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Friday, July 12, 2013

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New Member of the Tactical Emergency Medicine Program

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

On June 7, 2013, the Prince George’s County Police Department held its Emergency Services Team (EST) School graduation.  The graduates were from surrounding jurisdictions, and one was from the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department.  Fire Fighter/Medic Lieutenant Michael Buffum (shown below) graduated from Session 30 and was elected class leader by his fellow classmates.  Lieutenant Buffum recently has been assigned to the Tactical Emergency Medicine (TEM) Program, jointly overseen by the Fire/EMS and Police Departments.  The program’s objective is to provide medical response in situations posing a high threat.

Battalion Chief Michael Marino, the program facilitator, stated, “This is an important milestone for the department and Lieutenant Buffum.  It demonstrates the continued support and expansion each organization has invested in this collaborative venture.  The TEM Program will place emergency medical resources at or near the point of injury, which is far forward of traditional zones of EMS care.  The 3-week training is grueling and demands both mental and physical toughness to successfully complete.  EST school teaches basic SWAT operations, along with high threat medical care, to students from all over the National Capital Region.  It is highly regarded as one of the toughest SWAT schools in the region.  I am proud of Lieutenant Buffum’s personal accomplishment of completing the school, as well as the department’s continued commitment to the program.” 

High threat medicine is an important and especially timely topic, with incidents like the Boston Marathon bombings and numerous active shooter incidents over the past few years.  Advances in casualty care, gleaned from military experience and aggressive pre-hospital trauma care, have increased survivability from previously unsurvivable injuries.  All of this translates into the civilian environment through the implementation of tactical emergency casualty care (TECC), which guides the provision of high threat medicine.

Battalion Chief Marino, a nearly 13-year veteran, has been active with EST for the past 2 years.  This placement of Fire/EMS Department paramedics is part of a personnel exchange program with the Police Department.  For every paramedic assigned to EST, a County Police Officer is assigned to the Fire/EMS Department.  Currently there are two full-time Police Officers assigned to the Office of the Fire Marshal.  These officers perform a variety of law enforcement functions in support of fire investigators.

Fire/EMS Battalion Chief Marino can be seen on a training evolution simulating an approach of an apartment complex for a high risk search warrant.  Marino is the one with MEDIC across his back.
 Photo credit J. Finnerin

3-Alarm Fire at Langley Park Shopping Center (Arrival video and new images added)

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

Arrival video courtesy of the College Park Volunteer Fire Department

This video shows conditions on the rear side of building as units are still arriving.

At around 10:45 pm, Thursday, July 11, Prince George's County and Montgomery County Firefighters were alerted to a commercial structure fire at 7980 New Hampshire Avenue. First arriving firefighters encountered a 1-story, strip mall with an end unit having heavy fire showing. The store on fire was the "Brands for Less" which is just one of many stores in the Langley Park Shopping Center. There was some damage to the 24-hour store that is attached to the building of origin.

A 2nd alarm was sounded bringing additional firefighters and apparatus to the scene to assist in battling the fire. A 3rd alarm was sounded bringing additional firefighters to the scene to provide relief for personnel on the first two alarms. It required about 45 minutes to knock down the bulk of the fire. Extensive overhaul is required to ensure the fire is completely extinguished.

One firefighter sustained a minor knee injury and transported to a local hospital for treatment.

An approaching thunderstorm with heavy rains and lightening required incident commanders to remove all personnel operating on the roof. This did not appear to have any impact on extinguishing the fire.

The cause of the fire will be under investigation. Estimated fire loss is not yet available.