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Monday, July 19, 2010

Chillum Fire/EMS Station Adds Additional Services

The Chillum Fire/EMS Station had not run an engine call in nearly a year. The engine company was removed in August 2009 as part of the Fire/EMS Departments redeployment of suppression forces. Up until Sunday, July 18, 2010, a paramedic unit was the only unit to respond from the station at 6330 Riggs Road. With the recent graduation of 32 firefighters from the Fire/EMS Training Academy, a decision was made to place the Chillum engine company back in-service. Prince George’s County Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones stated, “It is time to return a suppression unit to the Chillum Fire/EMS Station. I appreciate the support that the citizens and residents of the greater Chillum area have shown for their firefighters and paramedics in the year since they were removed. ” The Chillum engine company also has the added bonus for the community by being a Paramedic Engine. This means that the engine has personnel on-board that are trained as paramedics and have the equipment required to perform advanced life support in a pre-hospital setting. The Chillum Fire/EMS Station now has a Paramedic Engine and a Paramedic Unit.

Their first day back proved to be eventful; the Paramedic Engine was dispatched on 12 incidents and the Paramedic Unit on 7 incidents. A string of incidents occurred starting at about 10:15 pm. According to Acting Fire Fighter/Medic Captain Michael J. Marino, Chillum Fire/EMS Station Commander;

“Paramedic Engine 844 (Chillum) was alerted along with the Medic unit from Chillum to respond for a report of trouble breathing at 4922 LaSalle Road, a local skilled nursing facility. Once arrived, Paramedics assessed the patient with severe trouble breathing and initiated life saving measures while transporting the patient to a nearby hospital. Due to the severity and complexity of the illness a firefighter from the Engine crew assisted the medics and drove the unit to the hospital so both medics could concentrate on patient care. The engine crew proceeded to the hospital to pick up their third crew member after transport where they were then alerted to a report of a house fire in their first due. The reported address was 6033 10th Place which is extremely close to the Chillum fire/EMS Station. Paramedic Engine 844 responded with three personnel and advised Public Safety Communications to alter the assignment order due to their slightly extended response time. Upon arrival units reported and confirmed that a single story single family dwelling was heavily involved with fire and units from the surrounding area went to work battling the blaze. While the Captain and firefighter from the engine crew were involved with command and suppression operations it was found that one of the family members from the residence was having trouble breathing. The driver/paramedic from the paramedic engine company who had completed his fire ground duties now made himself available for patient assessment and began to treat the patient prior to the arrival of additional EMS units who assumed patient care.”

The fire on 10th Place caused an estimated $30,000 in fire loss and remains under investigation. A family of four were displaced and assited by the Fire/EMS Department Citizens Services Unit with temporary shelter. The family member that became ill was not transported and there were no additional reports of injuries.

Fire Chief Jones stated, “I would also like to acknowledge the efforts of surrounding fire/EMS stations for handling the additional call volume during the past 11 months. The efforts of Hyattsville, Takoma Park (Montgomery County), Adelphi, Bunker Hill and others have not gone un-noticed and your service to the citizens and residents has been superb.”

Retired Firefighter Helps to Save Young Child From Drowning

According to Anne Arundel County authorities, a 2-year-old male nearly drowned at the North Arundel Aquatic Center, however, was rescued by lifeguards and a retired Prince George’s County Firefighter. On Sunday afternoon, July 18, 2010, the Aquatic Center on Crain Highway in Glen Burnie was crowded and fortunately, Lashawn Jackson, a retired Prince George’s County Fire Fighter, was there with her family.

Her attention was drawn to a far area of the swimming area by the sharp whistle from a lifeguard. She watched as the young lifeguards pull a lifeless child from the pool. Trying to resist interfering with the lifeguards efforts, Lashawn hesitated jumping into action, allowing the lifeguards the opportunity to do their jobs. Instinctively, she knew that quick and effective resuscitation efforts were needed to save the young child’s life. She joined the lifeguards and identified herself as knowing CPR. She described the child as not breathing, no pulse and being blue in his face and extremities. After a rapid assessment she assisted with resuscitation efforts and ensured that 911 was notified. After four minutes of CPR the child aspirated and displayed some efforts at breathing. Anne Arundel County Paramedics arrived quickly and found the child to be unresponsive and was making attempts at breathing. A Maryland State Police Helicopter flew the child to Johns Hopkins Pediatric Center where he is listed in “critical” but stable condition.

Lashawn stated she had to help and despite being retired from the Fire/EMS Department since December 2008, her former training as a firefighter and EMT just kicked in and was as fresh as the day she learned it. Lashawn stated, “I’m glad I was there to help, it may have been the first rescue with CPR for the lifeguards. They did a fantastic job in the rescue and I think they were glad someone with experience was there to assist with CPR.”

This is the second time in two weeks that a retired Prince George’s County Firefighter assisted in CPR and resuscitation of a near drowning victim. On July 4, 2010, Retired Fire Fighter/Medic Melvin Batts assisted in the resuscitation of a young man at a backyard swimming pool.

Prince George’s County Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones stated, “I am so proud of our men and women of the Fire/EMS service for quickly jumping into action when action is needed quickly and for keeping up with their skills despite being retired. Retired Fire Fighter Jacksons actions are commendable and I offer her congratulations on a job well done!!!”

Blooms Grocery Store Keeps Accokeek Area Firefighters Hydrated

With the recent run of high temperatures and humidity it is important for everyone to remain healthy and stay hydrated. Firefighters and Paramedics must constantly hydrate themselves through the course of their shift to remain prepared to respond to emergencies. In a community-based effort to keep their first responders prepared and ready, Bloom Grocery Store of Accokeek, MD, organized a donation of over 800 32 ounce bottles of Gatorade for area firefighters. On July 6, 2010, Bonnie Kohansby, Store Manager, and staff provided boxes filled with Gatorade to the firefighters of the Accokeek Fire/EMS Station #824. Fire Lieutenant Eric Hunt, Fire Fighter/Medic Technician John Mycka, Fire Fighter Danielle Lewis, Fire Fighter David Stream and Fire Fighter Patrick Gallagher graciously accepted the donation and distributed equal amounts to other fire/EMS stations in the Fifth Battalion in Oxon Hill, Fort Washington, Allentown Road as well as the volunteer station in Bryans Road.

While accepting the generous donation Fire Lt. Hurt stated, “This donation is wonderful since we are reaching record breaking temperatures. This will also keep us hydrated and healthy. Everyone should take precautions against heat related dehydration."

Blooms tagline is "A different kind of grocery store." But while this may seem like just another slogan, at Bloom it's a promise. A promise to be thoughtful. To be compassionate. To keep evolving. And, most importantly, to allow customers to do something they've never done before at a grocery store: Shop Happy. The firefighters and paramedics in Accokeek and surrounding communities certainly can attest to being happier and hydrated.

County Deputy Fire Chief Completes International Professional Designation Process

Acting Lt. Colonel Steven L. Hess of the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department has successfully completed the process that awards him the professional designation of "Chief Fire Officer" (CFO). The Commission on Professional Credentialing met on May 5, 2010 to officially confer the re-designation upon Acting Lieutenant Colonel Hess. Acting Lieutenant Colonel Hess is one of only 693 CFO's worldwide.

The Chief Fire Officer Designation program is a voluntary program designed to recognize individuals who demonstrate their excellence in seven measured components including: Experience, Education, Professional Development, Professional Contributions, Association Membership, Community Involvement, and Technical Competencies. Acting Lieutenant Colonel Hess received his original designation on July 11, 2007. To maintain the designation, individuals need to show they have continued to develop as a CFO in four areas: Professional Development, Professional Contributions, Active Association Membership and Community Involvement.

A Board of Review consisting of members of the fire and emergency services profession, academia, and municipal agencies review each application and recommends successful candidates for designation to the Commission.