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Tuesday, July 28, 2009


The staffing plan announced yesterday has been adjusted due to a volunteer organizations commitment of staffing. On Monday, July 27, 2009, Prince George’s County Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones announced a staffing plan that will go into effect on Sunday, August 2, 2009. The staffing plan would remove career staffing from Calverton, Chillum, Riverdale Heights and Capital Heights and re-deploy them to nearby Fire/EMS Stations.

Faced with the prospect of receiving additional career staffing at the expense of the Calverton community, Beltsville Volunteer Chief Al Schwartz called a meeting of his membership to discuss their options. The volunteer membership wanted to become part of the solution and have clearly demonstrated that they have the leadership and resources to help. The membership at the Beltsville Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. has opted to reduce a portion of their complement of career staffing and increase the amount of time that the station is staffed by volunteer firefighters and EMT’s at the Beltsville Fire/EMS Station #831. This decision by the volunteers equates to the Calverton Fire/EMS Station #841, scheduled to become a haz-mat only station, to continue to provide fire suppression and EMS services.

Chief Jones, upon hearing of the decision, stated, “I commend Beltsville Volunteer Chief Schwartz and his membership for making this decision that will allow us to continue to staff the Calverton Station. This decision is just another example of how the volunteers from around the County have been contributing during these tough economic times and ensuring that the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department continues to provide the best possible services to our citizens and residents.”

The staffing of the Beltsville Fire/EMS Station #831 will change effective, Sunday, August 2, 2009, to day work only staffing. One fire officer and three firefighters will work Monday through Friday from 7:00 am until 3:00 pm. At all other times the station will be volunteer staffed. As stated in the original press release; the staffing plan is a fluid document that is subject to change just about any time.

Oxon Hill K of C "Byrne Manor" Suffers Total Loss

The Knights of Columbus Hall in Oxon Hill suffered a total loss from a fire that consumed the structure early this morning. Just after 2:00 AM, Tuesday, July 28, 2009, the District of Columbia Fire Department Office of Unified Communications notified Prince George’s County Public Safety Communications of the building fire. Initial reports from DCFD reported that fire had already extended through the roof of the Knights of Columbus Hall at 1501 Southern Avenue in Oxon Hill.

Prince George’s County Firefighters arrived and encountered a 1-story commercial structure with heavy fire showing from the first floor and through the roof. Firefighters immediately went into a defensive operation battling the blaze from the safety of the exterior of the well involved structure. It required 90 minutes for 40 firefighters to bring the fire under control. Fire Investigators have initiated their search for the cause and origin of the fire and have estimated fire loss at $1 million. There were no civilian or firefighter injuries reported.

Knights of Columbus Bishop Patrick J. Byrne Council #3877, “Byrne Manor,” was a popular community social hall that had hosted countless party and social events.

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