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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Haz-Mat Crews Alleviate Community Fears About Green Creek

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

Citizens and residents of University Park were startled to see a change in a waterway that traverses through the city. The color of the water in Wells Run Creek was an alarming fluorescent green.

The Department's Hazardous Materials team was dispatched and arrived on the scene at about 4:30 pm, Wednesday, March 30, 2011, in the 6600 block of Adelphi Road and went to work identifying the product. Haz-Mat Technicians worked with the University Park Police Department and members of the community while attempting to identify the product and it’s source.

Haz-Mat Technicians determined the product to be a non-toxic dye. The dye is used to identify leaks in boilers and other large commercial grade water systems. A nearby high-rise building was soon identified as using the product to test the water exchange cooling system.  The run off of the product entered a storm drain and eventually making it into Wells Run Creek.

The dye product does not pose any health related issues and it is believed that it will have no impact on the environment. As a general precaution it is recommended that citizens and pets avoid contact with the discolored water.

The Fire/EMS Department and the Maryland Department of the Environment will work together to monitor the waterway.  It is believed the non-toxic dye would dissipate and dilute with time.  

Color of Wells Run Creek upon arrival of Hazardous Material Team.

Color of Wells Run Creek upon arrival of Hazardous Material Team.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Career Recruit School #43 - Day One

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

The 43rd class of firefighter/medic recruits commenced on Monday, March 28, 2011, at the Departments Fire/EMS Training Academy in Cheltenham.  The Fire/EMS Department's command staff, rank Majors and above as well as civilian managers, greeted the 35 recruits at a 9:00 am meeting.  Acting Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor facilitated introductions of his command staff and had each recruit introduce themselves. 

The recruits are beginning a 16 week educational and physically challenging academy where they will receive instruction in basic fire fighting, emergency medical services, hazardous materials and a knowledge of general orders and standard operating procedures of the Department.
CRS #43 - Day One

FC Bashoor addresses comments to students and instructors at training academy.

Members of the command staff review the recruit introductions.

Academy instructors.

Bomb Squad Renders Safe Suspicious Package

The Bomb Squad used a remote device to disrupt a suspicious package found in the median strip of Branch Avenue at Coventry Way in Clinton.

The package was constructed to have the appearance an improvised explosive device and personnel exercised all precautions during the investigation.

Bomb Squad Technicians have collected what was left of the package and believe the package was not a threat.

Evidence is still being collected and personnel are beginning to wrap up their operations. Branch Avenue should reopen within 30 minutes.
Mark E. Brady

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Branch Avenue Closed While Bomb Squad Investigates Suspicious Package

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

A road crew working along Branch Avenue made an unusual discovery this morning which has prompted the response of the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department's Bomb Squad.  A suspicious package was found on the side of Branch Avenue at Coventry Way in Clinton.

As a result of this discovery and related bomb squad activity both northbound and southbound lanes of Branch Avenue have been closed to traffic.  This action will help to ensure the safety of public safety officials and the general public.  There is no timeline for our investigation.

Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Fire Chief Participates in Live Fire Exercise with Recruits

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

Prince George’s County Acting Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor has always believed that he would never ask anyone to do anything that he would not do himself. He proved that earlier this year by completing a physically challenging Candidate Physical Ability Test that potential recruits must successfully complete to advance in the hiring process.  He proved it again today when he participated in a “burn exercise” at the Department’s Fire/EMS Training Academy in Cheltenham.

Career Recruit School #42 is currently in their 4th week of training at the academy and today, Monday, March 28, 2011, the 24 recruit firefighter/medics were scheduled for their first training involving a “live” fire and smoke exercise in the training tower/burn building. Much to their surprise, Acting Chief Bashoor arrived and participated with the recruits as they advanced hose lines into the structure, extinguished the fire, ventilated the smoke and searched for trapped victims.

In the pictures, Acting Chief Bashoor can be easily identified by his new bright personal protective command gear.

FC Bashoor, Deputy FC Hoglander, Fire Majors Ware, Dennis and Leonard observe recruit training.

Fire Training Academy (FTA) Instructor Fletcher provides instructions to members of
Engine Company 1 prior to entering the burn building.

Crew members place their self contained breathing apparatus on.

Hose line is advanced into the building.

FC Bashoor jumps on the line advancement.
A well involved fire is quickly located on the first floor and extinguished.

FTA Instructor Fletcher provides critique of operations to crew members.

Letter of Appreciation for Successful CPAT Administration

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

AACO Deputy Chief Strobel and AACO Fire Chief Ray accept a
plaque from Fire Chief Bashoor. (Steve Tabak)
Awards of appreciation were presented in recognition of the Fire/EMS Department's inaugural Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) administration. Acting Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor recognized the Anne Fire Chief John Ray and the Arundel County Fire Department for allowing the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department to use their CPAT site in Millersville. Chief Bashoor presented Anne Arundel County Fire Chief Ray with a plaque and stated, “It is with grateful appreciation and mutual respect that I acknowledge Chief Ray and the Anne Arundel County Fire Department for their allowing us to use their CPAT facility and course. We have already seen the impact of CPAT administration by our hiring the best candidates for the position of Firefighter/Medic.”

County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, Council Chair Ingrid M. Turner, District 4, and Iaff Local 1619 President Andrew Pantelis presented the awards along with Chief Bashoor at an awards function held at Florian Hall in Bowie on the evening of Thursday, March 24, 2011.

The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department was granted a Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) Program License by the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) to administer the CPAT for the purpose of testing the physical capability of firefighter candidates. Since being granted that license last year, the Department has processed approximately 600 candidates.

L to R - IAFF Local 1619 President Andrew Pantelis, Council Chair Turner, Major Erroll George, Lt. Bill Bussing, Major Rich Lambdin, Fire Chief Bashoor, County Executive Baker and Fire Fighter Fisher.  The "movers and the shakers" of CPAT Licensure and Administration receive awards. (Steve Tabak) 
 In making the presentation to the sworn and civilian members that administered CPAT, Acting Chief Bashoor stated, “You have played a key role in the facilitation and success of CPAT and the improvement of the Department’s recruitment and hiring process. It gives me great please to acknowledge the outstanding effort you have put forth and the dedication you have invested toward the CPAT administration and ultimately the entire Fire/EMS Department. The enthusiasm and professionalism that you have displayed is exceptional and I commend your hard work as well as your willingness to accept additional responsibilities above and beyond your normal duties. He concluded the presentation by saying, “Your dedication and commitment to excellence is the basis for improving the Department and the services we provide. Please accept my sincere appreciation for your participation with the CPAT administration process.”

The following sworn and civilian members of the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department received letters of appreciation and for a job well done. (Steve Tabak)

Erroll W. George Major
Rich M. Lambdin Major
Thomas E. James Battalion Chief
Scot A. Williams FF/Medic Captain
Yvette M. McNair FF/Medic Captain
Kenneth F. Fusco FF Captain
Phyllis J. Pierce FF Captain
Brandon M. Goff FF/Medic Lieutenant
Brian J. Frankel FF/Medic Lieutenant
Charles D. Bussing FF/Medic Lieutenant
Dana N. Brooks FF/Medic Lieutenant
James M. Key FF/Medic Lieutenant
Jason C. Wiseman FF/Medic Lieutenant
Lee R. Collins FF/Medic Lieutenant
Jeffrey A. Burton FF Lieutenant
Michael R. Marshall FF Lieutenant
Eric C. Hurt FF Lieutenant
Michael J. Wenzel FF Lieutenant
Binokhar J. Harris FF/Medic Technician
Israel S. Tabak FF/Medic Technician
Shaun P. Duppins FF/Medic Technician
Donald V. Fletcher, Jr. Acting FF/Medic Technician
John M. Crisman FF Technician
Christopher J. Hammond FF/Medic III
Robert P. Mutchler FF/Medic III
Antoine S. Lanier FF/Medic II
Katherine P. Fisher FF/Medic II
Leonard F. Collins FF/Medic II
Robert B. Leonard FF/Medic II
Sara A. Shaffer FF/Medic II
Stephen R. Langone FF/Medic II
Steven L. Toth FF/Medic II
Calvin Saunders Jr. FF III
Danielle M. Lewis FF II
Kenneth F. Fusco, Jr. FF II
Kevin D. Hodges FF II
Alicia R. Finn FF I
Brandon K. Wright FF I
Christopher M. Hodges FF I
David P. Ramdial FF I
Gregory A. Powell FF I
Jeffrey M. Mattingly FF I
Matthew L. Morris FF I
Eugenia M. Mercer Administrative Assistant III
Amanda B. Jackson Administrative Assistant II
Teresa A. Crisman Community Developer II
Linda A. Dellosa Accountant II
Angela M. Cooper Administrative Aide III
Teresa A. Meunier Administrative Aide III

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Small Changes in ALS Deployment Net Better Coverage of County

The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department will initiate a plan to enhance Advanced Life Services (ALS) available to the citizens and residents of the County on Sunday, March 27, 2011.  The overall ALS program evaluation is continuing with a long term Work Group, however the Department is making these initial changes based on a review of the placement of ALS units throughout the County.  These changes will result in improving the overall coverage of life saving services to the entire county.  ALS units are staffed by medics that are trained at a higher level in providing emergency medical care.  Among other techniques medics are proficient in are patient airway management, starting IV’s, administering medications, interpreting EKG’s and managing cardiac emergencies in a pre-hospital environment.

Effective Sunday, March 27, 2011, the dedicated (staffed full-time) paramedic unit at Laurel Rescue Squad on Bowie Road will re-locate to the Laurel Fire/EMS Station on Cherry lane.

A medic will be assigned as a member of the engine staffing at the Largo/Kettering Fire/EMS Station located at Campus Way and Largo Road enhancing the services of the engine to include ALS.  This Paramedic Engine will be in addition to the Paramedic Unit already at that station and increases the availability of ALS along the Largo Road (Route 202)and Central Avenue (Route 214) corridors.

dedicated (staffed full-time) paramedic unit will be placed in service at the Croom Fire/EMS Station on Croom Road in Upper Marlboro.  By placing this ALS unit in-service will allow dedicated staffing for both the engine and ALS unit at the Croom Road Station.  This move will change the non-dedicated (not a full-time staffed unit) paramedic ambulance into a basic life support (BLS) ambulance at the Upper Marlboro Fire/EMS Station on Pratt Street.  The number of career firefighters at the Upper Marlboro Fire/EMS Station will not change.  This move improves the availabilty of ALS along the Crain Highway (Route 301) corridor.

Prince George’s County Acting Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor stated, “I will continue to search for ways to provide the very best in fire and emergency medical services to the citizens of this County.  With just three small adjustments in deployment of personnel I believe we have enhanced our service delivery and achieved this objective.”

Friday, March 25, 2011

Serious MVC in Laurel

At about 9:00 am firefighters and paramedics in Laurel were alerted to a motor vehicle crash in a normally quiet residential community. Firefighter/Medics arrived in the 8300 block of Montpelier Drive and found several people injured. An approximately 6 month old infant has sustained life-threatening traumatic injuries and medics are currently performing CPR and tending to the injuries to save the infants life.

Two additional patients; an adult female and a 3 year old child are also being transported to trauma centers for their injuries.

County Police are en route and will provide additional information later today.
Mark E. Brady

This E-mail and any of its attachments may contain Prince George's
County Government or Prince George's County 7th Judicial Circuit
Court proprietary information or Protected Health Information,
which is privileged and confidential. This E-mail is intended
solely for the use of the individual or entity to which it is
addressed. If you are not the intended recipient of this E-mail,
you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution,
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attachments to this E-mail is strictly prohibited by federal law
and may expose you to civil and/or criminal penalties. If you have
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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hall of Fame, Past Chiefs Portraits and Special Achievement Award

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

The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department honored members of the Department with distinguished and honorable recognition.  An event was held at the Cranford-Graves Fire Services Building in Landover Hills to induct new members into the Fire Chiefs Hall of Fame, unveil Past Chiefs Portraits and present the 2010 Special Achievement Award. 

Our Hall of Fame was created last year to specifically honor and recognize the outstanding achievements realized through “Encore Careers” that have been undertaken by our retired leadership.  Through this program, we recognize those individuals who have continued to serve the public above and beyond the multitude of years they each served PGFD.

Acting Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor presented plaques to the two inductees and stated, “I believe one of the best means to measure the quality of leadership in this Department is witnessed in the consistent desire of our Fire Service brethren throughout the region -- and across America -- to seek out and hire the veteran personnel of PGFD into their leadership positions.”  He continued, “However, here at home, we too often tend to focus on the challenges of today and fail to remember the service of those who set that standard.  I think it is a proper and fitting for this Department to provide suitable honor and recognition to our pioneers – the people who built the National reputation of Prince George’s County, and that is what we gather here to do today.”

In addition to inducting the new members into the Hall of Fame, the Department also honored one of the 2010 inductees at today’s event.  Jim Estepp was recognized as being one of the inaugural selections into the Hall of Fame in 2010.  He received his plaque and thanked the membership for this honor.  The 2011 inductees are Randall L. Shank and Greg B. Cade. 

Randall L. Shank retired from the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department in 2003 after having served the citizens and residents for 21 years He was hired by the Loudon County Department of Fire, Rescue, and Emergency Management where is currently serving as Deputy Chief of Operations.

Greg B. Cade had a 24-year career with the Fire/EMS Department before retiring and serving as Fire Chief in Hampton Roads Virginia Beach, VA.  In 2007, Cade received a Presidential Appointment as the United States Fire Administrator.  He currently serves as the Division Director of Government Affairs for the National Fire Protection Association.

Two portraits were added to the Fire Chiefs Gallery in the main hallway of the Fire Services Building.  Chief Bashoor stated, “Today we will add the portraits of our two most recently retired fire chiefs to the Hall of Past Chiefs here at the Cranford/Graves Fire Services Building.  Those two gentlemen are with us this morning; Fire Chief Lawrence H. Sedgwick and Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones.” 

Addressing Lawrence H. Sedgwick, Bashoor said, “Chief Sedgwick, the accomplishments of the Department under your tenure include planning for three new Community Fire/EMS Stations, promotion of nearly one hundred sworn personnel, the hiring of four career recruit schools, and replacement of the Department’s entire emergency medical fleet.”

To Chief Jones, Bashoor stated, “You led the Department through one of the most financially austere periods in our history, successfully achieving fiscal constraint and a balanced budget throughout your tenure.  In addition, you are credited with aggressively promoting volunteer participation in all development and operational areas of the Department.  Another significant milestone is witnessed in the two new Community Fire/EMS Stations opened during your tenure.” 

Bashoor concluded by saying, “Chiefs Sedgwick and Jones, you have each served the Department and the citizens of the County admirably through some of our most challenging times, and I, along with our citizens and the men and women of this Department, thank you both for your honored and distinguished service.”

Chief Jones and Bashoor then presented the one of the Fire/EMS Departments most prestigious awards; The Fire Chiefs Special Achievement Award.  Fire Chief Jones chose the 2010 recipient in concurrence with Acting Chief Bashoor.  The award was presented to Battalion Chief Denise L. Dickens for her work as the Equal Employment Officer and other associated duties in assisting the Fire Chief in the performance of his duties.
Acting Chief Bashoor and Hall of Fame M.H. "Jim" Estepp

Acting Chief Bashoor and Hall of Fame Randall L. Shank

Acting Chief Bashoor and Hall of Fame Greg B. Cade

Bashoor and Sedgwick unveil his portrait.

Portrait unveiling for Eugene A. Jones

L to R Randy Shank, Billy Goddard (Howard County Fire Chief), Greg Cade, Lawrence H. Sedgwick, Marc Bashoor, Jim Estepp and Eugene A. Jones.

Eugene A. Jones

Lawrence H. Sedgwick

Chief Jones and Chief Bashoor present the Departments Special Achievement Award to Battalion Chief Denise Dickens.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Special Upcoming Department Events

On Thursday, March 24, 2011, the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department will hold two events honoring those that have and continue to serve our citizens and residents.

At 11:00 am, a Past Chiefs Portrait Unveiling, Hall of Fame Induction and the 2010 Fire Chiefs Special Achievement Award presentation will be held at the Cranford-Graves Fire Services Building in Landover Hills.  Past Chiefs Sedgwick and Jones will unveil their portraits that will be forever displayed in the hallway of the Fire Services Building and Greg Cade and Randy Shank will be inducted into the Fire Chiefs Hall of Fame.

At 7:00 pm an event will be held at Florian Hall in Bowie recognizing personnel that have been promoted and a special recognition for those that made CPAT successful.  County Executive Baker is scheduled to appear and speak at this event.

Stories and pictures will follow.

Prince George’s County, Maryland Volunteer Personnel Attended Landmark National Volunteer Fire Service Summit

By: Pete Mellits, pmellits@aol.com

March 20, 2011, [Maryland]… William Smith, Deputy Fire Chief with the West Lanham Hills VFD / President PGCVFRA, Deputy Fire Chief Pete Mellits with the Bowie Volunteer Fire Department and Tim Tharp, District Heights VFD were invited to serve as national representatives to the National Volunteer Fire Service Summit hosted by the International Association of Fire Chief’s Volunteer and Combination Officers Section (VCOS).

The goal of the Washington, D.C. - based summit was for fire and emergency service leaders to address the challenges facing the volunteer fire service today and explore ways to move volunteer and combinations departments forward in the 21st century—inclusive of volunteer, on-call and part-time personnel. Chiefs Smith, Mellits and Tharp were part of just 125 fire and emergency service leaders from the U.S. and Canada who participated in an unprecedented three-day gathering of public safety and other government officials, held two blocks from the U.S. Capitol, from March 17th to the 19th.

“The opportunity to be invited to participate, in an industry changing program, is an honor and helps one realize the importance of our work,” Mellits said.

“Many volunteer fire departments are at a crossroads: the economy, the increasing demand for local and regional emergency services, new roles in national preparedness and response and changing social norms are creating shifts in the way we do business,” said Chief Tim Wall, Chair of the IAFC’s Volunteer and Combination Officer’s Section. “These changes aren’t necessarily good or bad in-and-of themselves, but it’s clear that if we are dedicated to continuing our tradition of service and excellence, we need to bring the community together look at what works in this new environment and what new ideas are out there.”

Among the topics addressed in the summit were the impact of the new economy, recruitment and retention, firefighter health and safety, local government relations, and national legislative issues impacting volunteers. Participants, who were largely nominated to attend by State and National fire service organizations; spent the majority of the time in smaller group work sessions which were tasked with developing recommendations that will be incorporated into a national report issued by VCOS, later this year.

Deputy Chief Smith is a 28 year member of the West Lanham Hills VFD. He currently serves as the President of the PGCVFRA.

Deputy Chief Mellits is a 24 year member of the Bowie Volunteer Fire Department (BVFD) and is a past Chief of the BVFD. He also currently serves as the Secretary for the Maryland Fire Chief’s Association and 2nd Vice President of the Eastern Division of the International Association of Fire Chief’s.

Chief Tharp was a 20 year member of the Prince George’s County Fire Department (Ret.). He is a current member of the District Heights VFD.

- END-
L-R: Chief Pete Mellits, D/C BVFD; Chief Tim Wall, Chair, VCOS IAFC; Dave Lewis, 1st VP MD State Fireman's Association; Chief Bill Smith, D/C West Lanham Hills VFD, MD / PGVFRA President

About the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)

The IAFC (www.iafc.org) represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide. IAFC members are the world's leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazardous materials spills, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public safety legislation. Since 1873, the IAFC has provided a forum for its members to exchange ideas, develop professionally and uncover the latest products and services available to first responders.

About the IAFC Volunteer and Combination Officer’s Section (VCOS)

VCOS (www.vcos.org) provides chief officers who manage volunteers within a volunteer or combination Fire, Rescue or EMS delivery system with information, education, services and representation to enhance their professionalism.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Firefighters Make Bird Rescue in Bowie

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

In addition to our normal responsibilities of fire suppression, providing emergency medical services, extricating patients from crash wreckage, bomb squad, hazardous materials, community affairs, trench rescue, inspections, marine operations and an all-hazards approach in providing the very best services to the citizens and residents of Prince George's County, the Fire/EMS Department has traditionally been the place to go when then is no one else to turn to for help.  This sometimes includes assisting animals that will help to prevent injuries to good samaritans.

The Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department was recognized by the Humane Society of the United States with a 2010 Humane Civil Servant Award for services provided in rescuing animals.  We perform these rescues with some risk involved because we are trained and have the tools and resources to effect these rescues safely.  If the Fire Department did not make these rescues then invariably well intentioned citizens would attempt to make the rescue and risk injury to themselves and others.  Firefighter/Medics have previously made rescues of animals that have gotten themselves into situations where they needed our help.  Dogs falling into deep sewer drains and uncovered backyard wells,  removed cats from the ledge of a burning apartment building or from atop a utility pole and yes, occasionally the rescue of a cat from a tree.  But rescue a bird from a tree??

Friday morning, March 18, 2011, a citizen went to the Bowie Fire/EMS Station #843 in Pointer Ridge and described to firefighters that a bird was hanging from a string atop an approximately 40 to 50 foot tree.  The citizen stated numerous people were witnessing the heartbreaking event and many were visibly shaken by the sight of the distressed bird attempting to free itself.

At about 10:00 am, the combined forces of volunteer and career firefighters proceeded with an engine and tower ladder to the area of the BBT Bank in the 16400 block of Heritage Boulevard just off of Route 301 in a busy commercial area of stores, restaurants and professional buildings.  Firefighters saw the bird, about 40 feet up the tree and observed it was entangled with a string that was wrapped around a upper branch on the tree.  After discussing the safest course of action firefighters determined that the Tower Ladder could easily and safely reach the bird with little risk to the firefighters.  The Pointer Ridge Tower Ladder elevated the bucketed platform to a point where Volunteer Lieutenant George Joslyn could reach the branch and cut the string to free the bird.  The bird, a Common Grackle, had sustained injuries while trying to frantically free itself and could not fly.

The bird was brought down by Lt. Joslyn, much to the appreciation of the citizens that watched the rescue, and provided it to a member of the Fire/EMS Department's Citizen Services Unit (CSU).  CSU Steve Stearns placed the bird into an animal container and sought a facility that could care for the injured bird.  He made arrangements with the 4-H Center in Upper Marlboro and the Davidsonville Wildlife Sanctuary to accept and care for the bird.

According to the website www.allaboutbirds.org the Common Grackles are blackbirds that look like they've been slightly stretched. They're taller and longer tailed than a typical blackbird, with a longer, more tapered bill and glossy-iridescent bodies. Grackles walk around lawns and fields on their long legs or gather in noisy groups high in trees, typically evergreens. They eat many crops (notably corn) and nearly anything else as well, including garbage. In flight their long tails trail behind them, sometimes folded down the middle into a shallow V shape.

Yes, a bird in a tree was rescued and is likely to survive by the combined resources of Bowie Volunteer Deputy Chief Jonathan Howard, Fire Captain Greylind James, Fire Technician John Wilson, Volunteer Lt. George Joslyn, Volunteer Fire Fighter Tevin Williams and CSU Steve Stearns.  CSU Stearns is also a Volunteer Captain with the Bowie Volunteer Fire Department and was the person behind the camera on the video and images included in this story.  Perhaps a more significant impact was made upon those gathered to witness the event and their firefighters doing a job that no one else could as quickly and efficiently.  A job well done!!!

Tower Ladder 843, Pointer Ridge, ascends to reach a bird unable to free itself from a string and hanging 40 feet up a tree.

Bowie Volunteer Lt Joslyn works to free the trapped bird.

Volunteer Lt. Joslyn with the injured bird.

CSU Steve Stearns placed the injured bird in a animal cage for transport to a wildlife sanctuary.

"Thank You Firefighters for Saving My Life"

Thursday, March 17, 2011

County Executive's Fire/EMS Department TransitionTeam Report

Transition Report


Members of the Public Safety Committee are honored to present this report. We would like to extend heartfelt thanks to County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III, for this opportunity.

The Committee would like to also thank the vast group of leaders, agency officials, directors and stakeholders that provided a wealth of insight to the members. The professionalism displayed, cooperative nature illustrated and openness we received were most appreciated.

Best wishes as we stride toward greatness.


The Public Safety Committee co-chairs had the responsibility for the following critical entities in public safety for Prince George’s County:
Department of Corrections and Police Department – Anita Rosser Office of the Sheriff – David Mitchell Fire/EMS, Homeland Security – Ronald Gill

The Baker 2010 Transition Team conducted an orientation for all the co-chairs to provide guidance and expectations on November 18, 2010. The Baker Deputy Director provided the names of the committee members to the co-chairs. The Public Safety Committee co-chairs held an organizational meeting followed by a Committee meeting on November 30, 2010. It was during these meeting the entities were sub-divided, members were assigned to working groups and our first individual working group meetings were held.

An aggressive schedule ensued with working group meetings, onsite visits, document audits, budget reviews, document retrieval, meeting with agency officials, research being conducted and conversations with experts and stakeholders. The draft committee report was submitted January 2011.

Executive Summary

County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III, has stated that Prince George’s County will attain greatness. As we merge onto the path to greatness we must start with public safety. Public safety influences education, economic growth and public confidence. This massive undertaking will be a collaborative effort between citizens, law enforcement officers, community groups, prosecutors, faith partners and other allies.
The Public Safety Committee understands the importance of improved public safety, and our commitment kept us motivated and on task. As we conducted onsite visits, spoke with experts and stakeholders, and reviewed budgets and other documents, we discovered several broad themes. We made recommendations that focus on excellence, integrity and transparency, while delivering the most efficient and effective service possible.

Highlights of the recommendations of the Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department are as follows:
Modify staffing to achieve effective and efficient service delivery levels. 
Embrace a culture that promotes a high level of continued education and professional
development for volunteer, career, and civilian members
Support a comprehensive apparatus review and replacement program. 
Restructure the Fire Commission to better reflect the demographics of Prince
George’s County.


GOAL 1: Deliver service to the residents, visitors, and businesses in Prince George’s County
effectively and efficiently through dedicated staffing on emergency apparatus.


Modify staffing to achieve effective and efficient service delivery levels while remaining National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1710 and 1720 compliant.

DESCRIBE RECOMMENDATION: Modify departmental staffing levels; dedicate staffing per apparatus instead of staffing the fire station.


A. Create dedicated staffing Process Action Teams
B. Analyze current station/apparatus call volumes, response times C. Initiate pilot program D. Analyze and modify (if needed) E. Continue with dedicated staffing plan

GOAL 2: To enhance citizen involvement, accountability and transparency in the Prince George’s County Fire Commission.


Prince George’s County should consider changing the structure, composition and role of the Fire Commission to include external and internal stakeholders as commission members.


Fire Commission members should be comprised of internal and external stakeholders and should be appointed in a manner that is consistent with other panels/boards that control Prince George’s County funding. The Fire Commission should evaluate all aspects of the Fire/EMS Department including the funding of volunteer corporations, and the approval of capital improvements and apparatus purchases.
Funding for volunteer corporations must not be neglected and volunteer members should continue to have significant input into the use of appropriated funds. The County should consider consolidating all public funding into a singular budget.


Whereas the members of the Fire Commission, past and present, have served Prince George’s County with distinction, the current composition and function has not been revised in forty years. Prince George’s County has changed dramatically since the inception of Charter Government. The proposed recommendation restructures the Fire Commission by improving its mission and objectives, enhancing citizen engagement and advocacy by providing functional accountability to the citizens, while continuing to assure that it can advocate for the needs of the fire service, both volunteer and career.

GOAL 3: Modernize (update) the fleet capability and standardize (modified) apparatus purchasing utilizing comprehensive apparatus replacement plans.


Enhance the fleet of Fire and EMS response vehicles (specifically engines, aerial ladders, heavy rescue squads, and EMS transport units) through increased funding and a comprehensive apparatus replacement plan.


Modernization (updating) of the fleet capability and a standardized (modified) apparatus program will augment service delivery within Prince George’s County. This will also increase the safety of operational personnel complying with NFPA 1901 and 1911standards.


A. Inventory current apparatus fleet
B. Develop future budget/replacement plans
C. Maximize the use of alternative funding sources (e.g. EMS billing, Undesignated funds,
Bonds, Grants)
D. Forecast and budget for future apparatus expenditures
E. Stay within the framework of the apparatus replacement plan


In order to mitigate emergency incidents efficiently and safely, personnel must be provided with the proper assortment of firefighting apparatus and equipment. Supporting an apparatus replacement program ensures that the County has a readily available fleet of response vehicles and reduces long-term maintenance expenses. Improving the standardization of apparatus reduces initial purchase costs and improves overall department proficiency related to apparatus operation.
Ultimately, decisions about apparatus types and their deployment should be made at the highest levels of the Department based on an analysis of community risks and demands for service along with input from Department stakeholder groups and members of the community.

GOAL 4: The Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department should embrace a culture that promotes a high level of continued education and professional development for volunteer, career, and civilian members.

RECOMMENDATION: Uniform training levels for each rank should be adopted to ensure that both career and volunteer command officers have the appropriate levels of training and competency to excel at their duties. (While the recommendation is for the adoption of uniform training standards, the Committee recognizes certain portions of the training curriculum may not apply to all career or volunteer members.)


A. Appointing internal customers to a training curriculum panel
B. Reviewing current training curriculums
C. If necessary, seek legislative changes to current personnel training standards
D. Reviewing contractual agreements for career personnel
E. Implementation of new training standards and curriculum
F. Reviewing, revising, and modifying curriculum as needed.


Generally, combination fire systems operate best when all personnel, career and volunteer, adhere to the same operational procedures and personal performance objectives. Each member of the department will best contribute to the success of the mission when they perform the same tasks in the same manner. Before this ideal environment can be realized, standard training levels and mechanisms to obtain necessary training must be identified. Additionally, the Department should establish training programs that provide integrated training between career firefighters and volunteers to further enhance uniformity within the total organizational structure and help to mitigate current divisions


60 days: Appoint stakeholders to review current training programs, and standards 120 days: Identify any changes necessary to address training standards/curriculum 6 months: Implement revised/updated uniformed training curriculum and standards for all volunteer and career personnel. 1 year and out: Continued enhancement of training program.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Multi-Vehicle Crash on Beltway at Branch Avenue with Updates

At about 3:45 pm, Tuesday, March 15, 2011, Fire/EMS units were alerted to a multi-vehicle crash on the Capital Beltway inner-loop at Branch Avenue in Temple Hills. Citizens reported to 911 call takers that at least 3 vehicles are involved; a tractor trailer, a box truck and a pick-up truck. One person is trapped in their vehicle. A heavy duty rescue squad will need to use their heavy-duty hydraulic tools (Jaws of Life) to extricate the patient. There is a large contingent of Fire/EMS Apparatus on the scene taking up lanes of both the inner and outer loop.  Expect traffic delays.

The Maryland State Police – Forestville Barracks will be handling the investigation and additional release of information.

4:00 pm update - 1 patient being treated by paramedics is a Priority 1 Trauma, life threatening injuries, unknown age/unknown gender, transported by paramedics to a Trauma Center.

Firefighters still working to extricate another patient.

4:10 pm update - Second patient has been extricated and in the care of paramedics, unk age/unk gender, serious injuires going to Trauma Center via paramedics.

30-50 gallons of diesel fuel spilled on the Beltway from a broken saddle tank on the tractor trailer - PGFD Haz-Mat companies en route to assisit in clean-up of spill.

Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, PGFD, 240-508-7930

PGFD and American Diabetes Association Team Up for "Alert Day"

Join the Millions in the fight to Stop Diabetes

The Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department is teaming up with the American Diabetes Association in promoting "Alert Day."  The American Diabetes Association Alert Day℠ is a one-day "wake-up" call asking the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

The Fire/EMS Department responds to just over 130,000 calls for service every year.  Nearly 80% of our responses are requests for emergency medical services.  Thousands of these emergency responses are for diabetic related issues and associated illnesses.  Our firefighter/medics and emergency medical technicians are stakeholders in ensuring that our citizens and residents stay healthy and safe.  Taking this simple test will help to educate you and if needed, start you on a path to be healthy and free from diabetes.

Beginning on Diabetes Alert Day, the American Diabetes Association will rally the public to “Join the Million Challenge.” The Association will encourage people to help Stop Diabetes by taking the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, and inspiring their friends, family members and colleagues to do the same.

The Diabetes Risk Test asks users to answer simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risks for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. The Diabetes Risk Test shows users whether they are at low, moderate or high risk for type 2 diabetes. If an individual is at high risk, he or she is encouraged to talk with their health care provider.

This year, Diabetes Alert Day is on March 22 and will begin our "Join the Million Challenge," which runs through April 22. During this time, we will be rallying one million people to take the Diabetes Risk Test.

Starting on Diabetes Alert Day, you can be part of the movement to Stop Diabetes and get your free Diabetes Risk Test (English or Spanish) by one of several ways:

Visit stopdiabetes.com to take the Diabetes Risk Test

Call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383)

Text JOIN to 69866 (Standard data and message rates apply)

Although Diabetes Alert Day is a one-day event, the Diabetes Risk Test is available year round.

The men and women of the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department want you to stay safe and healthy.  Help your Fire/EMS Department by helping yourself; take the Diabetes Risk Test on March 22.  Our Department's motto is, "Safety First - Everyone Goes Home" applies to your health and well-being as well as being safety conscious for fire safety and injury prevention.

For information about the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department, contact: Mark E. Brady, Chief spokesperson, at 240-508-7930 or mebrady@co.pg.md.us.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Lines and Leads Newsletter - March 11, 2011


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Early Morning Evacuation of U of M Denton Hall Due to Small Fire

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

Student residents of Denton Hall at the University of Maryland got an early wake-up alarm this morning. It was a “fire alarm” that awakened students at about 4:20 am, Thursday, March 10, 2011. The buildings alarm system was activated by a student to warn other occupants of a fire in the 9-story dormitory. A manual pull fire alarm was activated and the entire building was evacuated.

An electrical component, possibly some type of charging unit, ignited a fire on a desk in a 5th floor room. Firefighters from College Park Fire/EMS Station #812 and other surrounding communities responded to the scene . Upon arrival they found a relatively small fire was already out but smoke had filled the 5th floor hallway on the west side of the building. Firefighters ensured the fire was extinguished and ventilated the smoke from the building. Students were allowed to re-enter the building after being evacuated for about 15 minutes. Firefighters cleared the scene around 5:00 am. The fire is classified as “accidental” and fire loss is estimated at $100.

One female Denton Hall resident was transported to an area hospital from the scene for an unknown illness. It is not known if her illness was related to the fire and evacuation.

American Legion Announces EMS and Firefighter of the Year Awards

Each year the American Legion awards public safety officials at the county, district and state levels. The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department is proud to announce that two of our members are recipients of awards at both the county and district levels. It is anticipated that one of the recipients will also receive the State of Maryland award.

The Prince George’s County Council of the American Legion, Department of Maryland, Inc., selected Paramedic Pamela J. Graham as the American Legion, Prince George’s County and the Southern Maryland District Council “2010 Career EMS of the Year.”

Additionally, Fire Fighter/Medic (Acting) Captain James M. Jiron was selected as the American Legion, Prince George’s County and the Southern Maryland District Council “2010 Career Fire Fighter of the Year.

The award notification letters state, “Paramedic Graham and Captain Jiron have an impressive resume, and their service to your department and to Prince George’s County is outstanding.” The pair will receive their awards at two functions; one will be held for the county level and the other for the district level.”

The EMS and Fire Fighter of the Year awards will be presented Monday, April 11, 2011, at the Prince George’s County Council meeting at the Greenbelt American Legion Post #136, 6900 Greenbelt Road in Greenbelt. Post #136’s phone number is 301-345-0136. The awards will be presented at the start of the meeting, 7:30 P.M. A meal will be served at 6:30 P.M., prior to the ceremony. Members of the Fire/EMS Department command staff and Paramedic Graham’s and Acting Captain Jiron’s family, friends and co-workers who are planning to attend the ceremony are requested to arrive at Post #136 no later than 6:15 P.M.

The Southern Maryland District Career EMS and Firefighter of the Year awards will be presented to Paramedic Graham and Captain Jiron on Sunday, May 1, 2011, at the District Council meeting at Harry White Wilmer American Legion Post #82, 6330 North Crain Highway in La Plata. Post #82’s phone number is 301-934-8221. The awards will be presented at the conclusion of the meeting, which begins at 1 P.M. Please plan to arrive no later than 1:45 P.M. A meal will be served promptly following the ceremony. Again, Fire/EMS command staff and the families, friends, and co-workers of Paramedic Graham and Acting Captain Jiron are welcome to attend the ceremony.

Fire Fighter/Medic Captain James M. Jiron was selected for his actions in September 2010. While off-duty and without hesitation or concern for his own safety, he prevented injuries and perhaps saved two lives in Woodstock, Virginia. Captain Jiron entered a burning home, where he alerted and removed two occupants who were unaware their home was on fire. He was also recently selected as the Knight of Columbus Fire Fighter of the Year for 2010 and is under consideration for a Fire/EMS Department Valor Award. Acting Captain Jiron is currently assigned to College Park Fire/EMS Station #812.

Paramedic Graham was selected for her exceptional performance in 2010 when she was credited with 5 “saves” within a 3-month period. It was also noted that Pam is currently enrolled in higher learning college courses, as well as avid community involvement. Paramedic Graham is also being considered for the American Legion, State of Maryland “2010 EMS of the Year” award. She is currently assigned to the Paramedic Unit at Clinton Fire/EMS Station #825.

Acting Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor commented, “The performance of our men and women of the Fire/EMS Department never cease to amaze me. Our personnel, career and volunteer, on a daily basis provide the very best fire and EMS to the citizens of Prince George’s County. I am pleased that an organization like the American Legion not only recognizes these high qualities in our personnel, but also takes time to acknowledge them. The actions of Graham and Jiron reflect favorably upon them both personally and professionally, as well as on the entire Fire/EMS Department.”

Wednesday, March 9, 2011



The combined volunteer and career men and women of your Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department want you to stay safe during this potentially dangerous weather conditions.

Floods begin when soil and vegetation cannot absorb falling rain or melting snow, and when water runs off the land in such quantities that it cannot be carried away quickly enough in normal stream channels or cannot be retained in natural ponds and man-made reservoirs.

Flood Safety Tips...

Never try to walk, swim, or drive through swift-moving floodwater. If you must walk in a flooded area, walk where the water is not moving. Remember, 2 feet of water will float your vehicle and 6 inches of fast moving floodwater can knock you off your feet.

If you come upon floodwaters, STOP, TURN AROUND AND GO ANOTHER WAY!!

Do not attempt to drive through a flooded road.

If your car stalls, leave it and seek higher ground, if you can do so safely.

Stay informed about the storm and possible flooding by listening to your NOAA weather radio, commercial radio or television.