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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Firefighters House Small Lost Dog Until Owner is Located

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

Most everyone knows that all Prince George's County Fire/EMS Stations are "Safe Places."  Safe Place is a program that quickly connects youth and others in crisis to help, through Fire/EMS stations designated as “Safe Places.” These resources help runaways and others resolve their crises and remain in a stable environment, safe from predators and with appropriate help.

To this point we have only welcomed humans into the program, however, just after midnight Thanksgiving morning, a four-legged hairy little dog walked into one of Safe Place stations.  Firefighters at the St. Joes Fire/EMS Station describe the dog as a Yorkie, well-groomed and nourished.  Obviously someone within the community of Springdale is missing their pet.

The dog has been temporarily named "Gizmo" and is being affectionately tended to by firefighters by drying him off, warming him and providing food and water.  This morning at day break firefighters went door-to-door to homes near the fire station asking if anyone was missing their dog or if they recognized him.  Having no luck in locating the owner they went back to the station and requested the department to post the picture on their social media network in an attempt to find the owner.  If all these efforts fail the dog will be brought to a facility on Friday to see if has an embedded chip.  Until than, firefighters will continue to take care of "Gizmo."

If anyone recognizes "Gizmo" he can be found at the St. Joes Fire/EMS Station #806, 2900 block of St. Josephs Drive in Springdale.  Call first at 301-883-7706.

PGFD Firefighter/Medics Continue Delivering a Special Thanksgiving

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

Prince George’s County Firefighter/Medics continued their good will in the spirit of Thanksgiving on Wednesday evening and made the day brighter for two Bowie families.

Earlier this week the Bowie Giant Food Store #330 donated food products to the firefighter/medics at the Northview Fire/EMS Station 816 on Health Center Drive.  While the personnel were extremely appreciative they knew someone else could use the food more than they could.  They searched for a member of the community that could use some help to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner.

During their search they found not one but two families that did not have the resources to plan for a Thanksgiving dinner.  One family has a mom, not currently employed, that is taking care of her young daughter who is battling cancer.  The second family included a grandmother with custody of her four grandchildren.

Firefighters had enough food donated by Giant for 1 and ½ families.  A collection was taken up amongst firefighters and raised more than enough money to fill out two entire Thanksgiving dinners.

Firefighters recognized that cooking the dinner could prove to be a burden to these very busy families so both entire meals were prepared and cooked at the Northview Fire/EMS Station and delivered to the two homes on Thanksgiving Eve.  Fire Fighter Ryan Ferriter was the head chef and prepared the turkeys on the grill.

Fire Fighter/Medic Captain Jason Wiseman assisted in delivering the dinners stated, “The family did not need to speak a word, we could see the gratitude in their faces.  Both visits were emotional for both the family and our crew.”

Children took advantage of fire engines sitting in front of their house and were provided an exclusive opportunity for a tour.

Again, firefighter/medics made the Holiday a bit brighter for families in need and help bolster the pride every member of this Fire/EMS Department shares for these good deeds.  Fourth Battalion Firefighter/Medics were able to gather a complete meal and deliver it to a Mount Rainier family yesterday, all within hours of being alerted to the family’s plight.

Firefighters/Medics along with our public safety partners will be delivering food baskets to pre-identified homes, as we get closer to the Christmas Holiday.  This is the 30th Anniversary of the Public Safety Assistance Program that is planning on delivering over 1500 food baskets this year.

Photos are courtesy of Firefighter/Medic Captain Jason Wiseman

The first family visited included a mother and her young daughter that is battling cancer.

The young daughter takes full advantage of a fire engine in her front yard.
Mom and daughter enjoying a moment on the engine.

The second family included a grandmother taking care of her four grandchildren.
Fire Fighter Ryan Ferriter coordinated the cooking of two full dinners that were delivered to Bowie families.
 I understand his grilled turkeys were the best!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

PGFD Firefighter/Medics Deliver More Than Thanksgiving Dinner to Families

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

A Mount Rainier family was the recipient of a full Thanksgiving meal courtesy of Prince George’s County Firefighter/Medics.  

On Tuesday evening a social worker contacted the Fire/EMS Department and described a family in need.  The social worker had distributed several food baskets amongst needy families in the Rainier Manor Apartments in Mount Rainier but only learned of another family while she was there.  She had exhausted her resources and had nowhere else to turn, so she called the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department. 

The family, 2 adults and 2 grown special needs children, needs were quickly passed on to the Fourth Battalion Commander late Tuesday evening.   Battalion Chief Brian Frankel immediately responded without hesitation to accept the task of providing for the family.

Wednesday morning Frankel informed his Fourth Battalion Firefighter/Medics about the family.  A collection was taken up amongst the firefighters who proceeded to go grocery shopping.  The firefighters shopped at the Hyattsville Giant Food Store #334.   Assistant Store Manager Tabatha Strickland heard what the firefighters were doing and donated a $25 gift card to go along with the food basket.

At around 12 noon today Battalion Chief Frankel and his Fourth Battalion Firefighters delivered a bountiful feast ready for Thanksgiving Day preparation.  The family of four, apartment complex management, the social worker and neighbors of the family thanked the firefighters for their generosity, compassion and ability to respond within such a short time period.

Congratulations and Thanksgiving to the personnel involved in today's delivery of food to a needy family.  You also delivered good will and and a sense of immense pride amongst your peers.

Another act of Thanksgiving will occur around 6:00 pm this evening when Firefighter/Medics from the Northview Fire/EMS Station #816 will deliver another bountiful basket to a Bowie family.  The Giant Food Store #330 donated the Thanksgiving Dinner to be used by the firefighters that work Thanksgiving Day.  The firefighters are extremely grateful to Giant Food, however, will donate the dinner to a Bowie family.  More on this story later.

Firefighter/Medics will also be delivering Holiday Food Baskets along with our Public Safety Partners as we get closer to the Christmas Holiday.  The Public Safety Assistance Program will deliver over 1500 food baskets to the families in need.  More to follow on this as well.

4th Battalion Firefighters with a Mount Rainier family that will now be able to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal.

Partial Collapse of Commercial Building in Upper Marlboro

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

A portion of a wall, floor and parking lot of a 2-story commercial building collapsed resulting in closure of businesses.  Sometime after 8:00 pm, Tuesday and daylight today, a portion of wall and floor of 14601 Main Street in Upper Marlboro collapsed.  The building, originally constructed in 1948 has an older bowling alley in the basement.  Fortunately no one was injured due to business being closed when the collapse occurred.

The Fire/EMS Department and the Departments Collapse Team responded at about 9:30 am.  A collapse perimeter was established, a portion of Main Street was closed and businesses attached or near the collapse zone were evacuated with utilities terminated. 

Building Inspectors from the County Department of Permits, Inspections and Enforcement (DPIE) arrived and declared that 14601 and 14603 Main Street were uninhabitable.  The Ledo’s Restaurant at 14605 Main Street was allowed to re-open.  Officials from DPIE were working on determining the extent of damage and cause of the collapse.

Notices posted by Building Inspectors (Brady)

The partial wall collapse (Brady)

The front side of buildings effected (Brady)

Wall & floor damage in building as well as asphalt damage against building  (Paul Gomez)

(Paul Gomez)

Inside looking out (Paul Gomez)

PGFD Safety Tip of the Day - Candles

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

The fire service has seen an increase in home fires with the popularity and increased use of candles.  Combine the everyday popularity with the increased use during the Holiday Season where candles play an important role in religious celebrations and the chances of a candle ignighting a fire increases.   December is the peak time of year for home candle fires.  In December, across the country, 13% of home candle fires begin with decorations compared to 4% the rest of the year.

The Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department is providing safety tips from the United States Fire Administration to help eliminate preventable candle fires and keep Safety First to ensure everyone goes home.  On average there are 42 home candle fire reported every day.

Causes and Circumstances of Home Candle Fires

  • More than half of all candle fires start when something that could burn, such as furniture, mattresses or bedding, curtains, or decorations is too close to the candle.
  • In one-fifth (20%) of candle fires, the candles are unattended or abandoned.
  • Over one-third (36%) of home candle fires begin in the bedroom.
  • Falling asleep is a factor in 12% of home candle fires and 36% of the associated deaths.
  • December is the peak time of year for home candle fires.  In December, 13% of home candle fires begin with decorations compared to 4% the rest of the year.
  • One-half of home candle fire deaths occur between Midnight and 6 am.
  • Young children and older adults have the highest death risk from candle fires.
  • The risk of fatal candle fires appears higher when candles are used for light.

Sources: NFIRS, NFPA


  • Consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell and fell like real candles
  • If you do use candles, ensure they are in sturdy metal, glass or ceramic holders and placed where they cannot be easily knocked down.
  • Avoid using candles in bedrooms and sleeping areas.
  • Extinguish candles after use and before going to bed.
  • Keep candles at least 12 inches from anything that can burn.
  • Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Set a good example by using matches, lighters and fire carefully.
  • Children should never be allowed to play with matches, lighters or candles.
  • Never use a candle where medical oxygen is being used. The two can combine to create a large, unexpected fire.
  • Always use a flashlight – not a candle – for emergency lighting.
  • Never put candles on a Christmas tree.
  • When using in home worship, don't place lit candles in windows, where blinds and curtains can close over them, or pass handheld candles from one person to another. To lower the risk of fire, candles should be used by only a few designated adults.
  • And NEVER leave burning candles unattended!
Remember!  Candle fires are PREVENTABLE!

In the event of a fire, remember time is the biggest enemy and every second counts!

Escape first, and then call for help. Develop a home fire escape plan and practice it frequently with
your family.  Designate a meeting place outside. Make sure everyone in the family knows two ways to escape from every room.

Finally, as in every season, have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms installed on every level of your home, test them monthly and keep them clean and equipped with fresh batteries at all times. We strongly encourage the use of 10-year, tamper proof, with hush feature smoke and CO alarms.

Know when and how to call for help. And remember to practice your home escape plan.  
The Prince George's County Safety First Program will provide County residents with a working smoke alarm and install one for you, free of charge.  Simply call our Safety First Smoke Alarm Program at 301-864-SAFE (7233) or call 311.

Please watch this music video by Blake Shelton.  It is an excellent example of what can and will go wrong when you leave candles burning unattended.  It only takes one misplaced or unattended candle to cause this type of damage.