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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Incident Summary - Week of August 22, 2010

incident summary for week of 8-22 -

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fire/EMS Station Grand Opening

Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting

St. Joseph Community Fire/EMS Station #806

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

The men and women of the largest and busiest combination Fire/EMS Departments in the Country invite you to join them as they cut the ribbon and open a new state of the art community Fire/EMS Station.

WHAT: Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting

WHEN: Tuesday, August 31, 2010, 10:00 am

WHERE: St. Joseph Community Fire/EMS Station #806

2901 St. Joseph Drive, Springdale, MD

WHO: Elected and civic leaders, Fire Chief Eugene Jones, members of the community and honored guests as well as firefighters and paramedics.

Overview of Prince George’s County’s newest public safety facility

St. Joseph Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Station 806, located at 2901 St. Joseph Drive in Largo, Maryland, opened on August 29, 2010. Our newest facility is a state-of-the-art facility, which will provide a functional and safe work environment for our firefighters and paramedics, as well as bath, shower, and locker facilities to accommodate our increasing number of female personnel.

Service delivery to our community

St. Joseph Fire/EMS Station 806 is one of forty-five (45) Fire/EMS stations strategically located throughout Prince George’s County. The primary response area for Station 806 is nine (9) square miles; however, the station serves many of the surrounding communities, including: Springdale, Woodmore, Glenarden, Largo, Ardmore, Lanham, Kettering, Enterprise, and Landover.

• Apparatus: The station will house a variety of modern fire and EMS resources, including: Engine 806; Rescue Squad 806; Ambulance 806 (Basic Life Support); the Technical Rescue Team; Battalion Chief 801, and the Duty Chief (Department Shift Commander).

• Personnel: Staffed with five (5) career personnel 24-hours a day, which does not include the Battalion Chief.

• Call Volume: The projected demand for service for the primary response area is approximately 5000 calls a year.

Building features

St. Joseph Fire/EMS Station 806 is a 15,948 square foot one story facility that includes: offices, living space, an exercise room, separate sleeping/locker facilities for men & women, training/meeting room, decontamination room, vehicle/equipment maintenance room

• Apparatus Bay: Approximately 6,900 square feet with five (5) apparatus bays.

• Training/Meeting Room: Equipped with audiovisual equipment, multiple computer network connections, and space to accommodate between 24-42 persons, depending upon room configuration.

• Training Tower: Enables our personnel to conduct realistic training evolutions without leaving our response area. Training tower is not equipped for live fire simulations.

• Total design and construction costs (including land acquisition) are approximately $5.3 million, funded with Prince George’s County general obligation bonds.

• Alerting System: Equipped with a First-In Fire Station Alerting System, which will reduce response time and firefighter stress. The system technology utilizes Cardiac Kind ramped tones and a human voice to alert personnel, in conjunction with low intensity red light and other visual indicators.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

PGFD Pays Tribute to Iron and Steel: NYC to Arlington Motorcycle Run

On Saturday, August 28, 2010, the Iron and Steel: NYC to Arlington Motorcycle Run passed through Prince George’s County, MD. The group was escorting several sections of World Trade Center steel from New York City to Arlington, Virginia, and included 500+ motorcycles and numerous fire department vehicles.

About fifty career and volunteer members of the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department gathered in formation on the overpasses of Route 95 to show support for the escort participants and to pay tribute to the 343 FDNY members that lost their lives on 9/11/01. Firefighters, medics and EMT’s from Savage (Howard County), Beltsville, Calverton, College Park, Branchville, Laurel and Berwyn Heights participated in the tribute. On the Powder Mill Road overpass in Beltsville ladder trucks from Berwyn Heights and College Park proudly displayed our American Flag in the middle of their arches in a dramatic display of support for the Iron and Steel Team and the symbolism of the World Trade Center steel.

Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department Acting Lt. Colonel Steven L. Hess organized the event on behalf of the Department and stated, “It is obvious that the participants in this ride very much appreciated our presence along the I-95 corridor. It is important to ‘never forget’ and these are ways we can all come together, unified in a cause, and support those that paid the ultimate sacrifice almost nine years ago.”

Colonel Hess also acknowledged and thanked Volunteer Major Chuck Fusco (Berwyn Heights VFD) for communicating with the volunteer leadership and soliciting their participation.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fire/EMS Station Injury

A teen-aged male was injured while performing community service at a Fire/EMS Station. Just before 3:00 pm, Friday, August 27, 2010, an approximately 18-year-old male sustained injuries when he fell through a skylight on the roof of the Greenbelt Fire/EMS Station and dropped approximately 15 feet to the floor below.

The teen was using a leaf blower to remove debris from the roof of the station when, for whatever reasons, fell through the skylight. He was immediately tended to by firefighter/Medics working at the station. He was transported by paramedics to a Trauma Center for evaluation and treatment. His injuries are not considered life-threatening and he remained conscious and alert.

The City of Greenbelt Police Department, as well as the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department, will be reviewing the circumstances of this event.

PGFD PROFILE - Reaching the Summit of Mount Rainier

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

Story by: Acting Fire Fighter/Medic Lieutenant Jaimee L. Joroff

Choosing a career as a firefighter comes with inherent and obvious challenges and dangers. There is a risk of injury and death on every call for help that you respond to. There are also many benefits and rewards by being a member of such a noble profession; to be trained to help others at possibly the worst moment in their life and the feeling of accomplishment.

It is important for firefighters to maintain their physical and mental well-being by resting and participating in enjoyable activities on days off. Many firefighters enjoy off-duty activities such as softball, hockey, skiing, fishing, cooking, gardening, coaching youth sports and travel. Some firefighters attend classes in hopes of completing advanced educational degrees, however, one firefighter, in addition to activities listed above, choose to use his time off to conquer one of the most challenging activities imaginable. To ascend and reach the top of Mount Rainier, the 14,410 foot active volcano, not the city near where he works.

Fire Fighter/Medic Technician Andrew J. Lynch successfully completed this tall task on his second attempt this year with a friend that resides in Washington State. Mt. Rainier is known as a brutal and difficult climb, whose dangers equally challenge the novice as well as the most experienced mountaineers. Mount Rainier, the most heavily glaciated peak in the contiguous United States, offers an exciting challenge to the mountaineer. Reaching the summit requires a vertical elevation gain of more than 9,000 feet over a distance of eight or more miles. Climbers must be in good physical condition and well prepared. Proper physical conditioning can offset the effects of fatigue that lead to mistakes and injuries. Weather, snow, and route conditions can change rapidly, making the difference between a pleasant and rewarding experience or tragedy.

Lynch first attempted the summit in May of 2010. The trek to the summit is typically a three day approach and it was on the final day that his team encountered severe weather and avalanche conditions and were forced to turn back. While reaching the top might seem like the ultimate challenge, their return to base camp was the real struggle for survival as Lynch and his team trekked through darkness, blinding snow, driving ice, and 80 mile per hour wind-gusts. Lynch and his team safely made it back to base camp. A week later, another climbing team would not be so lucky, becoming caught in the same conditions and buried in an avalanche. Of that team, several climbers went missing and one died.

Fire Fighter/Medic Technician Lynch returned to Deale, Maryland where he lives with his wife, Heather, and resumed his normal work routine.  Life went on knowing he "almost" made it to the top. 

Perhaps it is that firefighter spirit of "never-give-up" that that drove Lynch to remain determined to finish what he had started and he returned to Washington State in August of 2010. Joined by his friend Owen McGrane, a military Doctor stationed in Seattle Washington and who had attempted the first climb with Lynch, the two rejoined a climbing team and took on the mountain for a second attempt. This time, persistence and preparation trumped weather conditions and the team reached the elusive Summit of Mt. Rainier.

Lynch, a 10-year member of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department, is assigned to the Bunker Hill Fire Station 855 which covers the areas of Brentwood, Cottage City and ironically, Mt. Rainier.

Andy Lynch is on the left and Owen McGrane is on the right at the Summit of Mount Rainier in August 2010

Fire Fighter/Medic Technician Andrew J. Lynch is a 10-year member of the
Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

MVC Involving Fatality

At about 8:00 am firefighters and paramedics responded to a motor vehicle crash on Martin Luther King Highway at Route 50 in Lanham. Upon arrival firefighters found a vehicle overturned and fully involved with fire. After extinguishing the fire a deceased occupant was found trapped inside. No information on the victim is available at this time.
The Prince Georges County Police Department will be investigating the incident.
Mark E. Brady

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Incident Summary for Week of August 15

incident summary for week of 8-15 -

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Promotion and A Proud Father

A promotion to a higher rank is a result of hard work, self sacrifice and many hours studying promotional material. A promotion to a higher rank is always a proud moment and marks the completion of a long process. It’s also a prestigious moment when the County Fire Chief personally visits your station and presents you with your certificate and letter of promotion. A promotional event is certainly enhanced when family is there to participate and witness the occasion.

On Tuesday, August 17, 2010, Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones visited the Allentown Road Fire/EMS Station to personally recognize Melissa D. Smothers on her promotion to the rank of Fire Fighter/Medic Lieutenant. In attendance was Melissa’s father; Robert J. Smothers. Robert is a 20-year employee of the Fire/EMS Department. He is currently assigned to Apparatus Maintenance as a Heavy Equipment Mechanic. Chief Jones noted the tradition of family members following the career path of a parent and was excited to see father and daughter celebrating the promotion.

Melissa D. Smothers joined the Fire/EMS Department in November 1999 as a member of Career Recruit School #30. She is currently assigned to the Allentown Road Fire/EMS Station #832 as the shift commander on “A” shift. Congratulations to Melissa on her promotion and to Robert on this very proud moment.

Photos courtesy of Melissa D. Smothers

Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association Annual Convention

The Prince George’s County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association (PGCVFRA) and Ladies Auxiliary will hold their Annual Convention in September. The PGCVFRA represents 38 volunteer fire and rescue corporations throughout the County.

The 2010 convention will be held the week of September 12-18, 2010. This is the 88th annual convention and 80th for the Ladies Auxiliary.

There are a number of activities during this week-long event including opening ceremonies, a memorial service honoring deceased members, meetings for both the firefighters and Ladies Auxiliary, crowning of the fire prevention queen and a variety of firefighter contests. On Saturday, September 18, a number of events including a parade will close out the activities in College Park hosted by the Branchville Volunteer Fire Company and Rescue Squad, Inc.

The parade and field events provide plenty of family fun and enjoyment and are open to the public.


Saturday & Sunday, September 4 & 5, 2010

Softball Tournament, held at the Baden Softball Complex

Next to the Baden Volunteer Fire Department

16608 Brandywine Road, Brandywine, MD 20613

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fields events (fun competitions)

Prince George's County Fair at the fairgrounds

10:00 am

Prince George’s County Fair – Upper Marlboro, MD

Monday, September 13, 2010

No events scheduled

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Memorial Service

Accokeek Volunteer Fire Department & Rescue Squad Activities Center

16111 Livingston Road, Accokeek, MD 20607

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Past President's Dinner (by invitation only)

Greenbelt Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad, Inc

125 Crescent Road, Greenbelt, MD 20770

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Opening Ceremonies

1st business meeting of Ladies Auxiliary and PGCVFRA

Marlboro Volunteer Fire Department, Inc.

14815 Pratt Street, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

Friday, September 17, 2010

BBQ Dinner (5:00 pm – 8:00 pm) for members and 2nd business meeting

Ladies Auxiliary Installation of Officers

West Lanham Hills Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad

8501 Good Luck Road, Lanham, MD 20706

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Prayer Breakfast, Hook-Ups, Parade, Awards and Dance

Prayer Breakfast 7:00 am

Registration/Line-up for parade – 8:30 am

Parade – 10:00 am (Rhode Island Avenue)

Awards/Dance – After days competitions are complete

Branchville Volunteer Fire Company and Rescue Squad, Inc.

4905 Branchville Road, College Park, MD 20740

Hook-Up Contest (firefighter competitions) held after parade

Berwyn Heights Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad, Inc.

8811 60th Avenue, Berwyn Heights, MD 20740

For additional information about the PGCVFRA visit their website or call 301-583-1910.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

PGFD PROFILE - Dwayne Frost, Sr. - A Hero Returns to the Front Line

(reprinted with permission of the Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire Department - http://www.chvfd.org/)

Story and Images by Jen McClelland, Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire Department, 301-883-7705
In the aftermath of September 11, 2001 many firefighters became engaged in fire and rescue operations in New York, Pennsylvania and the Washington metropolitan areas. Other firefighters would assist neighboring departments by providing coverage for units who were still operating at the scenes. Many more would leave their firefighting duties behind and answer the call to serve their country in the military, protecting the home front and fighting overseas. One of our own, Dwayne Frost, Sr., went to work as part of the 273rd Military Police Division of the D.C. National Guard protecting the U.S. Capitol immediately following the tragic events of September 11th as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

In January 2003, EMS Lieutenant/Firefighter Dwayne Frost, Sr. traded his turnout gear for combat boots and sergeant's stripes and headed to Iraq as part of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division. While serving his two tours in Iraq, he was awarded the Bronze Star for capturing the 7 of Hearts in 55 Most Wanted Iraqis deck of cards. On July 23, 2003, in downtown Baghdad, Sergeant Frost was seriously wounded when a suicide bomber struck his humvee. It's been a long journey for Dwayne, who has undergone many treatments; he has been awarded the Purple Heart for the injuries he sustained while serving his country. Six years after returning from Iraq, Firefighter/EMT Dwayne Frost, Sr. is excited about resuming his fire and EMS duties at the Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire Department.

Frost, a 24-year firefighting veteran, who currently serves as Vice President of the Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire Department, notes the importance of being a firefighter/EMT in his community; "I want to prove that a person with disabilities can serve their community just as well or better than a person without my injuries." Being back on a fire truck again "is like a being baby with brand new toys," Dwayne says grinning from ear to ear.

While the Army has deemed Dwayne fit for combat, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1582, the standard that governs medical evaluations for firefighter candidates, does not allow individuals who have sustained injuries similar to Dwayne's to participate in interior firefighting operations. However, after careful review by the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department's Bureau of Occupational Safety and Health (BOSH) and an independent medical advisory board, Dwayne has been cleared to participate in exterior firefighting duties and to provide EMS care.

Volunteer Fire Chief James McClelland is glad to see Firefighter/EMT Frost back on the fire engine and ambulance, doing what he loves to do - serve others. Chief McClelland notes, "His courage and commitment to his country, his community and this department are an inspiration to us all. We are very proud of him."

Leadership and mentoring are natural gifts that Dwayne brings to his department; he also continues to serve his military brothers and sisters as a Platoon Sergeant / Liaison for the Warrior Transition Brigade at Walter Reed Medical Center. Dwayne is also an ordained minister and active in his church in Capitol Heights.

Dwayne is a mentor to many of the younger members of the Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire Department, including his sons: Dwayne, Jr., who just completed Firefighter I and is working on his EMT-B training; and Cameron, who is going through the application process.

As any proud father with sons in the fire department, Dwayne has been doing speed drills with Dwayne, Jr. on getting into his protective equipment and onto the fire engine. "He knows I'm right on his heels and one day I'll let him know that I am faster," he laughs.

Through the support of his department, with special thanks to Fire Chief Eugene Jones, Lt. Colonel Steve Hess, and Major Erroll George, Dwayne is now able to realize his dream of once again responding to fire and EMS emergencies. The members of the Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire Department are excited to have Dwayne on the fireground and ambulance with us once again. Citizens and members of our department will benefit from the Dwayne's experience, commitment and service. His perseverance, positive attitude, and leadership are an example to us all. Dwayne truly is an American hero!

For more information on Dwayne and our other veterans visit: chvfd.org/veterans

Monday, August 16, 2010

Incident Summary for Week of August 8, 2010

incident summary for 8-8 to 8-14 -

Friday, August 13, 2010

Laurel House Fire

Firefighters from the Laurel area battled a house fire just before midnight on Thursday, August 12, 2010. Firefighter/Medics arrived at a 1-story single family home in the 7400 block of Brooklyn Bridge Road and found heavy fire coming from the roof. An interior attack on the attic fire and a search of the house for occupants was initiated. The searches were negative and firefighters had the bulk of the fire contained and extinguished within 20 minutes of arrival. There were 50 firefighters and medics on the scene including units from Montgomery and Howard Counties.

An adult female occupant sustained minor burn injuries and was transported to a medical facility where she was treated and released. The fire displaced the family which made their own arrangements for shelter with other family members. Fire Investigators believe the fire was accidental and attributed the cause to an electrical malfunction. Fire loss is estimated at $275,000.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Another Powerful and Freaky Storm Rolls Through

Prince Georges County was besieged by another violent thunder storm this morning disrupting the morning commute, damaging structures and hundreds of reported power outages. The powerful storm had torrential rains and numerous cloud to ground lightening strikes. The storms entered the northern portion of the County around 7:00 am and then slowly moved to the south. Fire/EMS units received about 100 calls for services during the 90-minute duration of the storm.

Two houses had small fires ignite in interior walls after lightening strikes; both fires were small and quickly extinguished by firefighters. A large 1-story box-style warehouse building at 4949 Allentown Road in Camp Springs is a previous furniture store warehouse recently converted to a house of worship suffered a roof collapse after excessive rain water pooled on one area. The weight of accumulated water caused about a 50-foot wide collapse of the roof assembly into the main sanctuary. A multi-ton HVAC unit nearby the collapse area shifted and was leaning precariously close to the collapse area. The collapse damaged utility services including natural gas, electricity and water pipes. A day care center inside the large facility conducted an orderly evacuation and the 12 children and 4 adults were relocated to a nearby administrative area of the church. While natural gas and electrical power were quickly terminated, the flow of water from the broken pipes continued for an extended period of time and caused extensive flooding throughout the entire building. The building was declared uninhabitable and property managers were calling contractors to evaluate the damage.

Fortunately, there was no other significant property damage or injuries.

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcwashington.com/video.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

RMS - Basic Instructions for PGFD Fire/EMS Personnel

RMS Presentation-Instructions -

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Glenn Dale Crash - SUV vs. Loaded Day Care Van

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

At about 3:15 pm, Tuesday, August 10, 2010, Prince George’s County Firefighter/Medics from Glenn Dale were alerted to a motor vehicle crash with injuries on Enterprise Road at Meadowland Drive. While en route to the call, firefighters and paramedics were notified that one of the vehicles was overturned and the driver was trapped. The assignment was upgraded and additional Firefighters and Medics were added to the call. Upon arrival, fire/EMS units found a Hummer SUV overturned on its side and an adult male driver trapped. The second vehicle was a 15 passenger van loaded with children and aides.

It required about 15 minutes to extricate the adult male driver from his SUV. He was transported to a nearby Trauma Center with serious non-life threatening injuries.

Of the 15 children inside the van; 6 required medical attention and were transported to various area hospitals with non-serious injuries by ambulances. The remaining 9 children and 3 adults; 1 van driver and 2 aides, were transported to an area hospital for a check-up and to re-unite with their parents, these patients were transported on-board the Fire/EMS Department Ambulance Bus. The children ranged in age from 6 up to 11 and were both male and female. None of the injuries were considered serious.

The Prince George’s County Police Department is investigating the crash.

MVC w/entrapment

MVC w/entrapment on Enterprise Rd at Meadowland Dr involves a SUV and a loaded day care van. All children are ok. Driver of SUV is trapped
Mark E. Brady

Monday, August 9, 2010

Hiring Process Continues for 3000 Applicants This Week

The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department will be conducting the written test portion for the position of Firefighter tomorrow and Wednesday. An unprecedented number of applications were received for the position of Firefighter and the written test will be completed over the next two days. The application period closed on June 18, 2010, and just over 3000 applications were received for the position that has a starting salary of $40,848. The written test is only available to those that have already applied for the position. No walk-ins will be allowed.

The large number of applicants resulted in moving the testing site to a larger facility and having the written test divided into 4 sessions. Nearly 750 applicants will be tested each session. It is anticipated that lines of applicants will start forming as early as 7:00 am for the 9:00 am test and the afternoon session will have applicants lined up as early as 1:00 pm for the 3:00 pm test.

Testing will take place at Martins Crosswinds, 7400 Greenway Center Drive in Greenbelt, MD on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 10 and 11, 2010. The registration process starts at 7:00 am for the 9:00 am session and 1:00 pm registration for the 3:00 pm session each day.

We are looking forward to hiring 94 Firefighters from the eligibility list created from the completed hiring process. Additional hiring processes will include a physical agility test, interviews and a thorough background investigation. The Fire/EMS Department will finalize the hiring process tentatively in late 2010 and commence with the 21 week Fire/EMS Training Academy in January 2011.

Twenty-four of the firefighters hired through this process will be funded through a SAFER Grant awarded to the Fire/EMS Department from the Office of Homeland Security.  On July 14, 2010, Congressman Steny Hoyer (MD-5), Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (MD-4) and Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin announced that the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department will receive a $3,458,682 grant through the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response program (SAFER).

Incident Summary - Week of August 1, 2010

incident summary 8-1 to 8-7 -

PGFD NEWS - Significant Motor Vehicle Crashes Today

Three significant motor vehicle crashes have occurred this Monday, August 9, 2010. The first incident occurred at about 8:45 am when a car, for whatever reason, left a parking lot, accelerated over the sidewalk and through the front glass window of a 1-story commercial building in the 10700 block of Rhode Island Avenue in Beltsville. Two occupants of the vehicle, 40ish/female and a 60ish/female, initially refused any treatment by paramedics, however, were eventually transported to an area hospital for a check-up. A building inspector was en route to check on the integrity of the structure. There was no need for the services of our Technical Rescue Team to provide structural support as the damage appeared to be mostly glass and cosmetic. The Prince George’s County Police Department is investigating.

At about 9:45 am, Firefighter/Medics from the Ritchie area responded to a 3-vehilce motor vehicle crash in the 2000 block of Ritchie-Marlboro Road. One person was severely trapped in his vehicle. Firefighters worked for about 30 minutes with heavy duty hydraulic equipment to cut the vehicle away from the trapped occupant. Once the lengthy extrication was complete, an adult male, 30ish years of age, was transported by paramedics to a Trauma Center suffering life threatening multi-system trauma. The operators of the other two vehicles involved were not injured. The Prince George’s County Police Department, including their Accident Reconstruction Team, is investigating this incident.

At about 12:30 pm, a 2-vehicle crash occurred leaving an adult female trapped in her car. Firefighter/Medics from the Beltsville and Laurel Fire/EMS Stations responded to Route 1 at Muirkirk Meadows and extricated the 20ish-year-old female and transported her to a trauma center. Her injuries are not considered life threatening. The teen-aged male was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries. The Maryland State Police-College Park is investigating the crash.


Friday, August 6, 2010

Storms, Fires and Traumas - Busy Shift for PGFD Firefighter/Medics

Powerful storms rolled through Prince George’s County on Thursday, August 5, 2010, causing widespread power outages. At about 4:00 pm, the Oxon Hill and Fort Washington area received high winds, heavy rains and lightening as a strong storm system passed through. Fire/EMS units were dispatched to numerous calls for service that covered a wide area of destruction in Oxon Hill. Arriving units found multiple trees on homes, trees up-rooted across roadways, and numerous wires down. This created a power outage that covered a wide area. The South Lawn and Forest Heights neighborhoods seemed to have sustained the majority of damage. An adult make was transported to an area hospital for an evaluation after a tree came through the roof of his house in the 5800 block of Ottawa Street.

At about 5:00 pm a similar weather event occurred in the Upper Marlboro and Croom area leaving many without power. Firefighters from the Croom Fire/EMS Station #845 were confined to their station as a large tree and powers lines blocked their exit. Units were out of service for approximately 2 hours due to trees and live power lines down in front of the station and the surrounding areas. There were several civilians who sought safe shelter at the fire station as numerous trees down blocked the roadway. Approximately 50 children were stranded at a daycare at Fredrick Douglas High School on Croom Road not far from the station. Firefighter/Medics from Company 845 monitored the children and civilians until the storm passed and trees were removed from the roadway. There were dozens of reports of trees on homes, trees up-rooted across roadways, and numerous wires down in the area..

Firefighters worked throughout the evening in these communities ensuring all emergencies were mitigated. Firefighters from other areas of the County not affected by the storm were transferred into the Oxon Hill, Fort Washington and Upper Marlboro areas to assist handling the high number of calls. Firefighters were dispatched on nearly 300 calls for service between 4:00 pm and midnight; an average 24-hour day yields about 350 calls.

Several incidents occurred in the early morning of Friday, August 6, 2010, that kept firefighters and paramedics busy. Just after 2:00 am, a single vehicle, involved in some type of criminal activity, lost control and rolled over ejecting all four occupants on Naylor Road near Suitland Parkway in Temple Hills. The four males, 3 teen-aged and 1 in early 20’s, sustained critical traumatic injuries and were transported to area Trauma Centers.

Just after 3:00 am, firefighter/medics from the Oxon Hill area were on the road again for a reported house fire in the 7500 block of Overlook Court. Firefighters arrived to find a 2-story single family home with heavy fire showing from the second floor. There were 35 firefighters on the scene that took about 35 minutes to extinguish the fire. A family of five, 3 adults and 2 children, are displaced and were assisted by the Fire/EMS Departments Citizen Services Unit with temporary shelter. Fire loss is estimated at $150,000 and the cause of the fire is accidental and attributed to a candle. No injuries were reported.

Just one minute after the Oxon Hill house fire was dispatched, firefighters from the Largo-Kettering area were alerted to a Day Care Center on fire. At 3:10 am, firefighter/medics responded to the 900 block of Enterprise Road in Mitchellville and arrived to find a 1-story commercial structure with heavy fire showing. There were 35 firefighters that required about 30 minutes to knock down the bulk of the fire at the Tender Moments Christian Daycare. Fire loss is estimated at $50,000 and the cause is under investigation. No injuries were reported.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Technical Rescue Team Support Sturcture

The Fire/EMS Department’s Technical Rescue Team was utilized to shore up a structure after significant damage was caused by a vehicle. At about 8:45 am, Wednesday, August 4, 2010, Technical Rescue Units from Tuxedo-Cheverly and Fort Washington Fire/EMS Stations proceeded to Central Avenue and Bayou Avenue in Capitol Heights at the request of a County Building Inspector. A vehicle that was involved in criminal activity had left the roadway and damaged the home. The occupants of the home were not injured and the vehicle occupants had quickly departed the scene on foot.

The firefighters assigned to Technical Rescue spent 3 hours shoring up the home to prevent additional damage until more permanent repairs could be made.

Photos provided courtesy of Techinal Rescue.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Grand Opening of New Fire/EMS Station - August 31, 2010

Train-The-Trainer for PGFD Drivers Training Class

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

The Prince George’s County, MD, Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department is currently providing a train-the-trainer program enabling instructors to conducts a driver’s training class. The Administrative Services Command, under the direction of Acting Lieutenant Colonel Steven L. Hess, is demonstrating the Fire/EMS Departments commitment to have the Training Academy provide the best training for our career and volunteer personnel by looking at all available resources.

The Department has collaborated with VFIS, the largest provider of insurance, education and consulting services to Emergency Service Organizations, to provide a train-the-trainer class that will assist career and volunteer personnel to teach a driver’s training class designed for all personnel, including remedial purposes.  The Fire/EMS Department already provides an Emergency Vehicle Operators Class (EVOC).  This new class will be used to reinforce skills learned during EVOC and for remedial drivers training geared towards at-risk drivers or those that may have had a preventable accident.This class will provide the training and instruction prior to testing personnel for an emergency vehicle operators card in lieu of a Maryland non-commercial driver’s license to drive/operate fire apparatus requiring at least a Class “B” license.

The first train-the-trainer class was held on August 3rd and 4th, 2010, and was comprised of about 10 career personnel. The class includes both classroom and practical evolutions.

Lt. Col. Hess and Major Leroy Smith, Commander-Fire/EMS Training Academy, met with the Volunteer Fire/Rescue Association President, Bill Smith, and the Volunteer Chief’s Council, to introduce the program and explained the need to have a contingent of volunteers available to provide training at night and weekends.

The practical portion of the class was conducted in the parking lot of Fed Ex Field in Landover. A course was laid out that required the vehicle operator to successfully negotiate narrow lanes, stopping, parking, backing and basic driving skills.

Lt. Col. Hess stated, “I am very proud of the accomplishments of the FETA and being able to collaborate with the Volunteer Association in a way that will provide very worthwhile and needed training to fulfill requirements and needs for responsible and safe drivers for the entire Department.”

For additional information on the driver’s training class contact the Fire/EMS Training Academy at 301-856-3410.