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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fireworks Amnesty Program - All Consumer Fireworks are Illegal in County

The Prince George’s County Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department responds to several calls for injuries related to fireworks each year. The Fire/EMS Department is concerned about the potential for injury and property damage from fireworks. Every year, near the Fourth of July we see and hear of thousands of people injured and sometimes killed due to accidents involving fireworks in the United States.

Sadly, many of these injuries and deaths involve children.

Prince George’s County has a law that is meant to protect you.

The Law in Prince George’s County

Plain and simple - ALL consumer fireworks from the smallest to the largest are illegal.

• It is illegal for any person to manufacture, possess, store, offer for sale, sell, discharge, use, burn, or explode any fireworks in Prince George's County, Maryland, except that an authorized display may be conducted by a licensed pyrotechnic professional. Penalties for violations of the law include a fine of up to $1,000 and/or six months in jail.

• Each year, thousands of people are injured and some killed in accidents involving the use of fireworks. These primarily involve those fireworks classified as 1.4g explosives by the U.S. Department of Transportation, commonly referred to as "consumer fireworks." Prince George’s County has banned the sale, use and possession of these fireworks based on the danger to our citizens caused by the misuse of these products.

What’s it all about…PGFD Fireworks Amnesty Program

In Prince George’s County, citizens may turn in fireworks without fear of being arrested or fined. Those desiring to take advantage of this amnesty may contact the County's Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department Operations Center at 301-583-2200. A member of the Fire/EMS Department will come to your home or business and remove your fireworks, without you risking arrest and/or fine.

• The amnesty will remain in effect from today until July 14, 2010. Citizens may also call the same number to report illegal use of fireworks in Prince George’s County.

This is the eighth year that the Fire/EMS Department has offered an Amnesty Program.

Thousands of pieces of dangerous fireworks have been turned over to authorities during this period.

Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones stated, "I encourage everyone to take advantage of the numerous public fireworks displays offered throughout the County on this festive and patriotic day. Celebrate safely and within the law."


Note - some venues have admission charges


Granville Gude Park, Laurel Lake, Laurel, Maryland. (301) 725-5300 ext. 44.

Parade at 11 a.m. Car show following and Fireworks at dusk.


Buddy Attick Park, 555 Crescent Rd., Greenbelt, Maryland. (301) 397-2200.

Entertainment begins at 4 p.m. Fireworks at dusk.


Allen Pond Park, Bowie, Maryland. (301) 809-3078.

Entertainment, food and fireworks from 3-10:30 pm.


Prince George's County Stadium, 4101 NE Crain Hwy, Bowie, Maryland. Fireworks display after the game.

For additional information and tickets, call (301) 464-4865.


University of Maryland, College Park. Parking Lot 1,

off Campus Drive near the University Boulevard/Adelphi Road entrance.

(301) 864-8877. Food and music start at 7 p.m.,

with fireworks around 9 p.m.


Mitchellville, Maryland. (301) 249-1500.

The amusement park sponsors a spectacular fireworks display.

Enjoy a full day of family entertainment.


6901 Ames Street, Morningside, Maryland (301) 736-2300.


First Baptist Church of Glenarden, 3600 Brightseat Road, Landover, Maryland (301) 773-3600.


Starts at dusk in the athletic fields of the E. Michael Roll Municipal Center,

located at 2000 Marbury Drive in District Heights.


Spirit of Faith Church, 14107 Gibbons Church Road, Brandywine, Maryland (301) 630-3733.


Gaylord National Resort, National Harbor, Maryland. Fireworks and summer festival,

beginning at 5 p.m., tickets are required.

Fire/EMS Department Operate Under a "Heat Stress Watch"

Prince George’s County, Maryland, is in the midst of a string of days with temperatures in the unhealthy levels and a forecast of daytime temperatures remaining in the 90’s. Firefighters and paramedics have handled an increased number of responses since the June heat arrived and continue to deal with the responses and coping with the heat themselves. The Fire/EMS Department has been operating under a “Heat Stress Watch” whereas the Risk Management office has prepared a safety message to keep personnel of safety measures to remain healthy and injury free.

Dispatchers at Public Safety Communications broadcast a prepared message every two hours while under the Heat Stress Watch reminding personnel of the dangerous and unhealthy conditions. Throughout the course of the day dispatchers provide the following information over the Fire/EMS Departments radio system:

“A heat stress watch is in effect for emergency operations.

Incident Commanders; heat stress injuries to fire service personnel are likely.

Consider limiting active work periods to 2 breathing air (SCBA) bottles or 40 minutes before directing crews to rehab.”

Crews, maintain pre-incident hydration by drinking eight ounces of water every hour throughout your shift.”

“Prevention before response ensures everyone goes home.”

Despite the heavy workload, personnel have remained healthy. Attention to the health and wellness of firefighters and paramedics is of the utmost concern at all times and particular care and precautions are administered during periods of high temperatures and unhealthy air. After being involved in firefighting operations all personnel must report to a rehab area. Water and ice packs are provided for hydration and to help the cooling process.  Paramedics monitor vital signs and have personnel remain in the rehab area until vitals are documented as being within normal limits. Incident commanders are quick to request additional resources based on incident status. These resources include; Paramedics, air conditioned buses, additional staffing and a canteen unit.