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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

PGFD Fire Investigator Graduates Police Academy with Distinction

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

A Prince George's County Firefighter/Medic joined the County Police Basic Training Academy Class 138 in order to qualify for the position of Fire Investigator.  Fire Fighter/Medic Andi Inez Villasenor graduated today with her class and did so with distinction.

Villasenor was presented with three top honors during the ceremony including; Sergeant Robert J. Talbert Memorial Award for Physical Fitness, Sergeant F. Gaughan Memorial Award for Achievement in Criminal Law and the Sergeant Joseph K. Brown Memorial Award for the Highest Academic Class Average (97.8%).   "I am impressed and honored to have a Fire/EMS Department member graduate with such high accolades," said Fire Chief Benjamin M. Barksdale.  

Joining Fire Chief Barksdale at the graduation ceremony in Largo were Deputy Fire Chief Alan Doubleday, Assistant Fire Chiefs BJ Harris and Gary Krichbaum as well as the majority of the personnel from the Fire/EMS Department's Office of the Fire Marshal.

"I could not be more proud of Fire Investigator Villasenor.  Her achievements during her time at the Police Academy reflect favorably upon her as an individual and on the Fire/EMS Department as a whole," said Fire Chief Barksdale.

Deputy Chief Alan Doubleday who oversees the Office of the Fire Marshal said, "Fire Investigator Villasenor is joining a talented group of personnel.  Her skills and talents will be put to good use as a member of the Office of the Fire Marshal." 

Fire Investigator Villasenor has the honor to present the class flag of Police Basic Training Class #138.

Monday, March 11, 2019

PGFD Haz-Mat Team Train for Weapons of Mass Destruction Detection

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

Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department Hazardous Materials Technicians participate in sampling training conducted by the Department of Homeland Security Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office.  PGFD and DHS operate a novel collaborative agreement which helps to build local capacity to respond to high threat incidents.  PGFD operates a fulltime Hazardous Materials Response Program that has multiple capabilities to respond to a myriad of event types.  Building relationships during training events such as this maximizes efficiency and effectiveness during response to emergency situations.  Assistant Chief Marino stated, “we are grateful to our federal partners for providing this opportunity.  We look forward to continue to leverage these opportunities to share our resources and maximize the safety of the citizens and residents of Prince George’s County.”

Picture Credit:  Assistant Fire Chief Mike Marino, PGFD

Friday, March 8, 2019

IAFF Local 1619 Peer Support Program Awarded Unit Citation.

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

The IAFF Local 1619 Peer Support program received the highest award the Department bests upon a group on March 7th, 2019 at 1619 office in Bowie.  Fire Chief Benjamin M. Barksdale joined by Chief Deputy Tiffany Green presented a unit Citation to IAFF 1619 President Andrew Pantelis and members of the group.  

In 2016, the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), Local 1619, created a “Peer Support” program.  This program is a process for giving and receiving non-clinical assistance to achieve long-term recovery from behavioral health challenges.  Assistance is provided by peer supporters who have what is referred to as “lived experience”.  These individuals are also trained to assist others in initiating and maintaining long-term recovery and enhancing the quality of life for individuals and their families.  

March 7thwas intentionally chosen as the day for presentation of this award.  Two years ago, on this date, Bridgette P. Wilson, a longtime employee of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department, friend to many, and civilian member of the Peer Support Team departed this life.  So, today, we honor Ms. Wilson and remember the dedication and commitment she demonstrated in helping to bring about advancement of the Peer Support Program.  

"To the entire Peer Support Team, thank you for selflessly giving of your time and expertise on the behalf of public safety members throughout the country," stated Fire Chief Barksdale in making the presentation. " The Team, under the leadership of past and present coordinators, Battalion Chief Grady Valencis and Fighter Michael Wells, respectively, has become invaluable not only to the membership of Local 1619, but the entire International Association of Fire Fighters."       

All images by Mike Yourishin

Christine Barker accepted Bridgette Wilsons recognition on her behalf.