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Tuesday, December 3, 2019


December 3, 2019 

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


Digital Dashboard System Improves Department-Wide Operational and Situational Awareness for First Responders 

Richmond, Va. – First Arriving today announced the deployment of its best-in-class Digital Dashboard system across the Prince George’s County, MD, Fire/EMS Department. With more than 100 digital displays providing mission critical data to over 60 stations, battalion and command offices, and the county’s training academy, the new system utilizes real-time analytics to enhances the department’s ability to respond more efficiently and effectively.

First Arriving’s Digital Dashboard features include:

· Real-time dispatch information, including incident location maps, StreetView and fastest routes
· Equipment maintenance alerts, out of service hydrants, training and certification expirations, pass along information, road closures, upcoming training events and riding assignments
· Easy to update information that can be managed at the county-wide, battalion or station-level
· Full integration with FirstWatch county-wide unit status, ePCR completion rate, hospital status and turnout times
· Real-time weather conditions, forecasts, radar and severe weather alerts

“First Arriving’s Digital Dashboards give our department the ability to take critical data and push that information out to those that need it most,” said Brian Frankel, Deputy Fire Chief, Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department. “Taking data and making it actionable improves system performance and unit utilization, thus allowing our department to better meet our community’s needs.”

In addition to the large display Digital Dashboards, Prince George’s County will also utilize First Arriving’s new desktop platform, which allows agency leadership to view department-wide data and individual worksite information in the office or on the go.

“We are excited to add Prince George’s County to the growing number of departments nationwide utilizing our Digital Dashboards to improve situational awareness and provide critical information when and where it’s needed most,” said Dave Iannone, CEO & Co-Founder, First Arriving. “Our Dashboards give public safety leaders a completely customized solution tailored to the unique communications needs of their department.”

First Arriving’s Digital Dashboard systems service fire departments, EMS, law enforcement, courts and local governments among other users. From small volunteer and combination agencies to some of the nation's largest departments, First Arriving's Dashboards now serve departments in more than 30 states coast-to-coast including Palm Beach County (FL), Mobile (AL) and San Bernardino County (CA).

“First Arriving’s Digital Dashboards give us the information we need at our fingertips,” said Robert Kight, Jr., Lieutenant, Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department. “The Dashboards give us the ability to make quicker, better-informed decisions in a job where every second counts.”
First Arriving’s Digital Dashboards provide full integration with a growing network of more than 50 leading third party technology platforms and service providers, including Active911, Aladtec and Emergency Reporting. To learn more about First Arriving’s Digital Dashboards, visit: www.firstarriving.com/dashboards.

About First Arriving First Arriving is a leading full-service marketing, communications and technology agency specializing in fire, rescue, EMS, law enforcement and local government. We provide innovative solutions, including digital signage, websites, video production and recruitment marketing that transform and engage. Our clients include renowned public safety brands, departments and agencies of all sizes, associations and non-profits. First Arriving is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, and serves clients nationwide. For more information, visit www.firstarriving.com.


Sunday, December 1, 2019

PGFD LODD December 1, 2003 Nadar Ali Hammett


Nadar Ali Hammett

Nadar Ali Hammett

  • ERT
  • Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department
  • Maryland
  • Age: 29
  • Year of Death: 2003

Submitted by his mother
Nadar was a very special and loved young man. 
Nadar actually means rare and unique‚ but he was such a wonderful young man his name was defined as: 
Never ending loved person
A man that was so kind and generous
Divine and loving son‚ brother and friend
Always be remembered and loved by his family and friends
Remembered as our angel 
Nadar joined the Prince George’s County Fire Department in 2000. He loved his job very much. He served three years with the Prince George’s County Fire Department as an EMT/Firefighter. He had plans to become a paramedic. He attended paramedic school at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington‚ D.C.‚ expecting to graduate in January 2004. 
On December 1‚ 2003‚ Nadar was taken from this earth in a tragic car accident on his way home from school. Nadar is still missed by all of us. His spirit will always stay with his family and friends. 

Monday, November 18, 2019

Media Advisory - Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department to Receive Donation of 1,500 Smoke Alarms From Pepco

MEDIA ADVISORY - Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department to Receive Donation of 1,500 Smoke Alarms From Pepco

MEDIA CONTACT: Michael J. Yourishin, PIO, 240-508-4183
mjyourishin@co.pg.md.us     @PGFDNEWS

MEDIA CONTACT: Michael J. Yourishin, PIO

For the past 15 years, the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department has received an annual donation of smoke alarms from Pepco. This year, the Department will take delivery of 1,500 smoke alarms, bringing the total of donated alarms to 15,500 over the course of the partnership. Acting Fire Chief Tiffany Green will be present to receive the smoke alarms and talk about the importance of having working smoke alarms in homes.

WHAT: Pepco Donates 1,500 Smoke Alarms to the Fire/EMS Department

WHEN: Tuesday, November 19, 2019, 1:00 p.m.

WHERE: Cranford/Graves Fire Services Building
6820 Webster Street
Landover Hills, MD 20784

WHO: Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department Acting Fire Chief Tiffany Green, Pepco representatives, and Fire/EMS Department members

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Doc and O2X: A Formula for Success

Doc and O2X: A Formula for Success 

Diane V. Cunningham, Assistant to the Public Information Officer

Current day "Doc"
As part of the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department’s initiative to focus on the wellness and fitness of our members, the third O2X Human Performance Program was held in April 2019. The core objective of O2X of is to help firefighters and other tactical athletes improve their physical and mental readiness and increase their productivity. This revolutionary training and education program is saving lives and building healthier, safer communities.

Firefighter/Medic Captain, Brian “Doc” Dougherty, 19-year member of the Department, has lost 20 pounds as a result of his participation in the O2X program. When asked what motivated him to give the program a try, he stated, “Initially, it was that the Department was putting on this program and wanted everyone to go through it. But on a more personal note, I had gotten to a point where I wanted to be in better physical condition. So, here was the Department offering something to actually give me guidance to accomplish this goal.”

Captain Dougherty boasts of having an overall sense of wellness. “I feel better and am able to do more stuff, which is essential in this profession. When I became a firefighter, I was already older than the individuals who started recruit school with me,” he says. “As an officer, I want to be both a source of encouragement and a role model to those who are just getting started in this profession. If I can inspire them—even if only one—to take their physical welfare seriously, they will likely have long and healthy careers.”

For Doc, getting a handle on his eating habits—what, when, and how much—was the most challenging part of the program. “There is no definitive break time in this career. In most instances, you have to eat when you can. Knowing that at any moment an alert could sound for an incident, you tend to gorge. Some of those days, you don’t run the calls that would allow you to burn off all the food you ate. Over time, shift after shift of undisciplined eating is naturally going to cause the numbers on the scale to rise,” he explained.

“One of the things I learned in the O2X program that really works for me is to drink water before meals. Your stomach is the size of your fist, and since your body is mostly water, you fill up pretty quickly. As much as possible, making healthier food choices is best. However, if you’re not eating the healthiest foods, it’s likely you won’t eat as much if you drink water first.” Doc understands as well
as the next person that there will be times when we are going to eat what we like, healthy or not. “Having some of the not so healthy foods I like,” he says, “is not so bad as long I don’t overindulge. The idea is discipline and moderation, not deprivation.”

The O2X program is a holistic approach to mind and body wellness. Each participant receives the same information but uses it in the way that best works for them. Captain Dougherty lives five miles from Fire/EMS Station 818 where he is assigned. Prior to transitioning to shiftwork, he began riding his bicycle to work every day. “I now bike on my days off, often putting in 30 to 50 miles on some days. I’ve even found a group that rides on the weekend!” he said.

Although Doc was active prior to beginning O2X, he admits that his level of activity was not compensating for what he was eating. The result, of course, was weight gain. He attributes the program with helping him confront his poor eating habits. “This,” he says, “was the key part for me. As I stated previously, each participant uses the information in the way it best suits them. This was my take away from the program.”

Each participant in the program was given a textbook and a workbook that allowed them to track their progress. Doc says, “Taking the information to heart and applying it is really what determines a successful outcome for the participant.” The O2X program’s methodology—Eat. Sweat. Thrive. —addresses the heightened stress levels, work/life balance issues, high-risk activities, and disproportionate rate of job-related injuries that have long been accepted as part of the day-to-day lives of firefighters. “It is imperative that all three components are in place. I was exercising, and I still gained weight. Healthy eating, exercise, and mental wellness all go hand-in-hand,” says Doc.

Today, Captain Dougherty weighs eight pounds less than when he began his career with the Fire/EMS Department 19 years ago. “I feel great, have more energy, and am in better shape now than I was at the start of my career,” he says. When asked if he would recommend the O2X program, he responded, “I absolutely would recommend the program. However, the most important thing is to get started with whatever programs or tools that are available to you. If you keep in mind that success is not the destination but the journey along the way, you will do just fine.”

Monday, October 21, 2019

National School Bus Safety Week

The week of October 21st-October 25th is National School Bus Safety Week. This public education campaign focuses on the importance of school bus safety, especially when it comes to other drivers on the road. 
The Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department is proud to support the Maryland Center for School Safety and the National Association of Pupil Transportation and do its part to make sure drivers are aware of the law and the importance of school bus safety. 
"We are requesting the help of our partners and the entire community in reminding all drivers about school bus stop arm safety," said Maryland Center for School Safety Executive Director Kate Hession. "We have placed messaging in all of the Motor Vehicle Administration service centers throughout the state and launched a new school bus safety public service announcement on social media, television, and digital billboards to remind drivers to STOP for any school bus with its flashing lights on and stop arm extended.”
In Maryland, it is illegal to pass a school bus with its red lights flashing and stop-arm extended when it has stopped to load or unload students. The law states that if a school vehicle has stopped on a road and is operating the alternately flashing red lights, the driver of any vehicle following or approaching the school bus must stop at least 20 feet from the front or rear of the school vehicle. Failure to stop for the bus can result in up to a $500 fine, three points on a driver's license, and increased insurance rates.
For more information on National School Bus Safety Week, visit www.napt.org/nsbsw. You can also follow the Maryland Center for School Safety on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all week to share their information and tips at hashtag #NSBSW.
Poster designed by Shivangi Ojha, an 8th Grader at Belton ISD in Temple, TX.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Effective Press Briefings

We previously discussed the four types of emergency alert and warning systems used by public safety agencies. When faced with a disaster, crisis situation or working incident, it is important to quickly provide the media with as much information as possible. A press briefing is a logical next step once an emergency alert has been communicated. More informal than a press conference, press briefings are used to give updates during a developing event. In our latest blog post, Mark Brady revisits our webinar, “Time-Critical: Communicating Effectively During Disasters and Major Incidents,” and discusses strategies for press briefings – information, timing and best practices.

If you’d like to share on your personal social media account(s), below are sample posts:

  1. A press briefing is the next step following an emergency alert. Here are 5 essential types of information to provide the public: https://www.lexipol.com/resources/blog/strategies-for-effective-press-briefings-during-critical-incidents/
  2. Press briefings are a way to build trust with the public through accurate, timely information. Consider these best practices for critical incident communication:https://www.lexipol.com/resources/blog/strategies-for-effective-press-briefings-during-critical-incidents/
  3. “One message, many voices.” An agency’s message to the public should be consistent no matter who is speaking: https://www.lexipol.com/resources/blog/strategies-for-effective-press-briefings-during-critical-incidents/
  4. Press briefings are essential for providing timely information to the public following critical incidents. Learn how to effectively communicate your message: https://www.lexipol.com/resources/blog/strategies-for-effective-press-briefings-during-critical-incidents/

Thank you!

Lauren Woodyard

Marketing Specialist
Office: 469-731-0858 


Mark E. Brady
Chief PIO
Prince George's County Maryland Fire/EMS Department
Twitter: @PGFDPIO

10 Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

10 Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

Halloween can be a festive and fun time for children and families. But for pets? Let's face it, it can be a nightmare. Skip the stress and keep your pets safe this year by following these 10 easy tips.

Teddy and Baylee enjoying Halloween before going indoors for Trick or Treaters - Mark Brady - PGFDPIO

1. Trick-or-treat candies are not for pets.

All forms of chocolate—especially baking or dark chocolate—can be dangerous, even lethal, for dogs and cats. Symptoms of chocolate poisoningmay include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures. Halloween candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures. “Xylitol ingestion can also cause liver failure in dogs, even if they don’t develop symptoms associated with low blood sugar,” adds Dr. Jennifer Coates, veterinary advisor with petMD. And while xylitol toxicity in cats has yet to be established, it's better to be safe than sorry.

2. Don't leave pets out in the yard on Halloween.

Vicious pranksters have been known to tease, injure, steal, and even kill pets on Halloween night. Inexcusable? Yes! But preventable nonetheless. Black cats are especially at risk from pranks or other cruelty-related incidents. In fact, many shelters do not adopt out black cats during the month of October as a safety precaution. Make sure your black cats are safely housed indoors around Halloween. 

3. Keep pets confined and away from the door.

Indoors is certainly better than outdoors on Halloween, but your door will be constantly opening and closing, and strangers will be on your doorstep dressed in unusual costumes. This, of course, can be scary for our furry friends, which can result in escape attempts or unexpected aggression. Putting your dog or cat in a secure crate or room away from the front door will reduce stress and prevent them from darting outside into the night…a night when no one wants to be searching for a lost loved one.

4. Keep glow sticks away from pets.

While glow sticks can help keep people safe on Halloween night, they can add some unwanted drama to the holiday if a pet chews one open. “Thankfully, the liquid inside glow sticks is non-toxic, so it won’t actually make pets sick,” Coates says, “but it does taste awful.” Pets who get into a glow stick may drool, paw at their mouth, become agitated, and sometimes even vomit. Coates recommends that if your pet does chew on a glow stick, “offer some fresh water or a small meal to help clear the material out of the mouth.”

5. Keep Halloween plants such as pumpkins and corn out of reach.

While small amounts of corn and pumpkin can be fed safely to many pets, ingesting uncooked, potentially moldy Halloween pumpkins or corn displays can cause big problems. Gastrointestinal upset is a possibility whenever pets eat something they aren’t used to, and intestinal blockage can occur if large pieces are swallowed. Coates adds that “some types of mold produce mycotoxins that can cause neurologic problems in dogs and cats.” So, keep the pumpkins and corn stalks away from your pets. And speaking of pumpkins…

6. Don't keep lit pumpkins around pets.

If you are using candles to light your jack-o-lanterns or other Halloween decorations, make sure to place them well out of reach of your pets. Should they get too close, they run the risk of burning themselves or causing a fire.

7. Keep electric and battery-powered Halloween decorations out of reach.

Electric and battery-powered Halloween decorations are certainly safer than open candles, but they still can present a risk to pets. Pets who chew on electrical cords can receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock or burn. Batteries may cause chemical burns when chewed open or gastrointestinalblockage if swallowed. Shards of glass or plastic can cause lacerations anywhere on the body or, if swallowed, within the gastrointestinal tract.

8. Don't dress your pet in a costume unless you know they'll love it.

If you do decide that Fido or Kitty needs a costume, make sure it isn't dangerous or simply annoying to your pet. Costumes should not restrict movement, hearing, eyesight, or the ability to breathe. Coates warns that pets who are wearing a costume should always be supervised by a responsible adult so that if something goes wrong, it can be addressed right away.

9. Try on pet costumes before the big night.

Don’t wait until Halloween night to put your pet in a costume for the first time. “Any time you want to introduce your pet to something new, it’s best to go slowly,” Coates says. Get your pet costumes early, and put them on for short periods of time (and piece by piece, if possible). “Make it a positive experience by offering lots of praise and treats,” Coates adds. If at any time, your pet seems distressed or develops skin problems from contact with a costume, consider letting him go in his “birthday suit.” A festive bandana may be a good compromise.

10. IDs, please!

If your dog or cat should escape and become lost, having the proper identification will increase the chances that he or she will be returned. Collars and tags are ideal if a Good Samaritan is able to collect your wayward pet, but microchips offer permanent identification should the collar or tag fall off. Just make sure the information is up-to-date. Use Halloween as a yearly reminder to double check your address and phone number on tags and with the company who supports pet microchips.



NOVEMBER 25, 2013
Walk safe and be seen this Halloween

Washington, D.C.– Halloween might be scary for different reasons than you think.  On average, twice as many kids are killed while walking on Halloween than on any other day of the year.  With a few tips and tricks, kids can stay safe while out walking.  Safe Kids Worldwide and FedEx Express® urge parents to prepare their children to walk safely, and remind drivers to be particularly alert this Halloween.
“On Halloween, more children are on the street after dark than normal, and they are so excited that they may run out into the street without thinking,” said Kate Carr, President and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. “Drivers need to take extra care and slow down on neighborhood roads. And, of course, it’s very important that drivers put down mobile devices to avoid distraction.”
Safe Kids and FedEx are teaming up to keep kids safe on Halloween.  Across the country, 156 Safe Kids Coalitions, with support from FedEx volunteers, will provide reflective materials and safety information to children and parents. Children are encouraged to wear the reflective material on Halloween night to increase their visibility to drivers.
“Parents need to talk to their children about watching out for cars while trick-or-treating,” says Carr. “And make sure that their costume has something reflective on it so cars can see them.  You could even have kids put on a glow stick necklace or a reflective slap bracelet.”
Safe Kids and FedEx recommend these top tips to keep kids safe on Halloween. 
Top safety tips for kids:
  • Costumes can be both creative and safe. The most important thing is to make sure you can be seen by driversDecorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. Masks can obstruct your vision, so choose non-toxic face paint and make-up whenever possible. Carry glow sticks or flashlights so you can see better, as well as be seen by drivers.
  • Cross the street safely at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
  • Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
  • Walk on sidewalks or paths.If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
  • Slow down and stay alert - Watch out for cars that are turning or backing up and don’t dart out into the street or cross in between parked cars.
Top safety tips for drivers:
  • Slow down in residential neighborhoods. Remember that popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
  • Be especially alert and take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
  • Reduce any distractionsinside your car, such as talking on the phone or eating, so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
In 2000, Safe Kids Worldwide and program sponsor FedEx Express launched the Walk This Way Program in the United States to educate motorists and child pedestrians and create safer, more walkable communities.  Safe Kids and FedEx address the issue through research, physical improvements to school zones, and education and awareness campaigns throughout the year.
For more tips on how to help kids become safer pedestrians on Halloween, and throughout the year, visit www.safekids.organd visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/safekidsusa.
About Safe Kids Worldwide
Safe Kids Worldwide is a global network of organizations dedicated to providing parents and caregivers with practical and proven resources to protect kids from unintentional injuries, the number one cause of death to children in the United States. Throughout the world, almost one million children die of an injury each year, and every one of these tragedies is preventable. Safe Kids works with an extensive network of more than 600 coalitions in the United States and in 23 countries to reduce traffic injuries, drownings, falls, burns, poisonings and more. Since 1988, Safe Kids has helped reduce the U.S. childhood death rate from unintentional injury by 55 percent. Working together, we can do much more for kids everywhere. Join our effort at safekids.org.