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Thursday, October 15, 2015

PGFD New Certified Emergency Boat Operators

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

During the first week of October everyone was keeping an eye on the path and preparing for Hurricane Joaquin as a fierce Nor' Easter pelted the Atlantic Coast.  Just prior to the posting of hurricane preparedness tips and flash flood safety tips 20 members of the Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department (PGFD) completed a Emergency Boat Operator (EBO) class.  Acquiring this certification means that you are already certified in Swift Water Rescue.  The Department was well prepared for whatever adverse weather came our way.  Fortunately, our water rescue services were not needed.

Having 20 new EBO's enables more operators to be on duty throughout the County and available at a moments notice.  "This is a 16 hour class that includes 8 hours of classroom instruction and 8 hours of practical instruction," said Jonathan W. Bender, PGFD Captain and a member of the Departments Technical Rescue Team.  He added, "The curriculum for the Boat Operators class was adopted through the Council of Governments Technical Rescue Subcommittee from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.  The practical training took place in Great Falls Park."

The newly certified Emergency Boat Operators will augment the personnel of the Departments Technical Rescue Team.  The Technical Rescue Team also handles high-angle rescues, collapse and confined space incidents.  The main Technical Rescue Station is at St. Joe's in Springdale.

Fire/EMS Stations at Laurel Rescue, St. Joe's and Fort Washington have rescue boats and are dispatched to all water rescue related incidents.  The Fire/EMS Department also has 2 facilities and several boats operated by the Volunteer Marine Division located in Baden and Fort Washington that are also alerted on water related rescues.

These images demonstrate the practical training in becoming a certified EBO.

PGFD Fire Prevention Program in the 3rd Battalion - Suitland

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

Prince George's County Firefighter/Medics from the Department's 3rd Battalion, District Heights Fire/EMS Station 826, participated in a Fire Prevention program this morning.  Firefighters worked with students from the Samuel Massie Academy on Regency Parkway in Suitland.  It appears the firefighters enjoyed the event as much as the children did.  Great job by Battalion Chief Grady Valencis, Community Outreach Coordinator Teresa Crisman and personnel from District Heights.

For information on the Fire/EMS Departments community outreach and risk reduction programs contact Teresa Crisman at 301-883-5250 or TACrisman@co.pg.md.us

PGFD Sixth Battalion Drill on the Basics

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

On Wednesday, October 14th the Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department 6th Battalion conducted a drill at the Beltsville Fire/EMS Station.  Battalion Chief Phil Bird invited all the stations in the battalion to the drill which covered the basics; laying out at the hydrant, donning all personal protective equipment including breathing air, advancing a hose line, forcible entry, throwing ladders, charging and flowing the hose lines.  Firefighters from Laurel Fire 810, Laurel Rescue 849, Calverton 841, Berwyn Heights 814 and host Beltsville 831 participated in the drill.  Crews performed several evolutions ensuring personnel had the opportunity to perform as an engine company or special service.  A door prop was used to demonstrate skills in forcible entry.

No drill is complete without a critique.  Crews gathered with everyone provided the opportunity to give feedback, positive and negative, about the exercise.  The drill was completed with lunch provided by Pizza Boli's in Beltsville.

Thanks to Fire Fighter/Medic Captain Brandon Wood for organizing the drill and Beltsville Volunteer Chief Matt Tomlins for his cooperation with the drill.