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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Approved Fireworks Locations in Prince George's County

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 sincerely wishes everyone a happy and safe Independence Day celebration.  We understand that fireworks are a traditional component of the celebration and we strongly encourage everyone to visit one of these approved fireworks displays.

All consumer purchased fireworks are illegal to purchase, posses, transport and use in Prince George's County.  This law has help to reduce the number of injuries and fires typically experienced during this festive time of year.

The following public and municipal locations have obtained appropriate permits to conduct an approved fireworks display.  Some locations may charge an entrance fee, please call ahead for details.  Most fireworks displays start shortly after dusk (approximately 9:00 pm).

Fireworks Display for Saturday, July 1, 2017

Daylong celebration in the City of Laurel ends with Fireworks from Granville Gude Park around 9:15 pm

Fireworks Displays for Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Town of District Heights, MD - E. Michael Roll Municipal Building - 2000 Marbury Drive

Town of Morningside, MD - 6901 Ames Street                   

City of College Park MD - University of Maryland Parking Lot 1 Concert at 7 p.m. Fireworks at 9 p.m.

City of Greenbelt MD - Buddy Attick Park 555 Crescent Road. Fireworks at Dusk.

Admission charges may apply for the following:

Six Flags America - Mitchellville, MD. The amusement park sponsors a spectacular fireworks display on July 4th. Enjoy a full day of family entertainment.  Call for more information 301-249-1500

Bowie, MD - Prince George’s Stadium, 4101 NE Crain Hwy. Fireworks after the Baysox baseball game.



Tuesday, June 27, 2017

PGFD Hosts Saudi Arabia Aramco Firefighters

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 is proud to partner with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) to host eight firefighters from Saudi Arabia Aramco for a fellowship training program.

Fire Chief Benjamin M. Barksdale stated, “This unique opportunity to host this cohort is a great compliment to our Department and again connects us with other international fire service agencies.”

This IAFC managed fellowship program was recently completed in the San Diego and Oklahoma City Fire Departments, and another cohort has just started training in Rogers, Arkansas, with all involved agencies announcing their programs as a success.

This fellowship program will last for six (6) months, essentially entrenching the Saudi Aramco firefighters into our fire/EMS stations for the purpose of them gaining experience from our policies and tactics. The eight firefighters recently completed their PGFD orientation at our Training and Leadership Academy (TLA). This experienced group of firefighters will be assigned to specific stations across the County and will be operating on fire apparatus, under the supervision of the individual station officers.


Each of the Aramco firefighters has been assigned a Fire/EMS Department mentor to assist them with their acclimation to the United States and to Prince George’s County. 

Eight Saudi Arabia Aramco Firefighters display their Certificates after 3 weeks of orientation at the
PGFD Fire/EMS Training Academy

Monday, June 26, 2017

Nine PGFD Firefighters Recognized for Heroic Rescues at 2-Alarm Fire

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

Nine Prince George's County Firefighters were recognized today for their efforts in rescuing occupants trapped in their burning Fort Washington apartment building.  Prince George's County Fire Chief Benjamin M. Barksdale presented Emergency Services awards during a ceremony at the Allentown Road Fire/EMS Station.

Assistant Fire Chief Tony Hughes had requested the crews receive the recognition after hearing of their heroic efforts.

On Sunday, April 2, 2017 at around 8:30 am, firefighters from Oxon Hill Station 821 and Allentown Road Station 832 were part of a multi-unit box assignment that responded to a 2-alarm fire on Corning Avenue in Oxon Hill.  

The crew onboard Truck 821 was the first to arrive and reported that citizens were jumping from balconies.  Lieutenant Smart positioned the apparatus at the front of the structure and split his crew.  Fire Fighter Parker was sent to the rear to throw a 24-foot extension ladder while Fire Technician Abbott placed ladders at the front of the dwelling.  Due to numerous calls advising of people trapped and several obvious rescues, Lieutenant Smart and Fire Fighter Johnson entered the structure without the protection of a hose line.  Despite encountering significant fire that had already extended through the roof, the pair began aggressively searching the floor of origin.

Truck 832 arrived shortly thereafter and positioned at the rear of the structure, where Lieutenant Burton observed an occupant trapped in a second floor apartment.  Recognizing the urgency of the situation, he instructed Fire Fighters Kershaw and Lysy to place and extend a 28-foot extension ladder next to Truck 821’s ladder.  Fire Fighter Parker had already reached the female victim but was unable to remove her by himself.  He was, however, able to calm and reassure the frantic woman while Fire Fighter Holbert quickly ascended 832’s ladder to assist him.  Captain Williams and Fire Fighter Kershaw heeled the ladders while Lieutenant Burton, and Fire Fighters Holbert, Lysy, and Parker used the side-by-side ladder technique to remove the patient.

The quick thinking and immediate action of everyone on the scene of this incident are commendable and worthy of recognition.  Their heroic efforts and ability to work as a cohesive unit are directly responsible for preventing a potentially tragic outcome. 

Therefore, on Monday, June 26, 2017 Fire Chief Barksdale, Assistant Fire Chief Hughes and Battalion Chief Donny Fletcher presented Emergency Services Awards to the following…

Fire Fighter/Medic Lieutenant Christopher Smart
Fire Lieutenant Jeffrey Burton
Fire Fighter/Medic Captain Scot Williams
Fire Fighter/Medic Technician Christopher Abbott
Fire Fighter Antwan Holbert
Fire Fighter Marquet Johnson
Fire Fighter Mathew Kershaw
Fire Fighter Brian Lysy
Fire Fighter Jason Parker


…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.














Thursday, June 15, 2017

PGFD Images from scene of Clinton house fire Wednesday 6-14-2017 - Windbrook

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

The Fire Investigations Division is investigating a fire that occurred at 12914 Windbrook Drive on Wednesday6/14/2017 1:30:00 PM. The property type is Residential, 1 (Single Family) or 2 Family Dwelling. The damage is estimated at $175,000.00.

Summary of Incident: 
Prince George's County Public Safety Communications received multiple calls regarding a house on fire with people possibly trapped. Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department units were dispatched and upon their arrival they located a fire on the Delta side of the home that had extended into the attic and roof.  Units were able to extinguish the fire without incident and all the occupants were accounted for.  The Office of the Fire Marshal was requested to conduct and origin and cause investigation.  The investigation is currently undetermined pending further investigation.


The current classification of the cause is Fire - Undetermined.
The case status is Open.


Battalion Chief 885 (Fletcher) was the Incident Commander. The Red Cross provided assistance to two adults. Notifications were made to Management Staff via Watch Office email. Duty Chief 800 (Hughes), Chief 824B, Chief 825A, SEMSDO (Scruggs) were on the scene.

This image was captured by the PGFD Duty Chief - Assistant Fire Chief Tony Hughes

This image was captured by the PGFD Duty Chief - Assistant Fire Chief Tony Hughes
This image was captured by the PGFD Duty Chief - Assistant Fire Chief Tony Hughes
























Wednesday, June 14, 2017

WARNING - All Consumer Fireworks are Illegal in Prince George's County - Watch Video Demo

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
mebrady@co.pg.md.us     @PGFDPIO
For citizens and residents of Prince George's County the purchase and use of backyard fireworks for the upcoming Fourth of July celebrations may be confusing.  It is OK to purchase a Christmas Tree in another jurisdiction and bring home to the County.  The same applies for roadside purchases of flowers, fruit, artwork, etc.  As County residents travel around the region they will see roadside and parking lot booths set up promoting the sale and use of fireworks in neighboring jurisdictions.  Stores sell fireworks also.  You may ask whats up??

Prince George's County is one of three jurisdictions in Maryland that prohibit all consumer fireworks.  This law is designed to protect you and those around you.

Citizens, businesses and visitors should know that any consumer purchased fireworks are illegal in Prince George’s County.  All fireworks from sparklers up to ground display are illegal - our law removes any doubt about what is permitted and what is not!!!  All consumer fireworks are not permitted in Prince George's County.  

Consumer purchased backyard fireworks can cause injuries and damage from fires.  Please enjoy your fireworks at one of the many public displays.

Penalties for violation of this law carries up to $1,000 in fines and 6 months in jail.  Enjoy Fourth of July safely and legally, attend a public or municipal display.

To demonstrate the power of a seemingly innocent fire cracker I encourage you to watch this video.  A small firecracker is inserted into a melon.  Imagine you are holding this same firecracker in your hand when it explodes!!!

Don't try this at home.  These displays were conducted by members of the Fire/EMS Department Bomb Squad under strict safety guidelines!!!



Facts & Figures from the National Fire Protection Association

  • In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,8000 reported fires, including 1,200 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported civilian deaths, 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage.
  • In 2011, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 9,600 people for fireworks related injuries; 61% of 2011 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 34% were to the head.
  • The risk of fireworks injury was highest for children ages 5-19, and adults 25-44 in an atypical year of a very comparable risk across much of the population
Over the past several years, during the July 4th week, there has been only one significant injury and no significant property damage in Prince George's County from fireworks.  Our fireworks law is a law we can live with!!!  If you have purchased your own backyard fireworks and were not aware of the County Law, call 301-583-2200 and request a Fire Investigator to come by your residence to confiscate them.  You will not be charged with a crime if you use this method of surrendering fireworks.
  • On Independence Day, in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.
  • The Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department sincerely wishes everyone a happy and safe Independence Day celebration.  We understand that fireworks are a traditional component of the celebration and we strongly encourage everyone to visit one of these approved fireworks displays.

  • All consumer purchased fireworks are illegal to purchase, posses, transport and use in Prince George's County.  This law has help to reduce the number of injuries and fires typically experienced during this festive time of year.

    The following public and municipal locations have obtained appropriate permits to conduct an approved fireworks display.  Some locations may charge an entrance fee, please call ahead for details.  Most fireworks displays start shortly after dusk (approximately 9:00 pm).

    Fireworks Display for Saturday, July 1, 2017

    Daylong celebration in the City of Laurel ends with Fireworks from Granville Gude Park around 9:15 pm

    Fireworks Displays for Tuesday, July 4, 2017

    Town of District Heights, MD - E. Michael Roll Municipal Building - 2000 Marbury Drive

    Town of Morningside, MD - 6901 Ames Street                   

    City of College Park MD - University of Maryland Parking Lot 1 Concert at 7 p.m. Fireworks at 9 p.m. 

    City of Greenbelt MD - Buddy Attick Park 555 Crescent Road. Fireworks at Dusk. 

    Admission charges may apply for the following:

    Six Flags America - Mitchellville, MD. The amusement park sponsors a spectacular fireworks display on July 4th. Enjoy a full day of family entertainment.  Call for more information 301-249-1500

    Bowie, MD - Prince George’s Stadium, 4101 NE Crain Hwy. Fireworks after the Baysox baseball game. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Fire Chief Announces a Civilian Promotion!!!

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

Prince George's County Fire Chief Benjamin Barksdale recently notified the Department of a civilian promotion.  In a department-wide Email, he wrote;

"I am proud to announce the promotion of Ms. Angela Cooper to Supply Manager III at Logistics and Supply, effective May 14, 2017.  Ms. Cooper started her career with Prince George’s County in 1990 as a General Clerk IV with the Police Department.  Angela has also held positions within other County agencies to include the Department of Corrections, Public Works and Transportation, the Office of the State’s Attorney, and ultimately transferred to the Fire/EMS Department on June 27, 2005.   Ms. Cooper’s vast knowledge and experience has proven advantageous to the Fire/EMS Department and I encourage you all to join me in congratulating her."

Congratulations Angela!!!!!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Stay safe and healthy during high heat!!!

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

MEBrady@co.pg.md.us     @PGFDPIO
Stay safe and healthy during high heat!!!

From our National Weather Service:

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 94. West wind 5 to 7 mph. 

Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 71. South wind 3 to 7 mph. 

Monday: Sunny, with a high near 93. West wind 3 to 6 mph. 

Monday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 72.

Tuesday: Sunny, with a high near 95.

With high temperatures in Prince George’s County for the next few days 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 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

• Make sure pets have access to water and shade

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Benjamin M. Barksdale - PGFD 12th Fire Chief Confirmation and Oath

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

In January of 2017, Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker III appointed Benjamin M. Barksdale to serve as Acting Fire Chief until confirmation by the County Council.  On Tuesday, June 6, Ben Barksdale was confirmed by a unanimous County Council vote to serve as the 12th person to serve as Fire Chief of the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department.

Immediately following the Council affirmation, Benjamin Barksdale, with his wife Sandra and other family members took the Oath of Office administered by the Clerk of the Circuit Court Sydney J. Harrison.

Washington Post article by Lynh Bui.





Confirmation Hearing - County Council Hearing Room





Volunteer Firefighter Michael White testifies on behalf of Benjamin Barksdale





Reverend Dr. Leonard L. Hamlin, Sr. testifies on behalf of Benjamin Barksdale







 Oath of Office Ceremony - Office of the County Executive
















Oath of Office administered by the Clerk of the Circuit Court Sydney J. Harrison.