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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Recognition of One-Year Anniversary of LODD - Captain Chris E. Hill

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

Captain Christopher E. Hill
On July 21, 2016, Captain Christopher E. Hill lost his courageous fight against a form of occupational brain cancer.  

On July 21, 2017,  the Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department will recognize the one year anniversary of Captain Hill’s line of duty death with the following ceremony:


1100 hours:
Graveside Visit

Cheltenham Veteran’s Cemetery
11301 Crain Highway
Cheltenham, MD
Area M-5, Grave 1230

1135 hours:
Time of death - moment of silence over all Fire/EMS radio channels.


There is no required uniform for the event.

Stay safe and healthy during Summer high heat!!!

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

The 2017 summer heat wave continues with high temperatures and humidity in Prince George’s County.  The men and women of your Fire/EMS Department want you to stay informed and take precautions to stay safe and healthy. Temperatures nearing 95 combined with humidity will create a dangerous situation primarily for children, the elderly, and those who suffer from chronic heart or lung conditions.  Dangers also are extended to anyone that are outdoors for extended periods of time and those involved in physical or strenuous activity.  The first heat wave of the season is always the hardest on our bodies as we have not yet acclimated to these temperatures  

Your best protection is to stay well hydrated. Sweat, or water, allows heat to evaporate from your skin’s surface. If you become dehydrated, it is more difficult for your body to maintain an acceptable temperature. The best thing to drink is water. Gatorade or other sports drinks are also good. Avoid drinks containing alcohol or caffeine. Limit heavy exertion when high levels of heat and humidity are present. High humidity levels make it more difficult for your body to dissipate heat.

HEAT RELATED ILLNESSES:

Any heat related illnesses will require a victim to be removed from the hot environment to an air-conditioned or cool/shaded area. 
Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heatstroke that may develop due to a combination of several days with high temperatures and dehydration in an individual. Signs of heat exhaustion include extreme weakness, muscle cramps, nausea, or headache. Victims may also vomit or faint. Heat exhaustion is treated with plenty of liquids and rest in a cool, shaded area. If the persons condition does not show signs of improvement call 911. 
Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heatstroke that may develop due to a combination of several days with high temperatures and dehydration in an individual. Signs of heat exhaustion include extreme weakness, muscle cramps, nausea, or headache. Victims may also vomit or faint. Heat exhaustion is treated with plenty of liquids and rest in a cool, shaded area. If the persons condition does not show signs of improvement call 911.

Heatstroke is a serious illness characterized by a body temperature greater than 105 degrees. Symptoms may include “dry” red skin, convulsions, disorientation, delirium and coma. Onset of heatstroke can be rapid: a person can go from feeling apparently well to a seriously ill condition within minutes. Your body has lost the ability to sweat and naturally “cool-off” – this is a true medical emergency.  Treatment of heatstroke involves the rapid lowering of body temperature, using a cool bath, bags of ice or wet towels. Place ice bags in each armpit, groin and back of the neck.  A heatstroke victim should be kept in a cool area; emergency medical care should be obtained by dialing 911. 

Stay Informed - Stay Ready - Stay Safe

Monitor weather forecast throughout weekend on TV, radio and Internet.
Stay Ready with your emergency kit  - www.ready.gov
Stay Safe and Stay Indoors

At Work

• Avoid the heat
• Reduce activity
• Drink plenty of water

Outdoors

• Wear light colored clothing
• Drink plenty of water
• Take frequent rest breaks in the air conditioning or shade

At Home

• Check on relatives and friends, especially the elderly
• Increase time spent in an air-conditioned environment
• Eat smaller meals, more often
• Take cool baths

Never leave anyone and pets inside a hot car, unattended and with no cool air relief.
• Make sure pets have access to water and shade

Friday, July 14, 2017

Critically Injured Crash Victim Thanks Firefighter/Medics "Angels in My Path"

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

Before sunrise on an October morning in Laurel two Prince George’s County Firefighter/Medics were driving separately on their way to work.  They had no idea what they were about to witness in addition to quick thinking and actions would help to save a young mans life.  The very man they helped that morning visited the Laurel Fire/EMS Station this afternoon to thank them and others firefighters that responded to help.

Firefighter/Medics Damion R. Duncan and Michael R. Dugan were travelling in the area of Route 198 and Interstate 95 in Laurel.  Duncan on his way to Laurel Fire/EMS Station 810 and Duncan on his way to Laurel Fire/EMS Station 849 when they witnessed a vehicle, for whatever reason, cross the median strip on Route 198, go airborne, leave the roadway and broadsiding a large tree.  Both firefighters stopped to provide assistance with Dugan alerting 911 of the incident with an occupant trapped with life threatening injuries.  Both firefighters worked to keep the victims airway open and treat his injuries until assistance arrived.  Both firefighters knew that time was of the essence if this young man was going to survive. 

With the morning darkness and lack of other vehicles on the road it is quite possible that if this crash was not witnessed by the two firefighters it may have gone unnoticed due to its out-of-sight location off the roadway.

Additional firefighters and medics arrived from the nearby stations and initiated extricating the adult male and arranging transportation by helicopter to a Trauma Center.  The victim,  23 years-of-age, a West Laurel resident and graduate of Laurel High School, was suffering from a head trauma and bi-lateral fractures of his femurs in addition to other multiple injuries.

As is the case with the majority of patients the treatment and transport would be the last contact personnel would have.  However, Juan Morales was determined to survive and once released from months in the hospital and rehab, he wanted to meet and thank his rescuers.  Morales reviewed the police report of his crash and located the names and phone numbers of the firefighters.  They were listed on the report as they had witnessed the crash.  Still recovering with mobility and speech he asked his girlfriend to contact the firefighters and arrange a visit.

Morales accompanied by his girlfriend, mother and other relatives visited the Laurel Fire/EMS Station 810 this Friday afternoon, July 14, to meet the firefighters.  They brought along a plaque and lunch for the entire crew.  On the appreciation plaque presented to firefighters Morales referred to them as, "The Angels in My Path." 

Morales still uses a wheelchair and attends physical, occupational and speech therapy.  He spoke in a low and raspy voice thanking the firefighters for everything they did that morning and how much he appreciated their help.  He greeted each firefighter that was able to attend today's informal meet and greet and asked questions about that morning.  He does not remember any events of that morning and asked Duncan and Dugan details about what had occurred.  Each firefighter discussed details of the crash that Morales had never heard before.  

Fire Fighter/Medics attending today's event that were on the incident included Sean Roth, Matthew Von den Steinen, Frank Nicholson, Danon Ushinski, Duncan and Dugan. Deputy Fire Chief Dennis Wood and Battalion Chief John Thompson also attended the event.

It is well known in the arena of public safety that awards are nice but there is nothing better than to meet a former patient that you never thought you would ever see again.  That is the best award to receive.

This is a list of personnel on the incident:

            Incident Commander

            Laurel Volunteer Rescue Assistant Chief Stefan Livingston

Rescue Squad 849

William Porter
Frank Nicholson
Zachary Proffen
Matthew Von den Steinen
Tonaio Swangin
Michael Dugan - off-duty on scene

Engine 810

Sean Roth
Paul DeMennato, Volunteer Fire Technician
Sean Losgar
Phillip Coleman
Damion Duncan - off-duty on scene

Engine 841

Danon Ushinski
Clayton Deskins
James Redman

Medic 810

Nathan Bowie
Brian Brady

NEMSDO


Akintunde Ola

The vehicle Morales was driving
Fire Fighter/Medic Matthew Von den Steinen was on the Squad that extricated Morales from the car.
Firefighter/Medics Michael R. Dugan and Damion R. Duncanwith Juan Morales









Dugan shows Morales images from the scene on his cell phone













Previous Critical and Trapped Crash Victim to Meet Firefighters and Medics Today in Laurel

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

A young man with critical injuries that was trapped in in his car that wrapped around a tree will stop by and thank firefighters and medics for everything they did.  In October 2016 firefighters and medics worked feverishly to free the trapped crash victim, treat and transport him to a Trauma Center for his critical injuries.  He called the personnel at the Laurel Fire/EMS Station and asked if he could have the opportunity to meet them.

It is rare for firefighters and medics to be able to meet with a former patient.  It is often at the request of the patient that this occurs and it is one of the greatest rewards or awards personnel could ever receive.  To be able to shake a hand, get a hug and look that patient through the eyes of joy rather than the first time you had an encounter.

Today, Friday, July 14, at 1:00 pm this young man, former patient and crash victim, will have the opportunity he wished and hoped for.  To meet and greet as many of the crew members as possible from that day.  The Fire/EMS Station is located at 7411 Cherry Lane in Laurel.

Media is welcome to attend.

The following images were captured by PGFD personnel after the young man was extricated.






Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Busy Shift for PGFD Firefighter/Medics

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
MEBrady@co.pg.md.us     @PGFDPIO
It was a busy and noteworthy “A" Shift for Firefighter/Medics of the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department for Tuesday, July 11.  The  County’s Fire/EMS Department is a combination career/volunteer agency that provides services to include fire prevention, fire protection, emergency medical services, and community outreach programs for residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland.  It is composed of 45 fire/EMS stations, of which some are all career, all volunteer, or a combination of both.  Currently, there are 900 career and civilian employees and 1500 volunteer members.  The Department covers a response area of about 500 square miles, protects close to a million people, and has an annual operating budget of 190 million dollars.  Last year, the organization responded to approximately 150,000 calls, 80 percent of them were for EMS.  At this time, the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department is the largest and busiest combination department in the United States.   
Firefighters arrive on scene of Pontiac Street house fire in Berwyn Heights.
Image by Jim Davis of the Prince Georges Sentinel
At 2:30 pm firefighters from the Berwyn Heights area and surrounding communities were alerted to a house fire in the 6200 block of Pontiac Street.  Fire/EMS units arrived to find a 2-story single family home with fire and smoke showing from the top floor.  Firefighters initiated an interior attack and search of the structure and ensured all occupants were out of the house.  There were 35 personnel on the scene that required about 15 – 20 minutes to extinguish the fire.  The cause of the fire is undetermined and fire loss is estimated at $75,000.  Five adults and five children are displaced and receiving assistance from the County Office of Emergency Management and the American Red Cross.  Two firefighters sustained minor burn injuries.  Both were treated at a Burn Unit and released.
At about 3:30 pm a parked transport unit was stolen from the patient drop off area at Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly.  The crew was inside the Emergency Department tending to their patient when it appears an adult male, a recently discharged patient, stole the unit.  The vehicle was tracked by on-board vehicle locater technology and quickly found abandoned at a nearby convenience store in the 6000 block of Arbor Street.  Bystanders alerted arriving police officers of a possible suspect that was taken into custody.  A review of the on-board camera system confirmed the suspect was the same person behind the wheel.  No damage was found and all equipment was accounted for.  After decontaminating the unit it was placed back into service.
Conditions on arrival at Willow Hill Drive and after fire was extinguished.
Image # 1 Ed Lehan - Kentland VFD and #2 Image by Paul Hawkins, PGFD Observer
Just after 5:00 am, Wednesday, July 12, “A” shift Firefighters responded to a reported house fire in the 7600 block of Willow Hill Drive in Seat Pleasant.  Firefighters arrived to find heavy fire on the top floor and attic area of a 2-story split foyer home.  A working smoke alarm alerted the 2 adult occupants of the fire and they were able safely exit the home prior to the Fire Department arrival.  At one point firefighters were pulled from the interior of the burning structure and transitioned to an exterior attck before re-entering and ensuring the fire was extinguished.  It appears the fire started on the structures exterior before extending into the interior.  No injuries were reported.  The cause of the fire is undetermined.  Fire loss is estimated at $100,000.  The 2 adult occupants are displaced and being assisted by the American Red Cross.

This is an arrival video by Incident Commander Ricky Riley serving as the Volunteer Duty Chief




Prince George’s County residents can have a 10-year smoke alarm installed in their home, free of charge, call 311 and ask about the Departments free smoke alarm program.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

PGFD Accepts Delivery of NEW EMS Transport Units

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

The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department recently accepted delivery of new transport ambulances with two already placed into service.  A total of nine units will have been delivered by the end of the month with another eight being constructed and delivered later this year.  The 17 new units will replace older units that will be deadlined or placed into the reserve fleet.

One unit already placed in service is at Fire/EMS Station 842 on Marcy Avenue in Oxon Hill, this unit will serve as a Basic Life Support ambulance.  The second unit will be designated as a Paramedic Ambulance at Fire/EMS Station 821, located on Livingston Road. 
The  County’s Fire/EMS Department is a combination career/volunteer agency that provides services to include fire prevention, fire protection, emergency medical services, and community outreach programs for residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland.  It is composed of 45 fire/EMS stations, of which some are all career, all volunteer, or a combination of both.  Currently, there are 900 career and civilian employees and 1500 volunteer members.  The Department covers a response area of about 500 square miles, protects close to a million people, and has an annual operating budget of 190 million dollars.  Last year, the organization responded to approximately 150,000 calls, 80 percent of them were for EMS.  At this time, the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department is the largest and busiest combination department in the United States.   
The 2017 model-year ambulances have been redesigned to the newest safety standards.  Built on a Dodge 5500 Chassis and powered by a 6.71 Cummins Diesel Motor with a 6-speed heavy duty transmission, these units have safety features not currently available on the Department’s past units.  Additional vehicle features include a Liquid Spring Suspension to assist in a smooth ride for both providers and patients.  The units are equipped with a Whelen LED Emergency Lighting package, custom PGFD door forward design, and custom exterior and interior design.  This new design will put all medical equipment within reach of the EMS provider, allowing them to remain seat-belted while providing the highest quality of medical care to our patients.  A Stryker Power Load System and Power Cot assists in lifting the patient into the treatment area of the unit and reduces injuries to providers.


This is the first time in over 20 years that the Fire/EMS Department has made such a dramatic change to its ambulance fleet.  These units represent the most innovative pieces in our convoy and will replace transport units to be placed into the reserve fleet.  Paramedic Ambulance 821 is built on a 4X4 chassis, while Ambulance 842 is built on a 4x2 chassis.  The costs of the units are $277,000 and $272,000, respectively.