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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Friend and Fellow Volunteer EMT Saves Life of County Police Officer in CO Incident

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

Today, a Seat Pleasant Volunteer EMT received an award from the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department for saving the life of a longtime friend and fellow volunteer who is also a County Police Officer.  Additionally, the Prince George’s County Police Department extended its most sincere thanks to Seat Pleasant Volunteer EMT Phil Martin for his quick and heroic action in helping to get emergency help to one of their officers.

The County Police explained the scenario as in the early morning hours of March 3rd, Police Officer First Class Ricardo Biddy who is also a Seat Pleasant Volunteer EMT was leaving his firehouse after his shift in his Prince George’s County police cruiser.  As Biddy pulled up in front of his home which was 15 minutes away, he was on the phone with Seat Pleasant volunteer EMT Phil Martin.  While idling inside his cruiser while parked in front of his home, Officer Biddy’s speech suddenly became slurred and the call was disconnected.      

EMT Martin, knowing something could be horribly wrong, immediately called public safety communications who dispatched Police and Fire/EMS.  Martin then jumped in his personal vehicle and traced Officer Biddy’s route home.   Once Martin located the cruiser, he found Biddy unresponsive inside.  Other emergency units soon arrived and rushed Biddy to the hospital where he got the help he needed.  

It was determined that Biddy’s cruiser was leaking carbon monoxide into the car and the reason he was so sick and had passed out was due to CO poisoning from the car.

The Prince George’s County Police Department is confident that the carbon monoxide leak in Biddy’s car was an isolated to his cruiser alone.  There was repair work performed on the cruiser just a few months earlier at the dealership.  As part of an internal investigation, the department learned Biddy had taken his cruiser to county fleet maintenance in January and February after smelling what he thought were exhaust fumes inside his vehicle.  Testing on vehicle by the county, dealership, and hazmat officials found nothing wrong during those visits. After the medical incident, fleet maintenance workers recreated what Biddy had done on March 3rd and discovered carbon monoxide was leaking into the cabin.  The cruiser was sent back to the dealership which discovered there was a crack in the engine’s manifold.  

Officer Biddy and Volunteer EMT Martin are lifelong friends having met when they were just 7 years old.   At an interagency press conference today held at the County Police HQ in Landover, EMT Martin was bestowed with a Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department’s Emergency Service Award.  Volunteer Martin was presented an award from Deputy Fire Chief James McClelland on behalf of Fire Chief Benjamin Barksdale.  The Award read: 

"Your quick thinking and immediate action helped save the life of your friend and colleague and are commendable and worthy of recognition.  Therefore, you are hereby awarded a Fire/EMS Department Emergency Services Award.  Your actions reflect well on you personally and professionally and exemplify the excellent caliber of service we strive to provide at all times and in every circumstance."  

All images by Mark E. Brady, PGFD PIO

Martin and Biddy enjoy the moment

Seat Pleasant EMT Phil Martin describes his actions as Deputy Fire Chief Dennis Wood and James McClelland, Police Officer Biddy and police officials listen

Seat Pleasant Volunteer EMT Phil Martin is presented with PGFD Emergency Services Award
by Deputy Fire Chief McClelland

Police Officer Biddy describes what he can remember of the incident.

Police Officer Biddy speaks of his friend and fellow volunteer Phil Martin.

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