County Fire Chief Bashoor Announces Retirement

Fire/EMS Department Accomplishments
During Tenure of Fire Chief Marc S, Bashoor

Prince George's County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor joined County Executive Rushern L. Baker III in announcing the Chiefs retirement after over 6 years on the job.  During a press conference at the St. Joe's Fire/EMS Station in Springdale County Executive Baker and Fire Chief Bashoor reflected on the accomplishments of the Department under Bashoor. 

Bashoor notified members of the Department via an Email on Thursday evening.  Chief Bashoor wrote:

Good Evening PGFD Family:

I have notified County Executive Baker of my intention to retire effective March 1, 2017.  It is, and has been my distinct honor to serve you and Prince George’s County as Fire Chief for the past 6+ years.

Please accept my thanks and appreciation for everything each of you has contributed to our Department.  Joining as a volunteer firefighter with the Bowie VFD in 1981 through my experiences as a union shop steward and at every rank up to Chief of the Department, which has included regional leadership with the Council of Governments and international travel for NFPA, I have served with some of the finest our service has to offer.  Thank you.

From hiring and volunteer recruitment, to ambulance billing and apparatus replacement, to community participation at many levels including on the Fire Commission,  to the high school cadet program and our new Leadership Academy effort, we have met our challenges head-on, and I believe the organization as a whole, is better for it. We have a solid platform from which the Department will continue to grow.  

Work on a seamless transition plan is ongoing - except for some time off in a couple weeks, I will continue to serve through the end of February.  County Executive Baker will officially announce my departure at a press conference scheduled for 11:00 a.m. Friday January 6 at station 806.   The Department will be notified via email as expected changes are revealed.

Thank you once again for everything you do everyday for this Department and for the community of Prince George’s County, which I have called home for over 45 years.  Stay smart and stay safe!

- 693 to 884 today (an amazing 28% staffing increase, achieved in just 5 years)
- Highest sworn strength ever, expect to be over 900 by Spring of next year
- Hired volunteer recruiter, averaging over 300 new volunteer recruits                                 fulfilling entry training requirements each year

·         12 Fire Recruit Classes containing a total of more than 420 new hires (that’s nearly half of the department) have been hired.  Classes 13-14 approved under budget
-3 SAFER Grant Recruit Classes have been hired – 72 Personnel

·         High School Cadet Program - in year 4, Flowers HS and Gwynn Park HS: 
- 17 College credits
- FF1 & 2
- Hazmat
- 102 hours of community service
- One cadet in CRS 53
- 14 applied for process of CRS 54 & 55

·         In Year 5 of 10-yr, $20M+ strategic County-Owned apparatus replacement and reinvestment plan 
- 44 Ambulances/Medic transport units
- 10 engines
- 4 trucks/tower
- 1 Squad
- New Rehab and Rehab support units – essential to on-scene personnel  safety
- Scores of support vehicles

·         Volunteer Apparatus
-9 ambulances
-7 engines
-2 trucks/towers
-multiple support vehicles

·         Placed 19 new (new staffing or dedicated) ambulances in service

·         Placed 5 paramedic ambulances and 5 paramedic engines in service

·         Budget enhanced 30% from FY11 $130,922,300 to over $170M in FY17.  A $39M increase.

·         Ambulance billing initiative w/shared revenue program for volunteer corporations

·         Reorganization of the Fire Commission to include Sworn & community representation

·         Enhanced around-the-clock coverage:

o   Safety Officer
o   2nd EMS Duty Officer
o   Doubled the number of stations with at least 4 career staffing  from 10 to 20

·         Initiated the process to obtain Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) accreditation 

·         Secured funding and began $12M Replacement of entire self-contained-breathing-apparatus infrastructure.

·         Secured over $3.7 million of  funding to replace the entire defibrillator fleet

·         Secured funding to implement the PulsePoint app – 1st in NCR

·         Established Mobile Integrated Health program – 1st in NCR, only 2nd certified program in state of MD (Queen Anne Co).

·         Established the M.H. Jim Estepp Leadership Academy

·         Built and opened new Brandywine Community Fire/EMS Station

·         Recently broke ground on two new Fire/EMS Stations - Shady Glen and Oxon Hill

·         New Public Safety Pier project at National Harbor

·         Formed Community Advisory Council

·         Established Adopt-A-Neighborhood program, where businesses contribute to the purchase of smoke alarms and CO detectors - over $60,000 raised to date. Nationally recognized, award winning program (NACO) 

·         Formed Fire & EMS Foundation

·         Implemented system-wide Mobile-Data-Terminal use and Automatic Vehicle Locator dispatch protocols – both supporting measurable reductions in critical service delivery times

·         Initiated first Insurance Service Organization (ISO) rating in over 20 years 

- downgraded in urban 
- upgraded in rural tier
- downfalls; training records (purchased Target Solutions); ability to guarantee staffing (improved staffing at 24, 40, & 45 - 36 on board 2/18); ability to deliver minimum sustained water flow in rural tier (moved tanker to 40, purchased super-pumper)
- Urban improvements in staffing with 4-person minimums at 15 stations


·         2nd longest serving Fire Chief (Estepp longest at 14 years)

·         2-year Chair of COG Fire Chiefs - secured funding and regional agreement to address significant safety concerns in the Rail Operations Center - ROC Liaison has been very successful 

·         Strongly supported legislation to consolidate what had been two separated agency budgets into one, streamlining reporting, accountability and functional responsibility 

·         Aggressively lobbied for legislation requiring carbon monoxide detectors in all homes with gas service, attached garages, or fireplaces.

·         With many others, successfully fought legislation at state level to weaken residential sprinkler requirements

·         For NFPA, traveled to Sao Paulo Brazil and Beijing China on fire service expeditions

·         Served on IAFC Affordable Care Act Task Force (birth of our Mobile Integrated Health)

·         Laid wreath at Tomb of the Unknown, with full diplomatic honors 

·         Delivered programs and spoke at various conferences and venues across the country; CA, TX, FL, GA, NV, MD, DC, as well as Veterans Administration ICS in WV, DC, & ; FL

·         Became contributing editor to Firehouse Magazine