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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Community Leaders and Adopt-A-Neighborhood Program

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

Many successful programs have been conceptualized on the curb of a fire damaged home.  The Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department Adopt a Neighborhood program is no different.  A life-saving program literally rising from the ashes.  While standing at the end of a driveway of a home on Park Drive in Bowie on Christmas Eve morning where an early morning fire claimed the life of an adult male occupant with no evidence of a working smoke alarm, Fire Chief Marc Bashoor thought to himself that there has to be a better way to have working smoke alarms in every home.  His thought was to include the community to help the Fire/EMS Department ensure every home is protected by a working smoke alarm and that neighborhoods are afforded an opportunity to meet and discuss fire safety and injury prevention with fire safety experts.

Since that day several members of the community stepped up and agreed to help in this grass roots community based effort.  The Prince George's County Firefighters and Paramedics Association,  IAFF Local 1619, located within walking distance of the Park Drive home agreed to adopt the 100+ home neighborhood of Sherwood Manor in Bowie.  IAFF Local 1619 President Andrew Pantelis said, "We are members of this neighborhood and will work until every home is protected with a working smoke alarm so we can avoid the tragedy associated with fire related injuries and deaths."

Since than, Old Line Bank, Carrollton Enterprises, Berman Enterprises, Collective Empowerment Group, the Gazette and Gazette-Star Group have signed up to help.  Obviously more sponsors are needed and we encourage anyone with the resources to help should contact us.  Financial contributions to the Adopt a Neighborhood program are 501c3 tax deductible.  Sponsors will also provide space for neighborhood meetings held throughout the year with fire safety experts.

The Fire/EMS Department continues to depend on bulk donations from PEPCO, IAFF Local 1619 and Six Flags America as well as a joint effort between the American Red Cross - National Capital Region and the Fire/EMS Department to install alarms in homes.  These smoke alarm donations fulfill our day-to-day requests for the life saving features and are a staple of our fire service - installing a working smoke in homes; free of charge.

For additional information and to express your interest in becoming a sponsor of our Adopt a Neighborhood program please Email us at PGFD300@co.pg.md.us or call 301-883-7154.

Residents needing a smoke alarm and can not afford to purchase one themselves, are encouraged to call 311 and make arrangements for a firefighter to come to your home and install a working smoke alarm at no cost.

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