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Friday, June 10, 2011

PGFD "Caught on Camera" to Premiere Sunday on MSNBC

Another cable TV production involving the Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department is soon set to premiere.  A NBC production "Caught on Camera" involves the dramatic video of the natural gas explosion at the Penn Mar Shopping Center in Forestville that injured 8 firefighters in May 2009.  This show includes interviews with Major Kenny McSwain; the Incident Commander, and Battalion Chief Grady Valencis.

NBC Producers told us this afternoon the shows premiere is scheduled for Sunday, June 12, 2011, 8:00 pm, on MSNBC.  Please check your local listings for the correct channel.  The show will continue to run throughout the summer.

This was the second notification we received today informing us of upcoming show premieres that the Fire/EMS Department is involved in.  "101 Gadgets that Changed the World" is scheduled to air June 15, 2011, on the History channel.

Red Cross and Firefighters Canvass Community with Fire Safety Message

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

Volunteer members of the American Red Cross, National Capital Region, joined firefighter/medics from the Hyattsville area this morning in a fire safety campaign. On Friday morning, June 10, 2011, about 2-dozen Red Cross volunteers met with firefighters at the Hyattsville Fire/EMS Station #801 and identified communities to visit and items to discuss with citizens ad residents concerning fire safety.

Acting Fire Chief Marc Bashoor stated, “We are proud to team-up with the American Red Cross and pleased that they are taking the initiative to help prevent fires and keeping everyone safe. Remember, Safety first ensures everyone goes home.”

Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department President Dave J. Iannone stated, “The membership of the Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department is here to assist in any way to make this effort a success. Normally, we only see firefighters out in the communities going door-to-door with fire safety information, we are grateful for the interest and assistance provided by the Red Cross today.”

The Red Cross provided door hangers (see below), in both English and Spanish, with information on how to prevent a fire and the importance of having working smoke alarms and creating an escape plan. Just this past week a fire destroyed the home of country singer Trace Adkins. Adkins and his wife credit the Brentwood, Tennessee Firefighters for teaching a fire safety class at their daughter’s elementary school which taught them how to plan an escape from their home and meet at a designated place outside. Adkins three young daughters and a nanny put the home escape plan to good use by escaping without injury and meeting at their designated spot outside; no one was injured in that fire.

The Volunteers of the Hyattsville Station generously offered their station as a base of operations for the Red Cross for the day and helped to coordinate the day’s events. Prince George's County Firefighter/Medics from Hyattsville, Bunker Hill and both Chillum-Adelphi Fire/EMS Stations joined forces with Red Cross volunteers in distributing fire safety information and checking smoke alarms.

County residents in need of a working smoke alarm can call our SAFETY FIRST SMOKE ALARM line at 301-864-SAFE (7233) and arrange for a firefighter to visit your home and install a working smoke alarm free of charge.

For additional information on having firefighters teach a fire safety class, including developing a home escape plan, contacts our Community Outreach office at 301-883-5250.

The combined Red Cross and Firefighter/Medics group before being
deployed into the community to provide fire safety information


PGFD Appears in "101 Gadgets That Changed The World" Premiere Show

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

Earlier this year the Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department was asked to be part of an upcoming cable TV show.  The Fire/EMS Department was selected from all other Departments throughout the Country to discuss two "gadgets" and how they have changed the life of firefighters and civilians since they were invented.

Acting Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor and the on-duty crew from St. Joesph's Fire/EMS Station as well as some members of that community were involved in a segment discussing working smoke alarms.  Volunteer members at the College Park Fire/EMS Station were included in a segment on fire extinguishers.

We have just received notification that the show is complete and ready to air.  Associate Producer Philip R. Cloutier informed us that the two-hour special "101 Gadgets That Changed The World" will be premiering this Wednesday, June 15, on History at 9 PM Eastern and 6 PM Pacific.

Cloutier added, "On behalf of the '101 Gadgets' production team at JWM Productions, as well as our colleagues at Popular Mechanics magazine, thank you for your help in making it happen. We hope you enjoy the show!

Fleet Manager Announces Retirement

Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department Fleet Manager, Daniel F. Benedetti, has announced his intention to retire after 31 years of dedicated service to the county’s citizens and residents. A luncheon commemorating his retirement and service to the county was held at the H.J. Crisman Apparatus Maintenance Facility in Forestville, where many former and current members of the Department were on hand to celebrate with him.

Danny has been responsible for managing the fleet of fire, EMS, specialty apparatus and associated tools and equipment such as generators of one of the largest and busiest combination departments in the country. The maintenance facility is also responsible for fit testing and repair of self contained breathing apparatus and breathing air bottles.  To his credit is the development of specifications for the purchase of new apparatus, along with ensuring strict safety guidelines for all county and volunteer-owned apparatus. Benedetti has been the driving force behind any new design and purchase of new county apparatus over the past dozen years including engines, squads, ladder trucks/towers, specialty units and the total upgrade to the department’s fleet of ambulances with the purchase of 70 new units in 2007.

Danny Benedetti began his fire service career as a volunteer member of the Bowie Fire Department in March of 1975; he was hired by the county six years later. Danny and wife, Teresa, and their two daughters, Alyssa and Sophia, are relocating to San Antonio, Texas.

 Thanks to retired PGFD Stu Newman for the pictures.

Danny Benedetti and former boss John Crisman.  The Apparatus Maintenance Facility
was re-named in Mr. Crismans honor when he retired.

Dannys daughter, Alyssa, and wife, Teresa, stand with him as his Retirement Certificate
is presented by Acting Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor.