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Friday, September 30, 2016

Hero Bus Driver Receives Fire/EMS Department Meritorious Service Award

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

A Prince George's County Public School bus driver was presented with a Fire/EMS Department Meritorious Service Award for her actions in preventing injuries to 20 elementary school students when her bus caught fire.  On September 20, Renita Smith was presented with the award by County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor at Fire/EMS Department Headquarters in Largo.

Smith was awarded for her actions that occurred on Monday, September 12, 2016, at approximately 4:45 p.m.,  Renita Smith was on her third stop of the day at 51st Avenue and Hollywood Road in College Park when she noticed the dashboard brake light on the school bus she was driving was illuminated.  Smelling something burning, she immediately pulled over to radio the depot for a backup bus.  However, as she moved toward the microphone, one of your young passengers yelled, “It’s a fire!”  Upon looking in the rearview mirror, Smith observed that flames were indeed coming from the bus.  Going into what she referred to as “mommy mode,” Smith quickly began removing the children one-by-one from the vehicle.  Despite the thick, black smoke and increasing flames, Smith risked her life by reentering the bus a final time to ensure all of the children were safe.  As soon as she reached the last step and was about to exit the bus, it went up in smoke.  


"Your quick thinking and immediate response saved 20 young lives and is both commendable and worthy of recognition," stated Chief Bashoor.  "Therefore, you are hereby awarded the Fire Chief’s Award for Meritorious Service.  Your actions reflect well on you personally and professionally and demonstrate the great culture within the Prince George’s County Public School’s Transportation Office."





Video provided courtesy of the Branchville Volunteer Fire Company and Rescue Squad, Inc (DashCam)

Image provided courtesy of Mitch Federman

Image provided courtesy of Mitch Federman

Image provided courtesy of Mitch Federman

Image provided courtesy of Mitch Federman

Image provided courtesy of Mitch Federman
 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

PGFD to Bring Lifesaving Technology to Region via 9-1-1 Integrated Smartphone App

MEDIA ADVISORY
PGFD to Bring Lifesaving Technology to Region via 9-1-1 Integrated Smartphone App

What:    Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III and Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor will join representatives from CTIA Wireless Foundation to announce the PGFD’s participation in PulsePoint, a free mobile app that alerts CPR trained citizens of cardiac arrests in their vicinity and enables them to provide potentially life-saving CPR.

               A live demonstration of hands-only CPR will be performed.  Bystander CPR is critical to the successful resuscitation of sudden cardiac arrest patients.

               Media is invited to join us on Wednesday, October 12th, at 11:00 a.m. at the Prince George’s County Sports and Learning Complex in Landover for the announcement and celebration.

Who:      County Executive Rushern L. Baker III
                Fire Chief Marc Bashoor
                CTIA Wireless Foundation Executive Director Athena Polydorou

When:    Wednesday, October 12th
               11:00 a.m. ET

Where:   Prince George's Sports & Learning Complex
                8001 Sheriff Road
                Landover, MD 20785

Press Contact:
PGFD: Mark E. Brady, (240) 508-7930
PulsePoint: Shannon Smith, (773) 339-7513

CTIA Wireless Foundation: Allison Moon, (202) 736-3245


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

FLASH FLOOD WATCH - SAFETY TIPS

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

The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for Prince George's County and surrounding areas.  Please take the time to read their most recent update and safety advice.  Remember, Stay Informed - Stay Ready - Stay Safe!!!

From the National Weather Service:

AN UPPER LEVEL LOW PRESSURE OVER THE WESTERN GREAT LAKES WILL
  DROP SOUTHWARD INTO THE OHIO VALLEY WEDNESDAY INTO THURSDAY. AS
  THE UPPER LOW DROPS SOUTHWARD...LOW LEVEL FLOW IS FORECAST TO
  RAPIDLY INCREASE OVER THE AREA WEDNESDAY NIGHT RESULTING IN
  SIGNIFICANT MOISTURE TRANSPORT INTO THE AREA. PERIODS OF HEAVY
  RAINFALL ARE ANTICIPATED LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY
  NIGHT ACROSS THE CENTRAL MID-ATLANTIC. THE PERIOD OF GREATEST
  RAIN RATES IS EXPECTED LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY
  AFTERNOON. WIDESPREAD RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 3 TO 5 INCHES ARE
  EXPECTED WITH LOCALIZED HIGHER TOTALS IN AREAS OF REPEATED
  ACTIVITY.

Safety Advice 

Precautionary/preparedness actions: A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation. Be prepared to take action should flash flood warnings be issued.

Flash Flood Facts...

Flash floods occur within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall or a dam failure. Flooding is a longer-term event and may last a week or more.

Most flash flooding is caused by (1) slow-moving thunderstorms, (2) thunder-storms repeatedly moving over the same area or (3) heavy rains from hurricanes and tropical storms.

Flash floods can roll boulders, tear out trees, and destroy buildings and bridges.

Densely populated areas have a high risk for flash floods. The construction of buildings, highways, driveways, and parking lots increases runoff by reducing the amount of rain absorbed by the ground.

Water can erode the roadbed creating unsafe driving conditions.

Many flash floods occur at night when flooded roads are hard to see.

2 feet of water will float your car, truck or SUV!!! 6 inches of fast-moving floodwater can knock you off your feet.


Nearly half of all flash flood fatalities are auto related. If your car stalls, leave it and seek higher ground, if you can do so safely.

Underpasses can fill rapidly with water, while the adjacent roadway remains clear. Driving into a flooded underpass can quickly put you in 5-6 feet of water.

The Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department wants you to stay safe during this potentially dangerous weather conditions.  Help us by helping yourself and heed warnings and safety tips.


Flash Flood Safety Tips...

Never try to walk, swim, or drive through swift-moving floodwater. Remember, 2 feet of water will float your vehicle and 6 inches of fast moving floodwater can knock you off your feet.

If you come upon floodwaters, STOP, TURN AROUND AND GO ANOTHER WAY!!

Do not attempt to drive through a flooded road.

If your car stalls in high water, DON'T PANIC, leave your car and seek higher ground, if you can do so safely and call 911.


Stay informed about the storm and possible flooding by listening to your NOAA weather radio, commercial radio, television or Internet.

Sign up for "ALERT - Prince George" and receive important information on your phone and other devices.  Please click here to sign up.