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Monday, March 12, 2018

Acting Deputy Fire Chief Announced

Statement from Fire Chief Ben Barksdale

It is my pleasure to announce on Sunday, April 1st, 2018 Assistant Chief, Brian Frankel has been selected to replace DFC Dennis Wood as the Emergency Services Command Deputy.  In addition, Battalion Chief Ernest Lindqvist will serve as the Assistant Chief/EMS Commander.  Both will serve in an acting capacity and will be confirmed in the very near future.  Their advancement is a direct reflection of their hard work and dedication to this Department, as well as to the residents and visitors for which they serve.  

I would like to take this opportunity to thank DFC Wood for twenty-three years of dedicated service.  His accomplishments in community risk reduction, hiring diversity, modern facilities, EMS performance and production, budget performance measures are a few examples of his efforts in making our Department better to serve the residents of Prince George’s County.  I would like to wish DFC Wood all the best in his new position with the National Fire Sprinkler Association.

Congratulations to all of them!

Benjamin M. Barksdale, MS, EFO, CFO
Fire Chief
Prince George's County Fire/EMS 

PGFD Deputy Fire Chief Wood Announces Retirement and New Job

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

Prince George's County Deputy Fire Chief Dennis C. Wood at 44 years of age and nearly 23 years of service announced his retirement effective March 31, 2018.  During the most recent three years, he served the personnel that provide direct fire suppression and emergency medical services to the community as the Emergency Services Deputy Chief.  He leaves the Department with a sense of pride and accomplishment about the growth and innovation that has resulted in improved effectiveness and efficiency.  

When asked about his career, he said "Any person's goal in their employment should be to leave it better than they found it.  The combined efforts within the Department and the Baker Administration has truly accomplished that.  I am proud of our accomplishments and to have had the privilege to guide those efforts.  The Department is on an excellent path, I look forward to seeing even greater things in the future."

Deputy Chief Wood has accepted a position that allows him to serve the fire service as the Director of Operations for the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA).  This opportunity allows him to follow a leadership role that can influence the effectiveness of the fire service and improve fire safety on a national level.  The NFSA seeks the "widespread acceptance of the sprinkler concept" and Prince George's County is a national leader in support of residential sprinklers, his experiences in the County will undoubtedly contribute to future successes in his new role.   

"Congratulations to Deputy Fire Chief Dennis Wood on his retirement after 23 years of dedicated service to Prince George's County,” said County Fire Chief Benjamin Barksdale. “I was happy to hear he will be taking a position with the NFSA where he will continue to serve as a residential fire sprinkler advocate not only for personnel and residents here in Prince George’s County but also around the Country." 

No word yet on his replacement.

Colmar Manor House Fire with Civilian Fatality

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

“Change your Clock – Change your Battery” is a battle cry from firefighters heard across the Country urging residents to remember to check their smoke alarm when they move their clock forward one-hour to reflect Daylight Saving Time.  On this very day Prince George’s County firefighters battled a well-advanced fire and removed an occupant that was later pronounced at the hospital.  No smoke alarms were found inside the home.

Colmar Manor community members saw the fire coming from the roof of the 2-story split-foyer single-family home in the 4200 block of Monroe Street just after 10:00 pm, Sunday, March 11.  They did everything they possibly could including banging on the front door of the house, calling 911 and reporting what they were seeing but there was nothing more they could do.

Firefighters arrived and encountered fire conditions throughout the top floor of the structure.  The fire had already extended into the attic and through the roof.  A simultaneous interior attack on the fire and search for occupants ensued resulting in finding an unconscious adult male occupant.  He was removed and medics initiated pre-hospital emergency care and transported to a nearby medical facility.  Sadly, the 70-year-old man was pronounced a short time later.  No other civilian or firefighter injuries were reported.

The fire was extinguished and personnel from the County Office of the Fire Marshal started their investigation into the cause and origin of the fire.  They estimate that $150,000 in fire loss occurred to the structure and contents.  The cause and origin remain under investigation.  An autopsy will be performed to determine if this will be the 4th fire fatality of 2018.  There were a total of 5 residential fire fatalities with accidental causes in calendar year 2017.  Fire related fatalities in 2017 and to date in 2018 have occurred in homes that did not have a working smoke alarm.

Maryland residents are reminded to have 10-year smoke alarms on every level of your home, primarily, in hallways just outside of sleeping areas.  Additionally, 10-year smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom and residents should close their bedroom doors when they go to sleep.

Regardless of the type of smoke alarm you have, test your alarms on the Safety First Day of every month to ensure they are working.  In addition to having working smoke alarms an escape plan should be planned and practiced with all home occupants identifying 2-ways out of every room in your house and a safe meeting place outside.

Prince George’s County residents that need a 10-year smoke alarm installed in their home and can not afford to purchase one themselves should call 311 and ask about the free smoke alarm installation program.

Please install and maintain working smoke alarms – they save lives!!!

Identity of deceased:

William Mobley – DOB 1-14-1948