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Friday, December 20, 2019

SIX FLAGS America Donates Stuffed Animals for Children Involved with PGFD EMS

MEDIA Contact: Mark E. Brady, Chief Public Information Officer, 240-508-7930
MEBrady@co.pg.md.us     @PGFDPIO     PIOMarkBrady@gmail.com

SIX FLAGS America Donates Stuffed Animals

For the second consecutive year Six Flags America donated dozens of plush stuffed animals to the Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department.  The stuffed animals were a result of a donation from patrons visiting the Largo location during their Holiday in the Park.  For each stuffed animal purchased by a patron one would also be donated to the Department.

"These stuffed animals will soon be available on our EMS units.  When one of our medics comes in contact with a child on a call, a stuffed toy will be provided to help with the child in coping with whatever crisis they are dealing with at the time," stated Fire Chief Tiffany Green.

Denise Stokes, Communications Manager at Six Flags America,  made the presentation to Chief Green and said, "We enjoy helping the community and our Fire /EMS Department.  This seemed to be a unique and effective way of bringing some sense of joy to a child in need."

The crew from the Pointer Ridge Fire/EMS Station 843 were on hand as well to accept the stuffed animals.

Breaking barriers: The 4 female chiefs of the National Capital Region - FireRescue1.com

Breaking barriers: The 4 female chiefs of the National Capital Region

The women offer insights for tackling challenges to inclusiveness in the fire service – and pushing back against the “haters”

Yesterday at 12:45 PM

It is no secret that from the earliest beginnings of the fire service, this has been a male-dominated vocation. But through the years, more and more women began joining the ranks, and now, the perception that this is a male-only job is as antiquated as horse-drawn steamers – but that doesn’t mean some people don’t still balk at the idea of women leading the charge and put up roadblocks to hamper progress.

History, struggles and progress

Molly Williams, a slave in New York City, is generally acknowledged as the first female firefighter – a volunteer with the Oceanus Fire Company #11 around 1815.
The four fire chiefs pose in front of the historic Catonsville, Maryland, Fire Station #4 (from left to right): Chiefs Rund, Green, Uhlhorn and Wolford. (Photos/Marc Bashoor)
The four fire chiefs pose in front of the historic Catonsville, Maryland, Fire Station #4 (from left to right): Chiefs Rund, Green, Uhlhorn and Wolford. (Photos/Marc Bashoor)
For the Boston Fire Department, it would be 1984 – 306 years after the department was formed in 1678 – before the first female firefighter would be hired.
Thirty-four years later, multiple media outlets covered the release of a December 2018 report issued by the city of Boston deriding the lack of female firefighters in the Boston Fire Department. At the time of the report, there were only 16 female firefighters, out of 1,500, working for the department.
The City of Boston has taken steps to improve female representation, including work toward implementing the 21 recommendations from the report. And there is progress. On Nov. 24, 2019, Deanna McDevitt, a fourth-generation Boston firefighter, became the first woman promoted to division chief for the department.
Other areas of the country – particularly the National Capital Region – paint a different picture of progress for women in the fire service.
I had the honor to sit down with four female fire chiefs at historic Catonsville, Maryland, Fire Station #4. The four chiefs all head large combination paid/volunteer department in the Baltimore and Washington region of Maryland:
The women were gracious to spend a day talking about their priorities, their passions and their struggles as the first female fire chiefs for each of these jurisdictions.
The four chiefs discussed their priorities, passions and struggles as the first female fire chiefs for each of these jurisdictions. (Photo/Marc Bashoor)
The four chiefs discussed their priorities, passions and struggles as the first female fire chiefs for each of these jurisdictions. (Photo/Marc Bashoor)

Getting to know the four chiefs

Having previously served in Prince George’s County, coupled with my involvement with the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association, I have had the pleasure to get to know each of these chiefs personall
Host Chief Baltimore County's Joanne Rund – also a member of the FireRescue1/Fire Chief Editorial Advisory Board – shared some history of Catonsville Fire Station #4, which was built in 1914, making it the longest continuously operated station in the area – quite a symbol of the past meeting the future. As the five of us sat together at the kitchen table, it was hard to not imagine how the walls must have been talking about a female chief, let alone four, sitting together and talking about their struggles and opportunities in the fire service.
Chief Rund commented on the tremendous weight and accomplishment she feels, having been selected from outside of Baltimore County to head the department: “Five years ago, and at five years in, I would have never guessed I’d be sitting here today. [I worked to] climb through the ranks, have had a feeling of mission, which became a drive – and here we are 32 years in fire service later.”
Rund is Baltimore County’s 27th chief since 1881. Baltimore County boasts 1,069 paid firefighters and 800 volunteer firefighters, covering 610 square miles and answering approximately 150,000 calls annually.
My connection to Prince George’s County Acting Fire Chief Green extends back to my time as Prince George’s County’s 11th fire chief, when I had the honor of promoting Green three times to ascending roles within the organization. She now works toward becoming Prince George’s County’s 13th fire chief.
Green, with 21 years on the job, commented: “For me, [the challenge] is two-fold, not just a woman but an African-American female. So it’s kind of bittersweet to be the 13th chief and to be the first female, but it’s also sad that there’s only three other African-American female chiefs currently serving in the world.”
At a mere 25 days into her tenure at the time of our interview, Green also acknowledged the weight and opportunities for success. Prince George’s County Fire/EMS has 968 paid firefighters and 1,500 volunteer firefighters, covering 480 square miles of land and an additional 20 square miles of water, including the Potomac River. The Department answers over 151,000 calls for service annually.
Chief Wolford, with 14 years of fire service experience, “took the long road around,” she said, having previously worked in Anne Arundel County as a firefighter before accepting a position in the Bozeman (Montana) Fire Department, then an assistant chief’s position in the Spokane (Washington) Fire Department.
Wolford is Anne Arundel County’s 12th fire chief since 1965 (the first three were called administrators). Anne Arundel County has 1,000 paid firefighters and between 300 and 600 volunteers, covering approximately 414 square miles of land and an additional 170 square miles of water, including the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The Department answers over 85,000 calls for service annually.
With almost 31 years of service, at the time of the interview, Howard County Chief Uhlhorn declared that she was “16 days from retirement.” The statement came as somewhat of a shock to the group; however, the story is that she was supposed to retire due to the “drop” in 16 days – a decision, of course, made before her 2018 selection as chief. Serving as Howard County’s 11th fire chief, Uhlhorn commands a force of 453 paid firefighters and approximately 500 volunteer firefighters.

Attitudes of unwelcomeness drive motivation

As I started to address “a time when women were not welcomed in the fire service,” my comment was quickly cut off. Chief Uhlhorn commented, “A woman, OMG, and CHIEF? Oh no!” Collectively, the women made sure that I would know they believe the unwelcomeness still exists today.
Chief Rund asked, “You think we don’t hear that today? It is still very real!”
As they talked about other female chiefs around the country, Chief Wolford echoed Rund, “It’s still very real … I’m sure the walls are talking right now.”
Speaking to how these challenges impact their work running a department, Chief Uhlhorn explained, “All of us have been in the system long enough; we’re used to it, accustomed to it, it hasn’t deterred us, we believe in ourselves. They can talk all they want, I know that I’m qualified.”
Chief Green likened the “talk” to a challenge: “There is a motivational factor that comes with it – kind of a thank you for the haters.”
The “haters” comment drew collective laughter and agreement that, “Haters are always motivators.” That kind of reverse-motivation, as Chief Green explained, “propels you to be the best, and I think in this group, we are the best … we are the trailblazers, every decision, every mistake we make is broadcast on a different level, and we’re setting the path forward for the next group, and it’s a lot of responsibility there. I think it’s more for us than it is for men.”

Finding mentors – and family support

When it comes to mentorship for women in the fire service, we talked about other female chiefs over time, with names like Mary Beth Michos (Prince William County, Virginia; IAFC senior advisor), Rhoda Mae Kerr (Little Rock, Arkansas; Austin, Texas; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; former IAFC president) and Toni Washington (Decatur, Georgia) drawing praise from the group. There were plenty of internal and external role models and mentors as well who helped the chiefs excel.
Chief Wolford talked about “coming in, internalizing, watching social mechanics, and everything other female chiefs did.” She also shared an experience from attending Fire-Rescue International (FRI) conference and finding the female-fire chief mecca! “I opened the door, found the mecca of five-bugle women at FRI, went around and talked to each one. I had to tell them, you’re now my friend, you’re now my friend … there really aren’t that many of us, so finding that large group was good.”
Each of the chiefs acknowledged male and female counterpart mentors and icons of the fire service who impacted and helped propel them.
Chief Rund relayed an early-career story: “My officer was Mike Dorsey, on an all-male shift. I was easily intimidated. I mean, these were great guys, but I was a perfectionist and felt the intimidation I brought on myself. Mike knew that I was always hard on myself, so he would always take that extra step to show me. He could tell when I wasn’t happy with my performance, and he would take me aside afterwards and we would talk about it, always had that voice of reason.”
Chief Uhlhorn’s spoke to her family’s support, as it evolved over the years: “My dad was a firefighter in Baltimore City for 36 years, my grandad also. We have over 250 fire service years in the family, so I’ve done my share at 31 years. Early in kindergarten, my mom still has this picture, we had to draw this picture of what we wanted to do when we grew up. I came home with a fire truck. I drew a fire truck. I drew me with my blonde hair and fire helmet and gave it to my dad. No one ever said, ‘You can’t do that, you can’t be a fireman.’”
She continued: “When I told my dad I was joining as a volunteer, and I told him I wanted to go career, my dad was old school, I’m not going to lie. He told me he didn’t know if women belonged in the department. I said OK – and here we are!”
Chief Uhlhorn spoke about this period of pain in her life with some laughter, continuing: “When I went in the Academy, dad told me he wanted me to come to his station, Truck 8 Baltimore City, when I got out of class, while he was working. I remember his shift members would say, ‘Frank, you’re killing her.’ He had me throwing ladders myself, he’d block Frederick Road and had me climbing the aerial at 90 degrees, using axes, everything – this was after all day in the Academy. So I’d leave the Academy crying and go down Frederick Road to my dad to be tested. And when I graduated, he pinned me, and he told me, ‘I don’t know if women belong in the fire service, but I know you do.’”
Much like my own story, Chief Green said no one else in her family has a fire service background: “My story is purely about public service, as I joined as a volunteer after fulfilling a ride-along requirement for a George Washington University EMT program I was in. My mentors in the fire service were actually males – I was happy as a firefighter, loved what I was doing, but they pushed me to promote. They saw something better, something that I didn’t see. I was happy, fine being a firefighter in my mind forever. Once I took the first promotional exam, it was a bug or that desire, something that propelled me.”
It is somewhat surprising to me that the only department at the table with a formal mentoring program is Howard County.
Chief Uhlhorn shared information about a new officers mentor program, but also St. Florian’s Brigade, a program that has been mentoring women in the fire service for 5 or 6 years. “We assign a female mentor to women in the Academy, so they can call them, ask them any questions, prepare them for their time in the fire service, like a ‘big sister’ program,” Uhlhorn explained.
From left to right: Chiefs Rund, Green, Bashoor, Uhlhorn and Wolford.
From left to right: Chiefs Rund, Green, Bashoor, Uhlhorn and Wolford.

Tackling remaining challenges for inclusion

The chiefs shared advice for how to tackle the remaining barriers to better inclusion in the fire service.
Chief Green said a lot of the challenges that remain stem from the history of the individual departments – and the fire service as a whole – coupled with the perception that women can physically do the job: “Advice I’ve given other women on the physicality is to understand there’s always more than one way to do things. Realize your body makeup is never going to be the same as the man, but there are techniques in training that come from training and dedication – focus on mastering physical fitness, make sure you’re comfortable and competent, and don’t let THEIR perception become your reality.”
Chief Wolford stressed the importance of self-awareness and self-confidence: “Don’t get pushed one way or the other, don’t worry (so much). Like most of us, we worked in all-male crews at some point, but it’s the ones who don’t have that self-confidence that need the help. I know several strong women in the department, they don’t have 20 years in, but they don’t have two years in … they’re in that sweet spot where they realize, this is who I am, and I’m really good at who I am. We’ve all been there.”
Chief Uhlhorn advised to not be afraid to fail and to admit your mistakes: “I own my failures, and I learn from them and I publicize them so hopefully somebody else can learn from them.”
She added that it’s vital to be yourself as well: “I think a problem a lot of women struggle with is they want to be one of the guys. My advice is you don’t need to be one of the guys to be competent. Be yourself, embrace the way you do things and push it out to other women – you can be a women and be successful in the fire service you can be a heck of a firefighter. Your gender does not drive what you can be, and it shouldn’t.”
Chief Rund echoed this sentiment: “Be comfortable in their own skin. Took me a long time to get there, just my personality. Set goals. It is important to set goals for yourself and don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek advice.”
Chiefs Green and Wolford share a moment of laughter. (Photo/Marc Bashoor)
Chiefs Green and Wolford share a moment of laughter. (Photo/Marc Bashoor)

Single piece of advice for fellow firefighters

Dovetailing on how to best tackle the remaining fire service challenges, I asked each chief to offer one piece of advice, for female firefighters in particular, but really everyone in the fire service.
Chief Wolford: “This position is about grit and hustle. Keep your butt in the chair and your face in the community.”
Chief Green: “Work-life balance. You gotta figure out that gym time. Generally, women are used to being the nurturer in the family, so you have both [a family and department] you’re nurturing.
Chief Rund: “Invest in people.”
Chief Uhlhorn: “I agree with everything. My advice is work/life balance. I’m a single mom, and this is non-stop, and you really have to take time, which I’m not, but I hear their advice and I hear me giving it, but you really do need to take time for yourself.”

Looking ahead and prioritizing projects

When all is said and done, the chiefs aren’t focused on the haters or the hurdles. They are dedicated to their departments – their members and their communities.
Chief Uhlhorn is focused on carcinogen reduction – purchasing second sets of gear and clean cabs: “We’re a small department, but we have a large percentage of people with cancer.” Chief Rund is similarly focused on health and safety in general as well as infrastructure and apparatus. Chief Green is tackling mental and physical wellness, risk reduction and community engagement. Chief Wolford is eyeing infrastructure.
Man or woman, all chiefs will be measured by their abilities to lead their people and their departments through thick and thin. These chiefs have the energy and drive to succeed, which will continue propelling their departments’ successes.

PGFD Career Recruit School #60 Prepares for Graduation

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Public Information Officer, 240-508-7930
mebrady@co.pg.md.us.    PIOMarkBrady@gmail.com

On Thursday, December 19th at 9:30 am the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Prince George's County Mahasin El Amin swore in remaining 12 members of Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department Career Recruit School # 60. The ceremony took place at the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court in Upper Marlboro. This signifies their completion of all required training to graduate from Career Recruit School scheduled on January 3rd, 2020 at Riverdale Baptist Church. There are 30 graduates in this class.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019


December 3, 2019 

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


Digital Dashboard System Improves Department-Wide Operational and Situational Awareness for First Responders 

Richmond, Va. – First Arriving today announced the deployment of its best-in-class Digital Dashboard system across the Prince George’s County, MD, Fire/EMS Department. With more than 100 digital displays providing mission critical data to over 60 stations, battalion and command offices, and the county’s training academy, the new system utilizes real-time analytics to enhances the department’s ability to respond more efficiently and effectively.

First Arriving’s Digital Dashboard features include:

· Real-time dispatch information, including incident location maps, StreetView and fastest routes
· Equipment maintenance alerts, out of service hydrants, training and certification expirations, pass along information, road closures, upcoming training events and riding assignments
· Easy to update information that can be managed at the county-wide, battalion or station-level
· Full integration with FirstWatch county-wide unit status, ePCR completion rate, hospital status and turnout times
· Real-time weather conditions, forecasts, radar and severe weather alerts

“First Arriving’s Digital Dashboards give our department the ability to take critical data and push that information out to those that need it most,” said Brian Frankel, Deputy Fire Chief, Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department. “Taking data and making it actionable improves system performance and unit utilization, thus allowing our department to better meet our community’s needs.”

In addition to the large display Digital Dashboards, Prince George’s County will also utilize First Arriving’s new desktop platform, which allows agency leadership to view department-wide data and individual worksite information in the office or on the go.

“We are excited to add Prince George’s County to the growing number of departments nationwide utilizing our Digital Dashboards to improve situational awareness and provide critical information when and where it’s needed most,” said Dave Iannone, CEO & Co-Founder, First Arriving. “Our Dashboards give public safety leaders a completely customized solution tailored to the unique communications needs of their department.”

First Arriving’s Digital Dashboard systems service fire departments, EMS, law enforcement, courts and local governments among other users. From small volunteer and combination agencies to some of the nation's largest departments, First Arriving's Dashboards now serve departments in more than 30 states coast-to-coast including Palm Beach County (FL), Mobile (AL) and San Bernardino County (CA).

“First Arriving’s Digital Dashboards give us the information we need at our fingertips,” said Robert Kight, Jr., Lieutenant, Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department. “The Dashboards give us the ability to make quicker, better-informed decisions in a job where every second counts.”
First Arriving’s Digital Dashboards provide full integration with a growing network of more than 50 leading third party technology platforms and service providers, including Active911, Aladtec and Emergency Reporting. To learn more about First Arriving’s Digital Dashboards, visit: www.firstarriving.com/dashboards.

About First Arriving First Arriving is a leading full-service marketing, communications and technology agency specializing in fire, rescue, EMS, law enforcement and local government. We provide innovative solutions, including digital signage, websites, video production and recruitment marketing that transform and engage. Our clients include renowned public safety brands, departments and agencies of all sizes, associations and non-profits. First Arriving is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, and serves clients nationwide. For more information, visit www.firstarriving.com.


Sunday, December 1, 2019

PGFD LODD December 1, 2003 Nadar Ali Hammett


Nadar Ali Hammett

Nadar Ali Hammett

  • ERT
  • Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department
  • Maryland
  • Age: 29
  • Year of Death: 2003

Submitted by his mother
Nadar was a very special and loved young man. 
Nadar actually means rare and unique‚ but he was such a wonderful young man his name was defined as: 
Never ending loved person
A man that was so kind and generous
Divine and loving son‚ brother and friend
Always be remembered and loved by his family and friends
Remembered as our angel 
Nadar joined the Prince George’s County Fire Department in 2000. He loved his job very much. He served three years with the Prince George’s County Fire Department as an EMT/Firefighter. He had plans to become a paramedic. He attended paramedic school at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington‚ D.C.‚ expecting to graduate in January 2004. 
On December 1‚ 2003‚ Nadar was taken from this earth in a tragic car accident on his way home from school. Nadar is still missed by all of us. His spirit will always stay with his family and friends. 

Monday, November 18, 2019

Media Advisory - Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department to Receive Donation of 1,500 Smoke Alarms From Pepco

MEDIA ADVISORY - Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department to Receive Donation of 1,500 Smoke Alarms From Pepco

MEDIA CONTACT: Michael J. Yourishin, PIO, 240-508-4183
mjyourishin@co.pg.md.us     @PGFDNEWS

MEDIA CONTACT: Michael J. Yourishin, PIO

For the past 15 years, the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department has received an annual donation of smoke alarms from Pepco. This year, the Department will take delivery of 1,500 smoke alarms, bringing the total of donated alarms to 15,500 over the course of the partnership. Acting Fire Chief Tiffany Green will be present to receive the smoke alarms and talk about the importance of having working smoke alarms in homes.

WHAT: Pepco Donates 1,500 Smoke Alarms to the Fire/EMS Department

WHEN: Tuesday, November 19, 2019, 1:00 p.m.

WHERE: Cranford/Graves Fire Services Building
6820 Webster Street
Landover Hills, MD 20784

WHO: Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department Acting Fire Chief Tiffany Green, Pepco representatives, and Fire/EMS Department members

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Doc and O2X: A Formula for Success

Doc and O2X: A Formula for Success 

Diane V. Cunningham, Assistant to the Public Information Officer

Current day "Doc"
As part of the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department’s initiative to focus on the wellness and fitness of our members, the third O2X Human Performance Program was held in April 2019. The core objective of O2X of is to help firefighters and other tactical athletes improve their physical and mental readiness and increase their productivity. This revolutionary training and education program is saving lives and building healthier, safer communities.

Firefighter/Medic Captain, Brian “Doc” Dougherty, 19-year member of the Department, has lost 20 pounds as a result of his participation in the O2X program. When asked what motivated him to give the program a try, he stated, “Initially, it was that the Department was putting on this program and wanted everyone to go through it. But on a more personal note, I had gotten to a point where I wanted to be in better physical condition. So, here was the Department offering something to actually give me guidance to accomplish this goal.”

Captain Dougherty boasts of having an overall sense of wellness. “I feel better and am able to do more stuff, which is essential in this profession. When I became a firefighter, I was already older than the individuals who started recruit school with me,” he says. “As an officer, I want to be both a source of encouragement and a role model to those who are just getting started in this profession. If I can inspire them—even if only one—to take their physical welfare seriously, they will likely have long and healthy careers.”

For Doc, getting a handle on his eating habits—what, when, and how much—was the most challenging part of the program. “There is no definitive break time in this career. In most instances, you have to eat when you can. Knowing that at any moment an alert could sound for an incident, you tend to gorge. Some of those days, you don’t run the calls that would allow you to burn off all the food you ate. Over time, shift after shift of undisciplined eating is naturally going to cause the numbers on the scale to rise,” he explained.

“One of the things I learned in the O2X program that really works for me is to drink water before meals. Your stomach is the size of your fist, and since your body is mostly water, you fill up pretty quickly. As much as possible, making healthier food choices is best. However, if you’re not eating the healthiest foods, it’s likely you won’t eat as much if you drink water first.” Doc understands as well
as the next person that there will be times when we are going to eat what we like, healthy or not. “Having some of the not so healthy foods I like,” he says, “is not so bad as long I don’t overindulge. The idea is discipline and moderation, not deprivation.”

The O2X program is a holistic approach to mind and body wellness. Each participant receives the same information but uses it in the way that best works for them. Captain Dougherty lives five miles from Fire/EMS Station 818 where he is assigned. Prior to transitioning to shiftwork, he began riding his bicycle to work every day. “I now bike on my days off, often putting in 30 to 50 miles on some days. I’ve even found a group that rides on the weekend!” he said.

Although Doc was active prior to beginning O2X, he admits that his level of activity was not compensating for what he was eating. The result, of course, was weight gain. He attributes the program with helping him confront his poor eating habits. “This,” he says, “was the key part for me. As I stated previously, each participant uses the information in the way it best suits them. This was my take away from the program.”

Each participant in the program was given a textbook and a workbook that allowed them to track their progress. Doc says, “Taking the information to heart and applying it is really what determines a successful outcome for the participant.” The O2X program’s methodology—Eat. Sweat. Thrive. —addresses the heightened stress levels, work/life balance issues, high-risk activities, and disproportionate rate of job-related injuries that have long been accepted as part of the day-to-day lives of firefighters. “It is imperative that all three components are in place. I was exercising, and I still gained weight. Healthy eating, exercise, and mental wellness all go hand-in-hand,” says Doc.

Today, Captain Dougherty weighs eight pounds less than when he began his career with the Fire/EMS Department 19 years ago. “I feel great, have more energy, and am in better shape now than I was at the start of my career,” he says. When asked if he would recommend the O2X program, he responded, “I absolutely would recommend the program. However, the most important thing is to get started with whatever programs or tools that are available to you. If you keep in mind that success is not the destination but the journey along the way, you will do just fine.”

Monday, October 21, 2019

National School Bus Safety Week

The week of October 21st-October 25th is National School Bus Safety Week. This public education campaign focuses on the importance of school bus safety, especially when it comes to other drivers on the road. 
The Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department is proud to support the Maryland Center for School Safety and the National Association of Pupil Transportation and do its part to make sure drivers are aware of the law and the importance of school bus safety. 
"We are requesting the help of our partners and the entire community in reminding all drivers about school bus stop arm safety," said Maryland Center for School Safety Executive Director Kate Hession. "We have placed messaging in all of the Motor Vehicle Administration service centers throughout the state and launched a new school bus safety public service announcement on social media, television, and digital billboards to remind drivers to STOP for any school bus with its flashing lights on and stop arm extended.”
In Maryland, it is illegal to pass a school bus with its red lights flashing and stop-arm extended when it has stopped to load or unload students. The law states that if a school vehicle has stopped on a road and is operating the alternately flashing red lights, the driver of any vehicle following or approaching the school bus must stop at least 20 feet from the front or rear of the school vehicle. Failure to stop for the bus can result in up to a $500 fine, three points on a driver's license, and increased insurance rates.
For more information on National School Bus Safety Week, visit www.napt.org/nsbsw. You can also follow the Maryland Center for School Safety on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all week to share their information and tips at hashtag #NSBSW.
Poster designed by Shivangi Ojha, an 8th Grader at Belton ISD in Temple, TX.