablets and laptops charged to capacity throughout today.

Take appropriate actions for safety before, during and after the storms.

Have your emergency kit prepared and ready.

For additional information on how to stay safe visit:

READY.GOV

The Weather Channel

Stay Informed - Stay Ready - Stay Safe!!!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Brad Paisley Pays Tribute to Firefighters with Song - Hails from a Firefighting Family!!!


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

Brad Paisley has always been a favorite country performer but his popularity amongst firefighters just went red hot.  Who knew Paisley is part of a firefighting family??  Paisley's family includes firefighters starting with his father.  So he didn't need to go far for inspiration for a song about firefighters, "All In," is featured in the upcoming Disney Film, "Planes: Fire & Rescue."  


"My father's a firefighter," Paisley said in promotion for the children's film. "He was my whole life. And my brother-in-law and several family members are firefighters. I was really honored to pay tribute to them. I sat down after seeing a rough cut of the movie and it came to me very quickly."  The entire Rolling Stone interview can be read by clicking here.

A recent USA TODAY article had these quotes from Brad;

"The movie is essentially a tribute to firefighters told through these planes," says Paisley, 41. "When John pitched the idea, he said it was a way of paying tribute to my dad. My brother-in-law is also a firefighter in Tennessee. These guys run toward the problem that everyone else is fleeing from."  Paisley's childhood in Glen Dale, W.Va., was dominated by the firefighter lifestyle. His father, 65, was the assistant chief of the local volunteer force and an emergency medical technician.

Firefighters were Paisley's heroes and he recalls the many visits to the station.
"My earliest memories are on these fire trucks," says Paisley. "There are more photographs of me from age 5 to 10 on these fire engines than there are photographs of me on birthdays."

Even on family vacations his father used to seek out the local fire department and ask to check out the trucks. Paisley says if he wasn't sidetracked by success as a musician in Nashville, he might have gone into the profession.

Being part of a firefighters family means you are part of an extended family of firefighters everywhere.  I often tell family members that if they ever get into a jam, wherever you are at, go to the nearest fire station.  Brad Paisley is already part of a firefighting family and is welcome anytime in Prince George's County, Maryland.  Brad - you have an open invitation to visit with our family of firefighters and ride along with us at any time.  

If things don't work out for you with singing, we have a spot for you here as a Fire Fighter in Prince George's County, Maryland. (:


Image from USA TODAY shows Paisley temporarily trading the cowboy hat for a fire helmet during a viewing of the upcoming Disney film "Planes: Fire & Rescue"



"All In" featured in the upcoming Disney film "Planes: Fire & Rescue"

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Potential for Hazardous Weather Today - Stay Informed-Ready-Safe

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

The weather forecast for Tuesday, July 15, includes the potential for strong to severe storms that could result in Flash Flooding.  

Here is today's Hazardous Weather Outlook from the National Weather Service (NWS).

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT

THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED...ESPECIALLY THIS AFTERNOON AND
EVENING. THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE CAPABLE OF PRODUCING DAMAGING WIND
GUSTS AND HEAVY DOWNPOURS THAT COULD LEAD TO LOCALIZED FLASH
FLOODING.

Anticipate the NWS to post warnings later today concerning thunderstorms and flash flooding.  Please keep informed about today's weather.  Monitor local media for updates.

For safety information on thunderstorms and lightening we want to refer you to our partners at FEMA, please, click here.

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.
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 in high water, DON'T PANIC, leave your car and seek higher ground, if you can do so safely and call 911.
Stay informed about the storm and possible flooding by listening to your NOAA weather radio, commercial radio or television.
STAY INFORMED - STAY READY - STAY SAFE!!!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

More Proof - Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives and Property - 5 Home Fires within 48 Hours


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


Several house fires across Prince George’s County over the past weekend have disrupted the lives of many residents, however, no one was hurt.  There is no connection to any of these fires except that in 3 of these 5 incidents a working smoke alarm is credited with alerting the occupants of a fire.

On Friday morning, July 11, firefighters from Accokeek responded to a report from an alarm company that they were receiving an activated fire alarm coming from a home in the 3100 block of Bryan Point Road.  Upon arrival firefighters saw smoke inside the house and immediately took action.  No one was home at the time an a electrical appliance, a dehumidifier, malfunctioned and ignited a fire in the basement.  Firefighters were able to quickly contain the fire and limited fire loss estimates to $5,000.  With no one being home and without that smoke alarm the fire would have grown until a neighbor or passerby could see flames and smoke coming from the house.  No injuries occurred at this incident.

25th Avenue scene by Trevor James on Twitter
Later on Friday, at about 2:35 pm, a smoke alarm emitted a warning to occupants of a 1-story, with basement, duplex in the 6700 block of 25th Avenue in West Hyattsville.  Firefighters from the Chillum Fire/EMS Station were the first to arrive with heavy smoke issuing from the house.  A fire in the basement was located and extinguished.  The occupants, escaped unharmed after hearing the smoke alarms warning.  Two pets, a dog and a rabbit, were removed by firefighters and were not injured.  Fire loss is estimated at $20,000 and the cause remains under investigation.  9 adults, 2 children and 2 pets are displaced and are being assisted by the County Citizen Services Unit (CSU) and the American Red Cross (ARC).

Fire showing from roof of townhouse on Grenfell Pl.
Photo by Laura Bashoor
Just after 4:30 pm firefighters from the Bowie area operated at the scene of a townhouse fire in the 13900 block of Grenfell Place.  No one was home at the time of the fire.  It appears a fire started on the exterior rear of the house, extended up the rear wall bypassing any smoke alarms and sprinklers, and entered the attic.  Firefighters arrived with fire showing from the top floor.  A 2nd alarm was sounded bringing a total of about 75 firefighters to the scene.  The fire was extinguished with 30 minutes of arrival.  The family of 5 adults, 5 children and 1 dog are displaced and are being assisted by CSU and the ARC.  Fire loss is estimated at $200,000 and the cause is accidental3 of these 5 incidents resulted in a working smoke alarm. 

Just before 9:30 pm firefighters were alerted to a house fire in the 8700 block of 21st Place in Adelphi.  A malfunctioning gas dryer in the basement had ignited a fire, which activated a working smoke alarm.  Six adults and one child escaped safely and without injury thanks to the warning sounded by the alarm.  It took about 15 minutes to extinguish the fire with fire loss estimated at $15,000.  The family is displaced and being assisted by the CSU and ARC.

Fort Washington house well involved with fire.
Photo by Assistant Fire Chief S. White
An early morning fire destroyed a vacant 2-story house in Fort Washington.   The 2-story structure in the 200 block of St. Andrews Place was well involved upon arrival at about 5:30 Sunday morning with firefighters taking a defensive exterior position preventing the fire from extending to other structures.  This fire remains under investigation and fire loss is estimated at $250,000.









A working smoke alarm played a role in 3 of theses 5 incidents.  The early warning ushered all occupants out of burning structures without injury and allowed early notification to firefighters that arrived quickly, extinguished the fire and minimized the amount of fire loss.  With all occupants out of the structures and no reports of any humans trapped, firefighters focused their primary attention to extinguishing the fire.  Entire searches of the homes were conducted, however, without the urgency of searching for a trapped occupant.  This action reduced the risk of injury to firefighters.

Of the 3 incidents involving working smoke alarms, total fire loss is estimated at $40,000.  The 2 incidents where it is undetermined if a smoke alarm was present, fire loss is estimated at $450,000. 

Working smoke alarm incidents did result in the families being displaced, however, these will be short term.  The other 2 incidents will be long-term displacements.

Throughout all of these incidents, no injuries to civilians or any firefighters operating on the fire ground were reported.

Smoke alarms save lives, can reduce the amount damage your property suffers and the amount of time you will be displaced.  A working smoke alarm combined with a family escape plan increases the chances of you and your family surviving a home fire by over 50%.  A working smoke alarm, escape plan and a residential sprinkler system increase your chances of survival by over 80%.

The Fire/EMS Department highly recommends that families install a 10-year, tamper proof, with hush feature smoke alarm on every level of your home (this will be a law effective January 1, 2015).  Test your alarm on the first day of every month to ensure it is working, additionally, design and practice a home escape plan identifying two ways out of every room in your home in addition to a meeting place outside.

A better option to installing just a smoke alarm is to purchase and install a combination smoke/carbon monoxide alarm with a 10-year tamper proof battery and install one on every level of your home and especially in areas where occupants sleep.  By doing so, you will be compliant with our CO law (effective July 1, 2014) and our new smoke alarm law requiring the 10-year style alarm by January 1, 2015 as well as providing the best protection possible for you and your family.  Visit your local hardware or home improvement store today.