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Thursday, July 30, 2015

MEDIA ADVISORY: “FIRE FIGHTER FOR A DAY – CAN YOU TAKE THE HEAT?”

MEDIA ADVISORY: “Fire Fighter for a Day – Can You Take the Heat?”

On Tuesday, August 25, 2015, the Prince George’s County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics Association will be holding its 4th Annual Fire Ops 101 event.  This event will be held in conjunction with the International Association of Fire Fighters 2015 Health, Safety, and EMS Conference.

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) is the primary sponsor and creator of the Fire Ops program. The IAFF, headquartered in Washington, DC, represents more than 300,000 full-time professional fire fighters and paramedics who protect 85 percent of the nation’s population. The IAFF is the primary advocate for providing fire fighters and paramedics with the tools that they need to perform their jobs.

Fire Ops 101 provides elected officials, community leaders, and the media with a hands-on opportunity to better understand the complexities of what fire fighters do on a daily basis.  This is a once-a-year opportunity will enable media to participate personally, participate and cover with your production crew or participate and share your experiences later.

The program will include suiting up in fire fighter protective clothing, donning self contained breathing apparatus and actually going inside a real fire to experience first hand the environment in which fire fighters work. Obviously, this will be a controlled situation, but will nevertheless provide an opportunity to see and feel what fire fighters deal with on a daily basis. It promises to be a very exciting and informative day.

We ask all interested parties to ensure that they are available to participate in the entire six-hour program. Although this may be a significant time commitment, we assure you that the experience will be memorable and rewarding. Please see the attached IAFF invitation letter for additional information about registering for the event.

For additional information about Fire Ops 101 event please contact IAFF Local 1619 President Andrew Pantelis at akpantelis@gmail.com or (301) 674-3448.

The following is a partial list of elected officials who have indicated that they will participate in Fire Ops 101 and are scheduled to attend:
  • Congressman Chris Van Hollen – United States Congress
  • Chairman Mel Franklin – Prince George’s County Council
  • Councilmember Karen Toles – Prince George’s County Council
  • Councilmember Craig Rice – Montgomery County Council
  • Councilmember Marc Elrich – Montgomery County Council
  • Councilman Brandon Scott – Baltimore City Council
  • Councilman Eric Costello – Baltimore City Council
Several additional elected officials have also verbally confirmed that they will attend and are in the process of registering for the event.
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Andrew K. Pantelis
President

Prince George's County Professional Firefighters & Paramedics Association
International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 1619
16701 Melford Boulevard, Suite 124
Bowie, Maryland 20715
Office: 301-805-5300
Fax: 301-262-6747

PGFD Receives SAFER Grant to Hire 24 Firefighters

MIKULSKI, CARDIN, HOYER, EDWARDS ANNOUNCE MORE THAN $3.6 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDING TO HIRE 24 FIREFIGHTERS IN PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY

WASHINGTONU.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin, together with U.S. Representatives Steny H. Hoyer and Donna F. Edwards (all D-Md.) today announced that the Prince George’s County Fire Department will receive $3,620,808 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) program to hire 24 full time firefighter positions for two years including training and full benefits. As Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Mikulski fights each year to increase federal funding for the fire grants program. Senator Cardin is a member of the Finance Committee.

“I know how important this funding is to Maryland communities – often it’s the difference between life and death. First responders protect our homes and communities, and the federal government has a responsibility to protect them by providing them with the tools and staffing they need to do their jobs safer and smarter,” Senator Mikulski said. “Every day when our first responders report for duty, they don’t know what they will face. That’s why I fight every year for the equipment, training, and staffing our protectors and communities deserve.”

“Protecting our communities from harm is one of the most basic functions of government,” said Senator Cardin. “This federal investment will help ensure that the Prince George’s County Fire Department can recruit and retain the best applicants. First responders in Prince George’s county put their lives on the line daily and deserve a federal partner as dedicated to public safety as they are.”

"I am pleased that the Prince George’s County Fire Department will receive these funds that will create more jobs and keep residents and businesses safe.” said Congressman Steny H. Hoyer. “This grant will help the department hire more personnel at their stations and provide the necessary resources and training they need to protect our communities. As a co-chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, I will continue to work on behalf of these brave men and women firefighters and first responders who put their lives on the line every day to ensure our safety.”

“Adding 24 full-time firefighter positions is welcome news for the residents and all first responders in Prince George’s County,” Rep. Edwards said.  “Firefighters are often the first to arrive on scene, and we rely on their professionalism and training in our greatest moment of need.  These additional firefighters will make a measurable impact in protecting our communities.  I thank Sen. Mikulski for her leadership on this issue, and today’s announcement highlights the dedication of Team Maryland to ensure the federal government helps strengthen public safety in Prince George’s County.” 

The goal of any SAFER grant is to enhance the ability of grantees to attain and maintain 24-hour staffing. The objective of the program is to award grants directly to volunteer, combination and career fire departments to help the departments increase the number of frontline firefighters, and to rehire firefighters who were laid off due to the economy. The SAFER program provides approximately $340 million in competitive grants to fire departments and statewide or local volunteer firefighter support groups.

Since 2001, Maryland Fire Departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units have received nearly $162 million in fire grant funding, of which $32 million of which has been awarded to fire and EMS departments in Prince George’s County.

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The Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department is extremely pleased to have received this SAFER Grant that will allow us to hire 24 Firefighters.  The Department will initiate a hiring process to create a list of eligible candidates with a potential hire date during the first quarter of calendar year 2016.  The 24 recruit firefighters hired through this SAFER Grant will then attend a 6-month Fire/EMS training academy.

Prince George's County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor said, "I want to acknowledge U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin, together with U.S. Representatives Steny H. Hoyer and Donna F. Edwards (all D-Md.) for their efforts in awarding this Grant.  Our Federal elected officials have always been strong supporters of the Fire and Emergency Medical Services and we appreciate everything they do for us."

Mark E. Brady
Chief Spokesperson/PIO
Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department
240-508-7930
mebrady@co.pg.md.us
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