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Friday, December 31, 2010

Ambulance Involved in Crash

At approximately 2330 hours last night a county ambulance assigned to Company 808, Seat Pleasant, was involved in a motor vehicle accident at the intersection of Eastern Avenue and Addison Road in Chapel Oaks, Maryland.

Fire & EMS units quickly arrived on the scene and evaluated a total of four patients with everyone being okay and receiving only minor injuries. The civilian driver refused transport, and two firefighter/EMTs and another patient were transported to area hospitals for further evaluation. All are expected to be release from the hospital today.

There were approximately 10 firefighters and paramedics on the scene that supported this operation. The cause of the accident is still under investigation by the Prince George's Police Department.

Additionally, in accordance with Fire/EMS department regulations, a post-accident drug/alcohol screening will be conducted with ambulance driver.

Very respectfully,
Acting Major Paul Cruz
301 883 7154

Mark E. Brady

Four Residents Sick from Fumes

At approximately 2220 hours, Public Safety Communications received a 911 call from the 7000 block of Highview Terrace in Hyattsville, Maryland, for a report of an unknown odor in a three-story, multi-family apartment building. A fire department Engine was immediately dispatched and arrived shortly on the scene, investigated the situation, and discovered that a new tenant mixed common household cleaning materials thus causing an irritant odor throughout the building.

Additional Fire & EMS units were requested to the scene to assist the first arriving Engine due to a number of tenants complaining of the irritant. As additional fire & EMS units arrived, they assisted other tenants and in the ventilation of the building to remove the irritant odor. As a precaution the Prince Georges Fire/EMS Department dispatched its hazardous materials units along with its medical ambulance bus. The hazmat units were used for investigation purposely only with their advance meters.

As a result of the incident, four patients were transported to area hospitals for evaluations with none being life threatening. The patients ages range from 22 - 65 years of age and it is unknown at the time if the patients were all from the same apartment unit or from the unit of origin of the irritant odor. There were a total of 21 firefighters and paramedics on-the-scene supported by 7 apparatuses. The incident was beginning to downsize and fire and EMS units were going in-service shortly.

Very respectfully,
Acting Major Paul Cruz
Mark E. Brady

Monday, December 27, 2010

Bowie Crash Sends Two to Hospital

Prince George’s County Public Safety personnel worked together this morning at the scene of a 2-vehicle crash. Just after 10:00 am, firefighters, paramedics and police officers were dispatched to a motor vehicle crash with injuries and entrapment. Personnel arrived at the incident scene in the 9500 block of Laurel Bowie Road, near Old Jericho Park Road, in Bowie. Each vehicle involved had sustained significant front end damage with the drivers of each vehicle sustaining injuries.

A female, 40ish years-of-age, was treated on the scene for her injuries and transported by ambulance to a local hospital in good condition. The driver of the second vehicle, a 60ish years-of-age male, was trapped in his vehicle for about 20 minutes. Firefighters used their heavy-duty hydraulic tools, Jaws of Life, to free the trapped man. Paramedics tended to his potentially serious injuries and transported him to a Trauma Center. His injuries appear to be non-life threatening.

The Prince George’s County Police Department closed down Route 197 for about an hour allowing personnel to work safely at the crash site. They will be conducting the investigation into the cause of the accident and will handle the release of any additional information.

Firefighters and Paramedics from Bowie Fire/EMS Station #819 and Glenn Dale Fire/EMS Station #818 work to free an adult male from his significantly damaged car on Route 197 in Bowie.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Home Damaged and Family Displaced in Christmas Morning Blaze

Just before 10:00 am, Christmas Morning, firefighters and medics were alerted to a house fire. Fire/EMS units arrived quickly at 6632 24th Avenue in Chillum and encountered a 1-story single family home with heavy fire showing.

Firefighters conducted an aggressive interior attack on the fire and searched the house for any occupants. The fire was extinguished and all occupants were found safe after they exited their burning home prior to the firefighters arrival.

The family; 2 adults and 2 children, 6 months and 3 years of age, are being assisted by the Red Cross. Firefighters will work throughout the day ensuring the family has clothing, toys and personal items.

Prince George's County Acting Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor was on the scene and directed incident commanders to ensure the displaced family was accommodated as much as possible. Bashoor stated, "The combined efforts of our career, civilian and volunteer members will work with the displaced family in the spirit of the Holiday Season and to help in whatever we can do to redeem Christmas Day."

Over 40 firefighters and paramedics worked on the scene. There were no injuries. The cause of the fire is under investigation and fire loss is still being tabulated.
Mark E. Brady

Friday, December 24, 2010

PGFD Tech Rescue of Teenager

Just after 5:00 pm, December 24, 2010, firefighters, paramedics and the Department's Technical Rescue Team responded for an injured teen-aged female that had fallen down a steep incline into a dry creek bed ravine.

Fire/EMS units responded to the 8100 block of Overfield Ct. In Bowie where the female had fallen into a 30ft ravine while attempting to find a lost cell phone. The incident was located about 300yds from the street. She was with her mother who summoned help after being unable to rescue her daughter.

The Fire/EMS Department high-angle team worked quickly to reach the girl and at around 6:30 were lifting her out of the ravine using a rope and pulley system.

The patient has been under the care of paramedics since their arrival. She is being treated for hypothermia and possible injuries to her back. She is being transported via MSP Trooper 2 meda-vac to a nearby trauma center for treatment of her injuries. She is in good condition with non-life threatening injuries.

Mark Brady

Mark E. Brady

Media Advisory - Firefighting Father and Son Work Christmas Day Together

A veteran Fire Fighter/Medic Captain and his Fire Fighter/Medic son will spend Christmas Day together protecting the citizens and residents of Oxon Hill and surrounding Prince George's County communities.

John Elie and son, Chris, will have the rare opportunity to work together at the same station and it just happens to be on Christmas Day.

The Elie Family is rich in public safety tradition and understand not everyone can be home during the Holiday Season. The next best thing is to be able to work together and share the day with other members of the fire service while staffing a Paramedic Engine and Paramedic Ambulance at the Oxon Hill Fire/EMS Station #842, 1100 Marcy Avenue, 301-883-7742.

Members of the media are invited to stop by the station during their shift. Breakfast will be around 8:00 am and the entire 5th Battalion will attempt to share dinner together later in the day at the Oxon Hill Fire/EMS Station #821 on Livingston Road.

Please call me if you have any questions. Happy Holidays.

Mark E. Brady
Mark E. Brady

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Beltsville Water Main Break

Fire/EMS Department Incident Commanders are on location and closely monitoring a water main break in Beltsville.

The Washington Post is reporting the following information:

Maryland Route 1 is closed in both directions between Ewing Road and Montgomery Road in Beltsville because of a water main break. Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission officials warn that there is flooding and drivers should avoid the area. Traffic on Rhode Island Avenue can access Route 1.

The WSSC said crews are at the scene working on repairs to a 16-inch water main, and residents in the area may be experiencing low water pressure.

Mark E. Brady

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fire Lt. Ralph T. Welch Retires After 22 Years of Service

One of the final tasks that Fire Lieutenant Ralph Welch wanted to do in his career was to be the chauffeur for the Emergency Operations Commander. So it was on Tuesday, December 21, 2010, Ralph Welch drove Acting Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Lamoria around the County and visited many of the fire stations he had been assigned to.  Welch, being resourceful as he has been known to be, was also able to knock off a few signatures on his retirement check-out form while doing so.

After 22 years of dedicated service to the citizens and residents of Prince George’s County Lt. Welch is retiring. He was given a luncheon at Silver Hill Fire/EMS Station 829 where he was presented with his retirement badge by Acting Colonel Lamoria and attended the Fire Chiefs Open House. His future includes a move to Iowa and who knows from there.

Ralph, On behalf of the Department, thank you for your service and dedication, you are a valued member of the Fire/EMS Service in Prince George’s County. We wish you continued health and our best wishes for your future endeavors.

Office of the Fire Chief's Holiday Open House

The Office of the Fire Chief's Holiday Party brought many old and new acquaintances together to share in the festivities of the season.  Acting Fire Chief Marc Bashoor and staff hosted dozens of visitors at Fire/EMS Department Headquarters on the 4th floor of the Largo Government Center.   Guests enjoyed a variety food, snacks and soft drinks purchased with donated, non-county, funds. 

On behalf of Chief Marc Bashoor and all the career, civilian and volunteer men and women of the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department, we wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season!!!


Greenbelt “Police & Fire Holiday Shop-Along”

Shop-Along Group at the present-wrapping party held at the Greenbelt Fire/EMS Station.
The Greenbelt Volunteer Fire Department and Greenbelt Police Department partnered for the first annual “Police & Fire Holiday Shop-Along” that occurred on Sunday, December 19th at the Target in Beltway Plaza. This program partners less fortunate children from the community with Greenbelt Police Officers and Firefighters, allowing the children to purchase Christmas presents for themselves as well as family members. Each child was allotted a budget of $125 and escorted to the store to make the purchases. The children were then brought back to a “present wrapping” party where they enjoyed pizza while they wrapped their gifts at the Greenbelt Fire/EMS Station. The children were selected to participate through nominations by their elementary school.

The Greenbelt Police Department and the Greenbelt Volunteer Fire Department would like to extend their sincere thanks to those of you who donated to the first annual Police & Fire Holiday Shop-Along. It was a huge success and several children of Greenbelt were helped as a result of your generosity. Thank you for your support of this worthy cause.

Additional information about this program and instructions for tax-deductible donations contact; MPO Kelly Lawson at 240-542-2116 or at klawson@greenbeltmd.gov

Happy Holidays from all your Greenbelt police officers and firefighters!

Monday, December 20, 2010


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

Santa Claus came into town a little bit early and was joined by his wife and elves as they double-checked their naughty or nice list.  Fortunately, Acting Prince George's County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor, Riverdale Park Police Chief Teresa Chambers and volunteers from the Riverdale Fire Department made the "nice" list this year.  To celebrate making the list-to-be-on, Bashoor, Chambers and Riverdale career and volunteer firefighters joined Santa and his entourage as they visited the Riverdale Elementary school today, December 20, 2010.

Santa opted to arrive in style and ditched his sled for E855 from the Bunker Hill Fire/EMS Station.  Both Chief's accompanied Santa as he made his rounds throughout the school greeting excited and hopeful children.  It was obvious the Chiefs were trying to stay on Santa's good side!!!

To show his appreciation, Santa left behind food baskets prepared by the Public Safety Assistance Program for pick-up by pre-identified families.

The members of the Riverdale Volunteer Fire Department are also staying on Santa's "nice" list; not only for all their hard work during the year, but also for helping their community during the Holidays.  Volunteer firefighters from the Riverdale Fire Department and staff from the Town of Riverdale Park delivered food baskets to 45 families in need within the Town and starting at 5:30 PM on Tuesday, Santa Claus will depart from the Riverdale fire station on Queensbury Road and start to deliver gifts to 130 children and seniors within the Town.  Riverdale Volunteers feel that due to the economic crisis, there are more families than ever in need. The Town and the Volunteer Fire Department recognize the need. The food and gifts were made possible by the generosity of several donors, who will be recognized on www.riverdalevfd.org as soon as permission has been received.  Inquiries regarding these activities can be directed to Nova Johns, Riverdale Fire Department, 301-648-1665.

On behalf of all the men and women of the Prince George's County Public Safety Community; we wish everyone a Happy and Safe Holiday and New Year!!!!

Fire/EMS Department....Tis' the Season to Help….

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

The men and women; career, civilian and volunteer, of the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department have been sharing festive and joyous moments during this Holiday Season with our citizens, residents and visitors.

Fire Fighter/Medic Nicole Hardman has been conducting the “Helping Hearts for Troops” campaign since November by placing collection boxes into Fire/EMS Stations and places of business. Nicole and her helpers, including Fire Fighter/Medic Katie Fisher and a host of other personnel have been collecting items to fill and send holiday care packages to our troops. They will also be preparing and serving dinner to about 70 troops at Fort Meade on December 23, 2010. Upon hearing of the team efforts, Acting Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor stated, “I commend Nicole Hardman and her team on their efforts to make our troops, spending the holidays away from family and friends to protect our freedom, a bit brighter. I understand that countless hours of work have gone into this effort and I am proud of the team going above and beyond.”

County Executive Baker, Police Lt. Colonel Kevin Davis and
Fire Chief Bashoor greet families at Toys for Tots distribution event.

The Fire/EMS Department participated in the Prince George’s County "Toys for Tots" campaign by serving as collection points at all Fire/EMS Stations and work sites. The Fire/EMS Department “Toys for Tots” program, under the direction of Major Darren Ware, worked with the Prince George’s County Police Department’s Community Services Division and members of the United States Marine Corp Reserves in the collection and distribution of several thousand toys. Each year, the “Toys for Tots” program collects new, unwrapped toys and distributes them as Christmas gifts to children in need during the holiday season.

County Executive Baker gave a hand to the Fire/Rescue Association's
Ladies Auxiliary by handing out snacks and hot beverages.
Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III and Acting Fire Chief Bashoor were on hand Saturday morning greeting excited families and handing out coffee, hot chocolate and gifts. The toy distribution event was held on Saturday and Sunday, December 18 and 19, 2010, at the Police Department Headquarters on Barlow Road in Landover. Dozens of members of the County Police Department skillfully handled the logistics of toy distribution and made the daylong event go smoothly.

The Prince George’s County Volunteers Fire and Rescue Association Ladies Auxiliary were on hand each day providing refreshments for recipients and workers.

Acting Fire Chief Bashoor, County Executive Baker
and Public Safety Communication Director
 Char Flaherty fill food baskets at the Bunker Hill Fire/EMS Station.
On Monday, December 20, 2010, County Executive Baker and his public safety team kicked-off the Annual Food Basket distribution program. 3000 food baskets were filled and delivered by the County Executive and members of the Fire/EMS Department, Police Department, Office of the Sheriff, Department of Corrections, Office of Homeland Security and Public Safety Communications. The Bunker Hill Fire/EMS Station #855 on Rhode Island Avenue in Brentwood was the base of operations and hosted this year’s food basket campaign which was coordinated by Bill Milligan.

There is still time to donate to these worthwhile initiatives. For additional information contact the Fire/EMS Department’s Office of Public Information and Community Outreach at 301-883-7154.

County Executive Baker serves up hot chocolate and coffee with Christy Harmon and Uncle Nick Nicholson of the Fire/Rescue Association Auxiliary.

(L to R) Acting Fire Chief Marc Bashoor, County Executive Rushern Baker, Public Safety Communications Director Char Flaherty, Sheriff Melvin High and Acting Police Chief Mark Magaw fill food baskets.

Acting Police Chief Mark Magaw, City of Riverdale Park Police Chief Teresa Chambers, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Brian Moe and Fire/EMS Department Lt. Colonel Angela Peden at food basket event.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Seven Students Suffer Sudden Illness at High School

Just before 11:00 am, Thursday, December 16, 2010, Paramedics were summoned to Potomac High School, 5211 Boydell Avenue, in Oxon Hill.  Several students suffered from a sudden illness or allergic reaction after eating a food product.  Paramedics on location are evaluating and treating seven, high school aged, students.  The students are being prepared for transport to a local hospital for additional evaluation and treatment.  School officials and law enforcement officers are also on the scene investigating the possible cause of this sudden onset of illness.   Additional media inquiries should be directed to the County School Media Office.

PGFD Training Bulletin - December 2010 Edition

12_2010_training_bulletin_e-copy -

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Two Townhouse Fires - UPDATE 12-15-10

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

Two townhouse fires occurring within 30 minutes of each other on Tuesday, December 14, 2010; with similar elements of fire extension remain under investigation.

The first fire occurred at about 7:25 pm at a townhouse in the 51 court of Ridge Road in Greenbelt. Firefighters arrived to find a fire in the rear of the 2-story townhouse. The fire appears to have started on the exterior, rear side, of the townhouse and extended up the wall and into the attic. Firefighters were able to quickly contain and extinguish the fire. No injuries were reported. Fire investigators continue to investigate the cause of the fire and estimate fire loss at $100,000.

At 7:48 pm, firefighters responded to a report of a townhouse fire in the 500 block of Garrett A. Morgan Boulevard in Capitol Heights; just 2 blocks from FEDEX Field.  Fire/EMS units arrived to find fire consuming the rear exterior wall of a middle-of-the-row, 3-story, townhouse with fire extending into the attic and eventually through the roof. The fire then extended to townhouses on both sides as a Second Alarm was sounded bringing additional fire/EMS and support units to the scene.

The fire traveled the exterior wall of the structure bypassing the residential sprinkler system and smoke alarms which all the townhouses are equipped with.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and damage is estimated at $400,000. The fire appears to have started in the area of the garage located on the rear side-ground level. Despite extremely hazardous working conditions with cold weather and ice; no injuries were reported.
Occupants of at least 3 townhouses were displaced and assisted by the Department's Citizen Services Unit.
UPDATE - December 15, 2010 - Fire Investigators released their findings this afternoon on the cause of these fires.  Each fire has been labeled as "accidental" and attributed to "electrical malfunctions."

Acting Chief Promotes Captains

Acting Fire Chief Bashoor has officially promoted the following personnel to be effective Sunday, December 19, 2010:


Paul Cissel to Paramedic Captain

Ross Crampton to Paramedic Captain

Donald Poole to Fire Fighter Captain

Frank Nichter to Fire Fighter Captain

Michael Marino to Fire Fighter/Medic  Captain

Anthony McCormick to Fire Fighter/Medic Captain


Please join Chief Bashoor in congratulating these fine officers on their accomplishments and for a job well done.

A promotional ceremony will be held in the near future.

Mark E. Brady

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

2-Alarm Townhouse Fire in Capitol Heights

Media Contact: Mark E. Brady, 240-508-7930

Just before 8:00 pm, Tuesday, December 14, 2010, firefighters responded to a report of a townhouse fire in the 500 block of Garrett A. Morgan Boulevard in Capitol Heights; just 2 blocks from FEDEX Field.

Fire/EMS units arrived to find fire consuming the rear exterior wall of a middle-of-the-row, 3-story, townhouse with fire extending into the attic and eventually through the roof. The fire then extended to townhouses on both sides as a Second Alarm was sounded bringing additional fire/EMS and support units to the scene.

The fire traveled the exterior wall of the structure bypassing the residential sprinkler system and smoke alarms which all the townhouses are equipped with.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and damage estimates are still being tabulated. The fire appears to have started in the area of the garage located on the rear side-ground level. Despite extremely hazardous working conditions with cold weather and ice; no injuries were reported.

As many as 6 families from the entire row of townhouses could be displaced. Fire Investigators and the Citizens Services Unit will work with those effected and provide temporary shelter.
Mark E. Brady

MEDIA ADVISORY - Annual Food Basket Program

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

For the 26th consecutive year, the combined public safety agencies of Prince George’s County will gather to fill food baskets to be delivered to needy families. Personnel from the Fire/EMS Department, Police Department, Department of Corrections, Public Safety Communications, Office of Homeland Security and Office of the Sheriff will gather to fill and deliver 3,000 food baskets. Agency heads will lead by example as they start the process of filling the baskets.

WHAT: The Prince George's County Public Safety Assistance Program's 26th Annual Food Basket Breakfast and PR/Media event.

WHEN: Monday, December 20, 2010

• The day will start with a "Hearty Fireman's Breakfast" at 7:30 AM. This is the BEST BREAKFAST in town!!

• At 9:00 am; the PR/Media Event, with County Officials and the Directors of the County Public Safety Agencies attending, will be held.

• At 10:00 am; County, Public Safety officials will escort Santa Claus to Emerson House to visit with the senior residents.

• At 11:00 am Public Safety personnel will then take Santa to visit Riverdale Elementary School.

WHERE: Bunker Hill Fire/EMS Station #855. The Station is located at 3716 Rhode Island Avenue, Brentwood, Maryland 20722.

WHO: County Officials, Directors of the County Public Safety Agencies, and a host of citizens and residents receiving food baskets.

We hope that all of you will come out and enjoy the day. We look forward to seeing everyone at the Bunker Hill Fire/EMS Station. Plenty of great photo ops.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Chief Bashoor Visits CPAT Site

(L to R) Anne Arundel County Fire Deputy Chief Reinhold C. Strobel
and Division Chief Keith D. Swindle observe candidates during CPAT.,
Prince George’s County Acting Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor had the opportunity to visit the testing site for the Department’s Candidate Physical Agility Test (CPAT) on Saturday, December 11, 2010, and observed candidates practicing the timed course.  The Department is utilizing Anne Arundel’s County CPAT facility in Millersville and Chief Bashoor met with Anne Arundel County Fire Deputy Chief Reinhold C. Strobel, Planning Bureau and Keith D. Swindle, Division Chief, Training & Research Division. 

This is the first time that we are requiring successful completion of CPAT to continue in the employment process for Firefighter/Medic.  Bashoor greeted many of the candidates as well the departmental personnel assisting with CPAT.

PGFD Participates in Multi-Agency Drill

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

Dozens of members of the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department participated in a multi-agency drill on Thursday, December 9, 2010. Personnel from the Department’s Bomb Squad and Emergency Operations participated with local, state and federal agencies, both law enforcement and fire/EMS, at a facility in the District of Columbia. The drill involved "active shooters" with explosive devices and multiple casualties. The scenario played out to involve various aspects of our Department including EMS establishing a triage area, patient tracking, bomb squad deployment, suppression unit support, and interoperability.

Overall the drill was a tremendous success which re-enforced our role and capabilities in a multi-jurisdictional, mass-casualty incident.