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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Crash Claims Mans Family 3 Years Ago Returns to Thank Firefighter/Medics

On Monday, September 8, 2014, Kerne T. Andries visited Headquarters of the Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department to personally deliver a letter to me.  In August of 2011, Mr. Andries was the driver of a van that was involved in a crash on the median strip of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway in Beltsville.  Everyone in the van suffered injury; his wife, infant son, and stepdaughter did not survive.

Since recovering from his physical injuries, Andries has been on a quest to find out as much information as possible about the accident.  He obtained a copy of the police report and subsequently conducted an internet search that which led him to the Fire/EMS Department News site and Media Release about the incident.  He expressed gratitude for our Media Release that provided a narrative of the incident, which helped him better understand what occurred.  As part of his emotional healing process, he is reaching out to thank the firefighters and paramedics who responded on that fateful morning.

After introducing him to Chief Bashoor, Kerne shared with us his feelings about the tragedy and where he is at this point in his life.  Chief Bashoor presented him with a Fire/EMS Department challenge coin and thanked him for his visit.

With Mr. Andries’ permission, I have attached a copy of his heartfelt letter and encourage everyone to take a moment to read it.  Perhaps, it will help providers understand what patients go through in the years following a traumatic incident such as this one.

Anyone who wishes to communicate with Kerne Andries may contact me for his information.

Mark E. Brady
Chief Spokesperson/PIO
Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department
9201 Basil CT #452
Largo, MD 20774
Twitter: @PGFDPIO

Original PGFD Press Release can be found by clicking here.

Press Release - Unit Citation awarded to crews assigned to the incident.

Kerne Andries with Fire Chief Bashoor.

9/11 Memorial Stair Climb and 5K Walk/Run is this Saturday

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

The events of September 11, 2001, have left us with memories and images that will be forever remembered.  Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives that day including 343 firefighters.  That day changed America.   People remember and memorialize the anniversary of these attacks in many different ways. 

For the past 4 years the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department has held an event on or near the date of September 11.  Personnel have climbed 110 stories (symbolic of the number of stories of the World Trade Center).   9/11 Stair Climbs and the 5K walk/run events serve as a memorial to the 343 Firefighters that made the ultimate sacrifice that day.  These events are open to both firefighters and civilians alike! Both groups come together to help us honor and remember the brave firefighters who died in the line of duty on September 11, 2001.

Each participant registers for a nominal fee of $30.  All proceeds from this event go to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF).  The United States Congress created the NFFF to lead a nationwide effort to remember America's fallen firefighters. Since 1992, the tax-exempt, nonprofit Foundation has developed and expanded programs to honor our fallen fire heroes and assist their families and coworkers.

The first 343 people to register and participate in the climb or walk will receive lunch, a numbered challenge coin and a polo shirt.

The Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, located in Emmitsburg, Maryland. It is registered as a corporation in the State of Maryland. The Foundation receives funding through private donations from caring individuals, organizations, corporations, and foundations.

The Stair Climb and 5K walk/run will be held again at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.  The cooperative efforts between the Fire/EMS Department, Gaylord National Resort and the NFFF have been phenomenal and the results will be clearly evident on the day of the event.

Everyone is invited to attend to participate or just enjoy the companionship of others.  To pre-register click here.

WHAT:           Stair Climb and 5K Walk/Run in Honor of 9/11

WHEN:           Saturday, September 13, 2014, registration opens 7:00am, events start at 8:00am

WHERE:         Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, National Harbor, Convention Center Entrance (near the Pineapple Fountain). 

WHO:             Over 400 pre-registered climbers and walkers, members of public safety from across the National Capital Region, elected and civic leaders, members of the NFFF, Gaylord National Resort management and staff and many other family, friends and guests.