MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
The Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department has obtained the use of a vacant mall, Market Place Mall, in Bowie, Maryland for large-scale interior firefighter training. The owner of the mall is allowing the Department to conduct live exercises in and around the structure. No live burns are scheduled at this time.
Battalion Chief Christian B. Wargo is the PGFD point of contact with the Developer and will be the PGFD Market Place Project Manager. Over this three month period, companies will attend the training during one of three operational periods held six-days a week (rotating Saturdays and Sundays), 0700-1100 Hours; 1200-1500 Hours; 1700-2100 Hours. Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor said, "While the bulk of the training will be geared towards commercial structure fires, I encourage officers to review procedures on commercial structure fires, long-line deployments, search techniques, forcible entry, commercial roof operations, and maydays."
The Department's Emergency Services Command (ESC) Master Training Calendar will be utilized to manage the training schedule. If there are questions or concerns, or if you would like to offer assistance with the Market Place Project, please contact Battalion Chief Wargo via county email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Battalion Chief Wargo stated, "This is an amazing opportunity for our personnel to really sharpen their game. From long leader line operations, pitched roof cuts, cutting metal roof decks, search techniques, and so much more. We have spent countless hours of building props, creating scenarios, getting funding from the department, donations from builders, saw companies and suppliers. This is hands-on training that includes many adjuncts and instructors daily."
MICRB certified instructors are encouraged to participate with the training. Please contact Battalion Chief Wargo for additional details.
The Fire/EMS Department has previously conducted similar large-scale training projects including the use of a high-rise apartment building in the late 1990's. The Vermillion Avenue Project involved live fire exercises requiring firefighters to scale several flights to extinguish an apartment fire. The Parkway Terrace Project allowed firefighters to practice their skills in battling 3-story apartment building fires.
Media are encouraged to participate in our training. Reporters, editors, writers, anchors, videographers and producers are invited to don firefighters personal protective equipment and go through training, side by side, with firefighters. A Media Day is being planned for early March but no need to wait, join us today.
Today's training involved truck work including cutting roofs and doors.
All video and images provided courtesy of PGFD PIO