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Thursday, December 31, 2015

PGFD Social Media Review for 2015

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

This is a review of the social media networks maintained by the Public Information Office of the Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department for calendar year 2015.

On behalf of all the civilian, volunteer and career staff of the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department we wish you a Happy and Safe New Year!!!

FACEBOOK - https://www.facebook.com/PGFDPAGE/


330 average page visits weekly - 17,160 page visits  for 2015
20,000 average total reach weekly - 1,040,000 total reach in 2015
2,500 average people engaged weekly - 130,000 people engaged in 2015

TOP 5 Stories on www.PGFDNEWS.com

1.     Retired PGFD Deputy Fire Chief Carla D. Blue Passes Away - 10,495 views
2.     Firefighter Injured Battling Townhouse Fire - 3,454 views
3.     Death Notification of Don "Patch" Aker, Jr. - 3,398 views
4.     PGFD Townhouse Fire - father crashes rushing back to his children home alone - 2,610 views
5.     Helping a PGFD Fire Lieutenant and Family - 2,306 views

Youtube Account -  PGFD800

Top 5 Viewed Videos for 2014

@PGFDPIO Twitter Account for 2015

2,814 Tweets in 2015 - average of 7.7 tweets per day

9,216,000 Total Impressions

3,001 New Followers 

12,500 Total Followers

Top Follower followed by 1.41M people

@katiecouric FOLLOWS YOU
Likes: Coffee everything, Ellie, Carrie, JPMs, NYC, the beach, burrata & bacon. Dislikes: You know who you are.  Global Anchor. 

Top Tweet earned 49.5K impressions

2 pieces of fire apparatus have been lost to this fire. No serious injuries
 36  274  80

Monday, December 28, 2015

PGFD Promotions

The following promotions were announced on December 24, 2015.  Congratulations to all.

Executive Administrative Aide - Effective 1/10/16
Mary Blocker (Provisional Appointment)

Fire Fighter/Paramedic Assistant Fire Chiefs (Majors) Effective 1/10/16
Gary Krichbaum
Brian Frankel

Fire Fighter/Paramedic Lieutenants - Effective 12/27/15
Marvin Perry
Mathew Yarish
Michael Brown
Donald Degraves
Stephanie Bunce

Fire Fighter Lieutenant - Effective 12/27/15
Patrick Feehley

Paramedic Lieutenant - Effective 12/27/15
Amanda Garrett

Fire Fighter/Paramedic Technicians - Effective 1/10/16
Kyle Welch
Jonathan Diiorio
Kevin Wittmer
Michael Bridgett
Ryan Sekuterski
Lauren Foreman

Fire Fighter Technician - Effective 1/10/16
Ryan Aikens
Carl Buchheister III 
Marcuse Marshall
Kenneth Fusco Jr
Timothy Barden
Jonathan Lopez
James Broughton
William Terry

Leave Backyard Fireworks Out of Your New Year Celebrations

Leave Backyard Fireworks Out of Your New Year Celebrations

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

The goal of the Fire/EMS Department is not to dampen the celebration of a New Year - our goal is to keep you safe from hazards that you may not think of.  The use of fireworks on New Years Eve into New Years Day is second only to the Fourth of July.   Citizens, residents and visitors should be aware that the use of all consumer fireworks in Prince George's County is illegal.  Firefighters and Paramedics recommend that you leave the pyrotechnics to the experts and leave consumer purchased fireworks out of your celebration planning.

Prince George’s County has banned the sale, use and possession of these fireworks based on the danger to our citizens caused by the misuse of these products.  The danger is particularly high and a matter of concern for firefighters and paramedics as many New Year celebrations involve the consumption of alcohol.  Alcohol may impair the judgement and common sense of the most well-intentioned individual and cause injury to themselves or innocent by-standers and ignite a fire.

The Law in Prince George’s County.

• It is illegal for any person to manufacture, possess, store, offer for sale, sell, discharge, use, burn, or explode any fireworks in Prince George's County, Maryland, except that an authorized display may be conducted by a licensed pyrotechnic professional. Penalties for violations of the law include a fine of up to $1,000 and/or six months in jail.

• Each year, thousands of people are injured and some killed in accidents involving the use of fireworks. These primarily involve those fireworks classified as 1.4g explosives by the U.S. Department of Transportation, commonly referred to as "consumer fireworks." 

Remember, SAFETY FIRST, will ensure everyone goes home.

Keep in mind that other jurisdictions allow the use of certain consumer fireworks.  Do not be confused with our law in Prince George's County, regardless of where they are purchased legally, you can not transport or use retail fireworks - all fireworks are illegal in Prince George's County.  

If you purchased or possess fireworks and are in Prince George's County call 301-583-2200 to surrender your items.  A member of the County Office of the Fire Marshal will come to pick up your fireworks without fear of prosecution.

Some neighboring jurisdictions can legally sell fireworks.  Fireworks are being sold in some big box warehouse stores, among other places - they are illegal to transport and use in Prince George's County.

Some neighboring jurisdictions can legally sell fireworks.  Fireworks are being sold in big box warehouse stores, among other places - they are illegal to transport and use in Prince George's County.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Celebrate the Holidays Safely - Candle Safety

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 igniting 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, only only a few designated adults should use candles.

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. 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 311.

BBQ Safety Tips for Christmas Day???

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

Grill Safety

A typical Christmas Day fire/EMS safety tip would include cooking safety focusing on indoor cooking.  I have never included reminders on how to safely use your BBQ grill and how to dispose of used charcoal briquettes in December!!!  However, warmer than usual temperatures have prompted some to consider firing up the grill and cooking outside for the Eve and Christmas Day.  

PGFD recommends that you exercise caution and keep safety in mind when setting up, using and cleaning your BBQ grill.   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.

On behalf of the entire Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department we sit you Have a safe and Merry Christmas and Holiday Season!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Clinton Fire Fatality Update from December 5 - Tippett Road

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

Fire Investigators from the Prince George’s County Office of the Fire Marshal have been investigating a fire and death that occurred at 11317 Tippett Road Clinton, MD since Saturday, December 5, 2015 at 5:05:00 AM.

Public Safety Communications received a 911 call from a resident at 11317 Tippett Road Clinton, Maryland. The resident reported that a trailer was on fire in her yard and someone was possibly trapped inside.

Firefighters and paramedics responded and arrived to report a fire fully involving a camping trailer fire. Fire suppression units extinguished the trailer fire and located a deceased person inside.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner – State of Maryland, concluded the cause of death was from the fire and smoke.

The deceased has been identified as Joel David Polhemus, DOB 6/8/1971, of Clinton.

The fire loss is estimated at $30,000. The exact cause of the fire remains under investigation however accidental causes are being considered. 

This is the third residential fire fatality occurring in Prince George’s County this calendar year.  The other two incidents are:

PGFD Battled 3 Home Fire Tuesday Evening - No Injuries

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

Prince George’s County Firefighters battled three home fires on Tuesday evening.  Fortunately, no one was injured, however, each home suffered some damage.

The first fire occurred just before 4:30 pm in the 3900 block of Billings Place in Suitland.  Firefighters arrived at the 2-story single family home with fire coming from the windows on the side of the house.  Firefighters had the fire extinguished within 10 minutes of arrival.  The fire appears to have started in the kitchen on the first floor with some extension to the second floor.  The cause of the fire is undetermined.  Fire loss is estimated at $150,000.  Tragically, the family dog perished in the fire.

While firefighters were still committed to the fire on Billings Place another house fire was dispatched at around 5:50 pm in the 1100 block of Balboa Avenue in Capitol Heights.  Firefighters filling in at empty stations from the Billings Place fire were dispatched and among the first arriving units.  Firefighters quickly extinguished a fire that appears to have started in a utility closet.  The cause of this fire is undetermined with fire loss estimated at $10,000. 

The third house fire of the evening occurred at about 10:15 pm at an Oxon Hill home in the 7500 block of Abbington Drive.  Firefighters arrived to find a small fire in the living room of a house.  The fire of undetermined origin was quickly extinguished.  Fire loss is estimated at $5,000.

Families Acquainted by Tragic Crash Meet Again at PGFD Hyattsville Fire/EMS Station

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

To put this event into perspective we need to provide some background on how these families met at Childrens National Medical Center.  As previously reported:

“A horrific and tragic incident occurred on the evening of Sunday, November 8, 2015.  A crash on Chillum Road had initially claimed the lives of 4 people including 1 child.  14 others were transported to area hospitals some in critical condition.  This mass casualty incident was one of the worst the Department has experienced in recent memory considering the number of patients (18), fatalities (4) and the severity of injuries (8 in critical-life threatening).”  Since the crash another child succumbed to his injuries and an pregnant female lost her unborn child.

On December 21, volunteer and career members of the Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department and the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department hosted a reunion between members of a family that were involved in the incident and a family they met while staying at Children’s National Medical Center. Carrie Jenkins was in the hospital with her son, Brayden, when they had the opportunity to meet one of the children that was involved in the Chillum Road crash. Little Dianna made such an impression on Mrs. Jenkins that when she returned to her home in Virginia she decided to enlist the help of her friends and family for donations. Mrs. Jenkins then contacted reporter Jeannette Reyes of WJLA News 7/News Channel 8.  Reyes worked with Dave Iannone, Hayttsville Volunteer President, and Fourth Battalion Commander Michael Glaubitz to arrange and coordinate a meeting between the two families.  

At the Hyattsville Fire/EMS Station 801 that reunion occurred on December 21. There were dozens of presents that The Jenkins Family had purchased from their collected donations.  Jenkins and her two sons, Luke and Carter, were able to share these gifts with Little Dianna, her brother Junior and their father, Fredy.  

The volunteer and career firefighters and paramedics from the Hyattsville Station were on hand to host the event along with Stations 834 Chillum –Adelphi, Station 844 Chillum, Station 855 Bunker Hill, Santa and Battalion Chief 884.  Some of the Firefighter/Medics attending the reunion were working the night of the tragic crash.