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Monday, June 15, 2015

PGFD 2015 International Fire/EMS Safety & Health Week

TO:       All Sworn, Civilian, and Volunteer Personnel Memo #15-25 

FROM: Marc S. Bashoor, Fire Chief

RE:       2015 International Fire/EMS Safety & Health Week 

2015 International Fire/EMS Safety & Health Week

Beginning June 14, 2015, and continuing through June 20, 2015, the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department will participate in the 2015 International Fire/EMS Safety & Health Week (Safety Week). An entire week is provided to ensure that each shift and each crew can spend one day focusing on firefighter safety, health, and survival. We should focus on safety year round; however, Safety Week is a great opportunity for chiefs, company officers, firefighters, and paramedics, sworn and volunteer, to work together to manage risk and enhance their health and safety.

This military style “stand down” is designed to raise the level of awareness toward firefighter and EMS personnel safety, and call attention to the high volume of preventable deaths and injuries plaguing the Fire/EMS service. All non-emergency activities should be suspended in order to provide an opportunity for personnel to review and reflect on the requirements of the profession, and what we can do individually and collectively to ensure one another’s health and safety. All personnel are directed to participate in this important endeavor to help ensure that “Everyone Goes Home.”

This year’s Safety Week will focus on the importance of creating a Culture of
Safety. Members of the Department are encouraged to use this week to focus on safety and health training and what you can do to create a culture of safety within your community, your department, your crew, and yourself. 


This year ALL personnel will be expected to complete the Courage to be Safe® training, created by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF), through the Everyone Goes Home® Program: http://www.everyonegoeshome.com/training/courage-safe-training/. This online training program takes less than one hour to complete, but provides the foundation for any department that acknowledges that they must change attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors towards safety, in order to achieve a reduction in firefighter injuries and fatalities. Personnel who have already completed the Courage to Be Safe® program in the past are encouraged to review the program a second time, to identify areas that you can improve the culture of safety within your area of influence. You are also encouraged to explore the other Everyone Goes Home® training modules available on the NFFF website, such as, Leadership So Everyone Goes Home and Leadership, Accountability, Culture, Knowledge (LACK).

In addition, personnel are expected to review and discuss the attached document from the United States Fire Administration, National Safety Culture Change Initiative. This material will help our personnel open the dialogue, within their stations, about changing the culture of safety within the fire service today. We will use this resource to focus on what we can do create a culture of safety in our communities, in our Department, and in our individual lives.

Volunteer Chiefs, Battalion Chiefs, and Station Officers are responsible for ensuring all personnel under their supervision have completed the Courage to be Safe® training and reviewed the National Safety Culture Change Initiative. In order to document personnel participation, each member must send a copy of their Courage to be Safe® Certificate of Completion to the Training and Leadership Academy. In addition, all sworn and volunteer personnel will be expected to complete the survey, which will be emailed out during Safety Week. 

Swim Safely

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

Swim Safely

Summertime fun includes thousands of residents will be taking full advantage of swimming pools, rivers, creeks and vacation trips to the ocean.  Keeping safety first will help to prevent festive occasions from becoming a tragedy.

For parents:

•Always watch your children and never leave them unattended.  A lack of adult supervision is one of the leading contributing factors to children drowning.

•Do not rely on flotation devices to protect your children from drowning. You must supervise at all times.

•Have a phone nearby in the event you need to call 911.

•Have children swim in pairs - the "buddy system."

•If a child is missing - check the pool first.

•Teach your child how to swim. Visit www.pgparks.com/aquatics.htm for additional information.

•Learn CPR. Visit http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class or call the Fire/EMS Department CPR Information line at 301-864-LIVE (5483).

For home pool owners and managers:

•Install a fence around the perimeter of the pool.

•Use self closing latches and gates.

•Install a door alarm from the house to the pool area.

•Have life saving equipment nearby such as life rings or reaching poles.

For everyone:

*It's never too late to learn how to swim.

*Take frequent breaks.

*Excessive use of alcohol and drugs are often contributing factors to adult drowning.

*Limit horseplay.

*If you have limited ability in the water - "Do Not Get in Over Your Head."

*Follow the direction of life guards and other officials - if they say "Get Out" then get out.