Mark Your Calendar For The 41st Annual MDA Softball USSSA World Tournament September 4th-7th
In September, during the week after Labor Day, one hundred teams of firefighters and paramedics will come together from across North America to play softball and raise money to fight neuromuscular diseases. The International Association of Fire Fighters MDA USSSA World Tournament is hosted by IAFF Local 1619, Prince George’s County Professional Fire Fighters & Paramedics Association.
It is the largest gathering of firefighters and paramedics outside of the International’s Biennial Convention. Over the years this tournament has become an institution for our union and for MDA. Besides the fun, sport, and camaraderie that takes place each year as teams of fire fighters from across the U.S.A and Canada gather in Watkins Park for competitive softball, this tournament has raised almost two million dollars for MDA and Jerry's Kids.
Local 1619 Selected to Host 2015 Redmond Health and Safety Symposium
The Prince George's County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics Association is pleased to announce that it has been selected to host the 2015 International Association of Fire Fighters Redmond Health and Safety Symposium. This event is one of the largest training conferences that is hosted by the International Association of Fire Fighters. It is anticipated that nearly 2,000 students, instructors, and vendors will be in attendance. The 2015 Redmond Symposium will be held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center from August 24-27, 2015.
The IAFF and the John P. Redmond Foundation have been on the frontline of every major health and safety initiative in the fire service. The IAFF Redmond Symposium reflects our commitment to explore the cause of every IAFF member's death, injury or illness and to develop sustainable solutions to further protect the health and safety of the membership. Charged with defending North America from new and reemerging hazards, our members must be armed with the knowledge and tools necessary to protect our fire fighters and paramedics now and in the future.
20th Annual Golf Classic to Benefit The Frank Colea Benevolent Fund
Golf Classic to Benefit The Frank Colea Benevolent Fund
BlueShield joins with Local 1619 as the Title Partner of the 20th Annual Major
Frank J. Colea Benevolent Fund 2014 Golf Classic, to be played on Monday, June
16, 2014, at Renditions Golf Course in Davidsonville, MD.
representing CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, jumped at the opportunity to support
the Colea Fund with a $5,000 donation. We are proud to have them support local
firefighters, paramedics and allied emergency service providers” said Local
1619 President Andrew Pantelis.
In its 76th year of service,
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, is the largest health care insurer in the
Mid-Atlantic region. Their mission is to
provide health benefit services of value to customers across the region.
Colea Benevolent Fund was established in honor of Frank J. Colea, a 25 year
career fire fighter with the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department.He was affectionately known as “Father
Frank”, because of his unselfish and compassionate manner. Frank placed the
needs of others ahead of himself.
worked hard at serving his Church at St. Mary’s Parish in Landover Hills. He
served his country as a soldier in the United States Army 101st Airborne.
dedication to his fellow fire fighters was ever present. Frank was the quiet,
moral conscience of the group. He would find the good in people, even when
others did not.There are many fire
fighters who benefitted from his kindness and counsel.His dedication to the fire service was born
at an early age with the Mount Rainier Volunteer Fire Department. As a career
fire fighter and officer, Frank served in many of the busiest companies and toughest
assignments in the department, including as the Executive Assistant to the Fire
Chief. He earned a Fire Fighter of the Year Award for his expert direction of
the rescue of a woman trapped between an elevator car and shaft in a high rise
apartment building formerly located at 4300 Vermillion Drive in Oxon Hill.
retired in 1992. He was soon diagnosed with cancer. As was typical of Frank, he
mustered all of his courage to fight the disease.He endured great pain and discomfort but
never complained.He lost his battle on
November 18, 1994.
Colea Benevolent Fund was established by his fellow fire fighters, Tim
Thornton, Tom Thornton, Joe Gallagher, Frank Delinski and Steve Edwards, to
lend financial support to members of the Fire/EMS community. Monies from the
Colea Fund have been used to assist our members and their families during times
of financial strife, brought about by illness, injury or other circumstances.
The Colea Fund provides a financial “life net” to assist our members and ease
some of the financial burden during the toughest times of their lives.The Colea Fund has rented hospital equipment
for bed ridden members; helped make homes handicap accessible; purchased
Christmas gifts for the children of a burned fire fighter while he was
recovering in the Burn Unit; funded experimental cancer treatment for a member
battling cancer; assisted with the purchase of a wheel chair accessible van for
a member’s child stricken with Muscular Dystrophy and assisted the families of deceased
members with bereavement expenses.
The primary means of support for the Colea Fund is the sale
of Sponsor Packages. This year we are
offering a new and unique opportunity for sponsorships from corporations,
businesses, groups, fire companies/stations and individuals.
This gives you, the sponsor, an opportunity to have your
message, logo, business card or photo viewed by every golfer at the selected
hole for the entire event. Sponsor your favorite hole! For sponsor information
and registration see our page at: www.renditionsgolf.com,
click Website, click Event Registration, click 2014 Frank Colea Golf Classic, register
at bottom of page.
Team PGFD Is Getting Ready To Shave Their Heads For St. Baldrick's
8th 2014, members from Local 1619 will be shaving their heads. "Why do you
ask?” It's all to raise money for childhood cancer
research. The St. Baldrick's Foundation holds events across the country where
participants shave their heads in effort to stand side by side with a child who
This year, Brothers Kight, Wood,
Trowbridge, Johnston, Princiotta, Shop Steward Verdadero, and Laura Linynsky, wife
of Vice President Linynsky will be participating in the shaving at Fado Irish
Pub in Annapolis. Brother Rob Kight has a personal story attached to why he
decided to participate in St. Baldrick's:
"Having many friends in the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), I
discovered the support they had for one of their own’s child. LAFD
Firefighter Kelly Taggart’s son John was battling cancer. In 2003 they hosted
their first St Baldrick’s. They had several celebrities assist and companies from across the city took
turns going to Fire Station 89 to be shaved. This completely floored me to see
the support of many companies and members of the department. This included many
of my personal friends and I discovered how meaningful it was them.”
Sadly John lost his battle in
2005, but the event has grown bigger and bigger each year.
In 2011, family friends of the
engaged in the same battle. Joe and Suzanne Sudo’s son, Joey (from St. Margaret’s Landing-Annapolis) was fighting for his life.
just been assigned to Fire Station 805 (Capitol Heights). It was a new assignment, a “new” station and a new
crew. There was an immediate bond within our crew and this presented a great
opportunity to share some off-duty time. More importantly, it was for a great
cause and we had someone to “personally” fight for. We all agreed we would be a team for the
next event-with Joey being our inspiration,” said Kight”. This event was held on March 11, 2012 at Fado’s Irish Pub in Annapolis. Five members shaved their heads the first
year and last year, six shaved their heads, raising approx. $4000 over the last
Joey “earned his wings” in
April 2012. This year, many of the PG team members will continue to honor Joey
as they shave in his name.
will be our 3rd year and we really wanted to bring as many in as we could. In
the future I would like to organize our own St Baldrick's at one of our PGFD
stations. This would open up many new possibilities including friendly
competition between companies, crews, shifts and other public safety agencies,” said Kight.
So far, there are seven members
shaving and the team goal is $10,000 for this year…they are a third of the way
to their goal. There is still have time to get as many onboard as possible. “I encourage everyone to
forward the link to members of the local and the department. I’m sure all of the team members have
someone they are personally fighting for," he said.
Four Members Recently Awarded For Their Actions In Two Separate Incidents
Congratulations to four Prince George's County
Firefighter/Medics who were recently bestowed with awards and distinctions by
two organizations in the State of Maryland. The Tri-County area Veterans of Foreign Wars recently awarded
Firefigher/Paramedic as its Firefighter of the Year and Firefighter/Paramedic
Kacie Hayter as its Paramedic of the Year for an incident in February of
2013. FF/PM Bowman and FF/PM
Hayter had previously been recognized by the Prince George's County Fire/EMS
Department and Prince George's Hospital Center for the same incident. In addition, Paramedic Captain Roland
Berg was recently named the Knights of Columbus Paramedic of Year and
Firefighter/Paramedic Anthony Taylor was named Firefighter of Year for their
roles in a plane crash in Bowie last September. To read about each incident please read below.
On Saturday, February 9, 2013, Bowman and Hayter were
crewmembers on board the Paramedic Unit from Fire/EMS Station 830, Landover
Hills that was dispatched to a home on 58th Place in Cheverly, for a report of a female
in labor. During the patient assessment, the crew observed an umbilical
cord presentation without any sign of birth. The cord presented blue in
color, indicating there was no blood getting to the baby from the mother.
If this child was going to survive, it was imperative that something be done
quickly. Paramedic Hayter placed her hand into the birth canal to
alleviate pressure on the umbilical cord. The cord became pink and a
pulse was felt indicating the baby was now receiving blood. Bowman
contacted Prince George's Hospital Center, advising them of
the severity of the situation and alerting them
to prepare a delivery room.
Immediately upon arriving at the hospital, the patient was
assessed and without delay taken to Labor and Delivery. A physician
determined that Hayter must accompany the patient into the Operating Room,
where an emergency Cesarean Section would be performed. Her hand remained
in place, keeping pressure off the umbilical cord until the baby was
delivered. After a week in the hospital, the healthy baby girl, delivered
at 36 weeks gestation, was discharged into the care of her parents.
After considering all nominees for the prestigious awards the
Tri-County VFW named John A. Bowman as Firefighter of the Year and Kacie E.
Hayter as the Paramedic of the Year for 2013. Bowman and Hayter also were
recognized as the Local and District Level VFW Fire Fighter and Paramedic
of the Year. The VFW at the State
and National levels for their respective categories will now consider both
Bowman and Hayter. They will be up against other nominees from throughout
the State of Maryland and the USA.
Monday, September 2, 2013, Fire Fighter/Medic Taylor responded on board the
advanced life support (ALS) unit from Northview Fire/EMS Station 816 for a
reported plane crash at Freeway Airport in Bowie. Taylor was the first
paramedic to arrive on the scene and encountered three victims with obvious
serious injuries. A female victim, who was suffering from severe facial
injuries, had been removed from the wreckage prior to the arrival of Fire/EMS
units and was lying on the shoulder of the highway. Two critically
injured male victims were trapped inside the plane and would require extensive
extrication. Using his training and experience, he instructed the only
basic life support transport unit on the scene to quickly load and transport
the female patient to a nearby Trauma Center. This enabled Taylor to then
focus the remaining victims, whose injuries were life-threatening. He
provided ALS care to both patients while they were being extricated from the
wreckage. One patient sustained a severe head injury and was presenting a
decreased level of consciousness. The second patient complained of a
possible broken back and could not move his legs.
the arrival of the Northern EMS Duty Officer, Paramedic Captain Roland D. Berg,
Taylor provided an update on the patient's condition, including the female
transport. His concise information was beneficial in ensuring appropriate
resources were requested for the care and transport of the remaining
patients. After giving the update, you continued to provide patient care
until additional ALS resources arrived.
Captain Berg realized both patients would need specialized medical care and
transport to Shock Trauma in Baltimore and he requested additional air medavac
resources. With additional ALS resources still a considerable distance
away, Berg retrieved the ALS equipment from his vehicle. Berg began
treating the patient whose back was possibly broken, while Fire Fighter Taylor
attended the patient with the severe head injury. At the arrival of Glenn
Dale Paramedic Unit 818, Captain Berg updated the Incident Commander on the
patients' status. Berg contacted Shock Trauma, via the Emergency Medical
Resource Center, and gave them vital information that assisted with preparing
for the patients' arrival. When the 2 medavac helicopters, MSP Trooper 2
and US Park Eagle 1, arrived to transport, Berg directed and coordinated the
quick and efficient transfer of care to the medavac crews.
Fighter/Medic Anthony L. Taylor was presented with the Knights of Columbus
Firefighter of the Year for his quick thinking to transport the female
patient by BLS which is credited with saving her life. Immediately upon
reaching the hospital, she was intubated and placed on a ventilator to protect
her airway. Had he waited for another ALS unit to arrive and transport,
the outcome could have been tragic. Taylor's decision also enabled him to
concentrate on the two critically injured males and provide them the best
possible chance for survival. His performance on the scene of the
aforementioned incident helped save three lives. Paramedic
Captain Roland D. Berg was recognized as the Knights of Columbus Paramedic of
the Year Award for his his quick and deliberate actions and expertise in
mitigating the multi-casualty incident and helped to save the victims' lives.
(L-R) FF/PM Bowman, Fire Chief Bashoor, FF/PM K. Hayter
Local 1619 Makes Donation To Public Safety Assistance Program
The Prince George's County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics were able to assist the Prince George's County Public Safety Assistance Program with a $500 donation. Currently in its 29th year, the Prince George's County Public Safety Assistance Program, Inc., benefits needy families in Prince George's County and comprises representatives from the Prince George's County Public Safety Agencies, the Office of the County Executive and the Office of Homeland Security. The Public Safety Assistance Program will distribute Christmas food baskets to nearly 3,000 families in need of support.
Executive Representative John Wiseman presents donation check to Fire Chief Marc Bashoor
Member Recieves First Place Award in 2013 IAFF Media Awards
Congratulations to brother Mark Brady who was awarded First Place in the 2013 IAFF Media Awards category Best Blog Post for his blog in September 2012, "PGFD Special Events Unit Manages Busy Summer Concert". The blog post highlighted the work that was done by the PGFD Special Events Unit for a major summer concert that was held at FedEx Field in 2012. Additionally, two reports from WJZ-TV news were given an Honorable Mention in the Best News Segment, Feature, or Documentary category for their report on "Fire Ops 101" that was hosted by the Prince George's County Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Association in 2012.
PGFD Is Going Pink For Breast Cancer Awareness Month
In the month of October, the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department will be going pink to help raise awareness for breast cancer. October is breast cancer awareness month and we will help to highlight that one in eight women will develop breast cancer and every three minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer, not only effects women, but a percentage of men, as well. Approximately 1,600 men will become breast cancer victims with about 400 diagnoses resulting in death. Though much research and strides have been made to cure the disease, much more research is needed to aid in the education and prevention to help save lives from this type of cancer.
This is the third year that members of the department will have the option to wear pink shirts as part of their uniform, the design was done by a very own member of our department. Last year, the department was able to donate almost $9000 thru the sale of shirts, this money was used to help fund screening, research, and assistance in Prince George's County and surrounding areas as well. If you would like to purchase a shirt, please click on the link below.
This past weekend, over 50 teams from across the United
States and Canada along with numerous friends and family came together at
Watkins Park for the 40th annual Muscular Dystrophy Association
Softball Tournament. The
tournament has raised over 2 million dollars to date to help fight these
terrible diseases. The weather for
the tournament was perfect and there were great softball games to watch all
weekend long. The weekend
concluded with the championship games for the Open division and also the 40 and
over division. The championship
games both featured teams from The Prince George's County Fire/EMS
Department. Despite both of the
PGFD teams battling hard, they were both defeated. We would like to congratulate the team from the FDNY for
winning the open division and the team from Montgomery County MD for winning
the 40 and over. After the games,
closing ceremonies were held and to end the tournament the tradition continued
with the children running the bases surrounded by players from multiple
teams. We are beginning to plan the 41st MDA Tournament
so please check back often for updates. We will also be posting numerous pictures of this years' tournament so
4th Annual Memorial Stair Climb Held at Gaylord Hotel
On Saturday, September 7, 2013 an estimated 400 people participated in the 4th annual memorial stair climb and 3k walk held at the Gaylord Hotel in the National Harbor. The event was hosted by the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department and is held as a memorial to honor the nearly 3000 people that lost their lives on September 11, 2001. The event was a huge success as participants either climbed 110 stories to symbolize the number of floors in the World Trade Center or participated in a 3K walk/run as a symbol of the three locations of the events that took place that day. All the funds that were raised at the event are donated to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF). The NFFF was founded in 1992 by United States Congress to spearhead the effort to remember all the fallen firefighters from around the country. Since its inception, the NFFF has been instrumental in developing and implementing may programs that honor fallen heroes and assist their families and coworkers. We would like to thank everyone that participated this year and hope to see everyone next year.
40th Annual MDA Softball Tournament Is Quickly Approaching
In September, during the week after Labor Day, over fifty teams of firefighters and paramedics will come together from all across North America to play softball and raise money to fight neuromuscular diseases. The International Association of Fire Fighters MDA Softball Tournament is hosted by IAFF Local 1619, Prince George’s County Professional Fire Fighters & Paramedics Association. Since the inception of the tournament it has become one of the largest gathering of firefighters and paramedics outside of the International’s Biennial Convention. Over the years this tournament has become an institution for our union and for MDA. Besides the fun, sport, and camaraderie that takes place each year as teams of fire fighters from across the United States and Canada gather in Watkins Park for competitive softball, this tournament continues to provide substantial support for MDA and Jerry's Kids by raising over two million dollars to help fight these terrible diseases.
The event will be held at:
Watkins Regional Park - Largo, Maryland
301 Watkins Park Drive
Upper Marlboro, MD
Friday, September 6th with games beginning at noon and opening ceremonies to begin at 6:30pm thru Sunday, September 8th.
In addition, IAFF Local 1619 will be hosting a crab feast on Thursday September 5th from 5-9pm at Watkins Park. If you would like more information please click on the link below
On September 7th, 2013, a “9-11 Memorial Stair Climb and 3K Walk” will be held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center at the National Harbor. Through this event, firefighters and members of the community will honor and remember the firefighters who selflessly gave their lives protecting others on the morning of September 11, 2001. Each participant pays tribute to a FDNY firefighter by either walking 3K or climbing the equivalent of the 110 stories of the World Trade Center towers.
Proceeds raised during this event help the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation create and maintain programs which care for fire service survivors. Your support of our event provides assistance to the families and co-workers of the 343 firefighters who we lost on September 11, 2001.
Team PGFD Will Be Participating in the Red Bull Flugtag!!
In their off-duty time, many members of the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department participate in various activities and community events. A group of our firefighters recently formed a team to participate in a sport many of us probably never even heard of. Yep, that’s right; we now have our very own Flugtag Team! Flugtag, pronounced FLOO-TOG, means “flying day” in the German language.
Red Bull Flugtag is an event organized by Red Bull, in which competitors attempt to fly home-made, size and weight-limited human-powered flying machines. The machines are usually launched off a pier about 30 feet high into the sea, or some suitably sized reservoir of water. Teams that enter the Flugtag completion are judged in 3 categories—distance, creativity, and showmanship.
The National Red Bull Flugtag is scheduled for Saturday, September 21, 2013, and 1 of the 5 nationwide events will be held at the National Harbor. This is the first time for the event being in the National Capital Region. The Harbor’s event is in conjunction with 4 other Flugtags taking place in Miami, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Long Beach, CA. More than 1300 teams from all over the country applied to take part in this competition, but only 30 were selected from each city. TEAM PGFD is the only Fire/EMS Department themed entity to make the cut.
The event’s organizers stress “Safety First,” as does PGFD; and safe practices will be enforced. Each team’s members must wear a personal flotation device and helmet provided by Red Bull. All teams, along with their crafts, will be inspected prior to flight. If either a team or its craft fails the safety inspection, they will be grounded.
Each team consists of 5 members of the flight crew—a pilot who rides the craft into the water and 4 members who jettison the craft off of the flight deck. A great deal of assistance is needed with building the machine, marketing, selling T-shirts, and staffing the booth. Everyone is invited to come out and cheer on TEAM PGFD. An entry fee is applicable.
Sponsorships are also available, with all funds raised designated for TEAM PGFD’s selected charity, which is the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 1619 Burn Fund. Their goal is to raise $5,000. To help meet that goal, a specially designed T-shirt will soon be available to purchase. The Local1619 Burn fund is used to help members and their families when a firefighter is injured in the line of duty.
TEAM PGFD consists of the five members: George Raburn is the driving force behind this project and the craft’s pilot. Matt Yarish, Katie Johnson, Kevin Hodges, and Chris Hodges are the crew.
In applying for the event, Fire Fighter George Raburn was asked what makes his team stand out or his craft design unique. He replied, “What better way to show off fire service pride than to design your craft to look like your department’s new fleet of fire apparatus, and then push it off the platform into Flugtag history? We just bought 2 ladder trucks, 5 engines (our design), and a new fleet of chief buggies. This was a big step toward ensuring safe apparatus for our firefighters. Company pride is a big part of the brotherhood for which we stand. Driving a new fire truck into the water and not having to pay for the damages… What firefighter wouldn't want to do that? The Flugtag being held in Prince George's County is a great way for our firefighter community to really be part of the event, instead of only providing fire and EMS services.”
You may also follow TEAM PGFD on Twitter at @PGFDFlugtag or on Facebook at Team PGFD.
Maryland State Fire Marshal Announces His Retirement
Maryland State Fire Marshal and PGFD retiree William "Bill" Barnard recently announced that he would not be seeking a third term as the head of the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office. Bill Barnard began his career with the state of Maryland in 2001 and on July 1, 2013 when he officially steps down, he will have completed two terms in office. Also, on July 1, a new law will take effect in the state that will now require a battery smoke detector on all floors of residential homes. This new law was spearheaded by Barnard and replaces the existing law that only required one smoke alarm in a residential structure.
During his tenure, Bill Barnard was successful in getting many legislative issues passed including requiring only fire safe cigarettes be sold in the state of Maryland. He also was an outspoken voice on the need for sprinklers in residential homes and in 2010 the state adopted the 2009 edition of the International Residential Code which mandated that all new residential construction include sprinklers. Also, in 2012 the fire fatalities in the state dropped to an all time low of 53 fire related deaths. In comparison, for the ten years prior to 2012, the average number of fire related deaths was 74.
The officers and members of the Prince George's County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics Association Local 1619 would like to offer our congratulations to Bill Barnard on his great work as State Fire Marshal and wish him well in retirement.
19th Annual Frank Colea Benevolent Golf Tournament A Success Despite Mother Nature
On Monday, June 3rd, almost 150 golfers braved the weather that mother nature had sent to play in the 19th annual Frank Colea Golf Tournament. Despite a rainy start to the day, the weather cleared up and the conditions were perfect for a day on the course. The tournament was able to raise almost $9000 for the Colea Benevolent Fund which is used to assist union members when needed.
We would like to express our gratitude to the management and staff of Renditions Golf Course for all of their help in the planning and assistance they provided during the tournament. We would also like to thank all of the sponsors and players who came out for this great cause and we hope to see everyone back at Renditions next year!
The officers and members of the Prince George's County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics Association would like to welcome the newest members of the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department. The 45 new firefighter/medics began their new career on Monday, June 3rd. The recruits will spend the next several weeks at the academy learning both fire and emergency medical skills before being assigned to various stations throughout the county.
Members of Recruit Class #48 with the staff of the Fire/EMS Training Academy
Personnel Run Into Unusual Situation On Oxon Hill Fire
At about 7:30 am, Friday, April 26, firefighters and paramedics were alerted to a house fire with the dispatcher providing additional information that the County Police were on the scene dealing with a disorderly person. Police had been dispatched and arrived at the location after being dispatched for a domestic situation.
Police officers arrived to find that an 18-year-old male was involved in a domestic with other family members at his mother’s house. It is alleged that he physically removed his grandfather from the house, re-entered and intentionally set fire to the home’s interior and remained inside. Arriving police officers notified their dispatcher to alert the Fire Department and proceeded to use fire extinguishers from their cruisers in an attempt to knock down the fire located just inside a 1st floor window. The fire continued to grow in intensity and the officers were forced back from the intense heat and thick smoke now consuming that portion of the house. The teen appeared in a second floor window and with the heat and smoke surrounding him; he retreated to the roof just above where the fire was located. At some point the teen dispensed an unknown type of product down onto the police officers trying to coax him down. Fearing the product may be flammable the officers retreated a safe distance from the fire all the while continuing to try to talk the teen down off of the roof which was now on fire.
Firefighters from Oxon Hill arrived at 5609 Woodland Drive in the Forest Heights community to find the 2-story home with heavy fire and smoke showing from the first floor. The crews witnessed numerous police officers on the scene and a subject on the roof. Crews prepared themselves to advance hose lines into the house as the teen on the roof, now nearly invisible from the thick smoke, jumped to the ground and was immediately taken into custody.
After the scene appeared safe with the subject in custody, firefighters entered the structure and extinguished the fire within 15 to 20 minutes.
The male was transported to a hospital by paramedics for a mental and physical evaluation of any possible injuries and other medical conditions. No other civilian or firefighter injuries were reported.
Prince George’s County Fire Investigators are leading the investigation into this incident. The cause of the fire is incendiary with fire loss estimated at $80,000. An adult female, the teen’s mother, will be displaced and assisted by the County Citizen Services Unit and the American Red Cross.
Fire Investigators stated that charges against the 18-year-old male include 1st Degree Arson, 1st Degree Malicious Burning, 1st Degree Destruction of Property and 10 counts of 1st Degree Assault on a Police Officer. The Fire/EMS Department is not releasing the teens name because he was treated and transported and is protected by HIPAA and patient privacy laws.
(Photo Courtesy of F/F Nasti, PGFD)
19th Annual Frank Colea Benevolent Golf Tournament
On June 3, 2013, golfers will tee off for the 19th Annual Golf Tournament to benefit the Major Frank J. Colea Benevolent Fund. The event will be held at Renditions Golf Course in Davidsonville, MD. Renditions offers, “Championship golf featuring carefully crafted replicas of 18 holes that have defined the history of the game."
The Frank Colea Benevolent Fund was established in honor of Frank J. Colea, a 25 year career fire fighter with the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department. He was affectionately known as “Father Frank”, because of his unselfish and compassionate manner. Frank placed the needs of others ahead of himself. One notable act of kindness witnessed by retired Major Jack Jarboe occurred when Frank and Jack were en route to an important meeting. Frank saw a homeless man lying on a bench in front of a bus station. Frank turned the car around and gave the homeless man money and clothing. Frank’s only response was “but by the Grace of God, there go I.”
Frank Colea worked hard at serving his Church at St. Mary’s Parish in Landover Hills. He served his country as a soldier in the United States Army 101st Airborne.
Frank’s dedication to his fellow fire fighters was ever present. Frank was the quiet, moral conscience of the group. He would find the good in people, even when others did not. There are many fire fighters who held on to their jobs because of his kindness and counsel. His dedication to the fire service was born at an early age with the Mount Rainier Volunteer Fire Department. As a career fire fighter and officer, Frank served in many of the busiest companies and toughest assignments in the department, including as the Executive Assistant to the Fire Chief. He earned a Fire Fighter of the Year Award for his expert direction of the rescue of a woman trapped between an elevator car and shaft in a high rise apartment building formerly located at 4300 Vermillion Drive in Oxon Hill.
Frank Colea retired in 1992. He was soon diagnosed with cancer. As was typical of Frank, he mustered up all of his courage and began to fight the disease. He endured great pain and discomfort and never complained. He lost his battle on November 18, 1994.
The Frank Colea Benevolent Fund was established by his friends to lend financial support to members of the Fire/EMS community. Monies from the Colea Fund have been used to assist our members and their families during times of financial strife, brought about by illness, injury or other circumstances. The Colea Fund provides a financial “life net” to assist our members and ease some of the economic burden during the toughest times in their lives. The Colea Fund has rented hospital equipment for bed ridden members; helped make homes handicap accessible; purchased Christmas gifts for the children of a burned fire fighter while he was recovering in the Burn Unit; funded experimental cancer treatment for a member battling cancer; assisted with the purchase of a wheel chair accessible van for a member’s child stricken with Muscular Dystrophy and assisted the families of deceased members with bereavement expenses.
The primary means of support for the Colea Fund is the sale of Hole Sponsorships at the golf tournament. This year we are offering a new and unique opportunity for sponsorships from corporations, businesses, groups, fire companies/stations and individuals. Renditions Golf Course features cart mounted GPS screens. ProLink’s, 10.4” high resolution color screen with easy-to-read graphics including distances to the pin and hazards, pro tips, pace-of-play timer and radial arc for cart path-only holes.
This gives you, the sponsor, an opportunity to have your message, logo, business card or photo viewed by every golfer at the selected hole for the entire event. Sponsor your favorite hole! For sponsor information and registration see our page at: renditionsgolf.com or contact Tom Breen @ email@example.com or 240-393-0424.
This evening, April 5th the PGFD hockey team will begin it's run for a championship at the DC Burn Center Hockey Tournament. PG will play tonight at 8:30pm facing off against Arlington Va. The team will then play on Saturday at 3:30pm vs Northeast Ohio and will conclude their pool play Sunday at 11:10am vs Fairfax Police.
The D.C. Firefighters Burn Foundation, founded by active and retired Washington, D.C. firefighters, is dedicated to assisting in the recovery and rehabilitation of injured firefighters and burn patients in the D.C. Metropolitan Area. They support burn research, treatment, and rehabilitation programs at Washington Hospital Center as well as the Children's Burn Camp Program. Firefighters and members of the Burn Center have a special empathy for burn victims. No other group witnesses more of the devastation that fire wreaks on the human body and spirit.
The past five years of tournaments have been very successful, with thousands of dollars raised for the Burn Foundation. Our success is due to the dedication of our members, their families, and volunteers who just want to help.
Former Chief To Receive Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award
For the second time in the history of the Mason
Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award it will be presented to a former Prince
George's County Fire Chief. For his outstanding leadership and commitment
to improving life safety standards for our nation's firefighters, the Congressional
Fire Services Institute (CFSI) Board of Directors announced Chief Ronald
J.Siarnicki, executive director of the National Fallen Firefighters
Foundation (NFFF), will receive the 2013 CFSI/Motorola Solutions Mason
Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award. Former County Fire Chief and
current Director of the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute Steve Edwards was
awarded this distinction in 2009.
"Chief Siarnicki has a long and
rich history of bringing diverse groups together for the betterment of the fire
service at the national and local levels. This award truly recognizes Ron's
leadership and commitment to those important efforts and accomplishments, as
well as his contagious passion for ensuring that all firefighters have the
tools and resources necessary so they can do their jobs effectively and safely,
then go home to their loved ones at the end of each shift," said Chief
Dennis Compton, Chairman of the NFFF Board of Directors.The Mason Lankford Fire
Service Leadership Award was established in 1998 by CFSI and Motorola Solutions
to recognize an individual who has been proactive at the local, state, or
federal government level to improve fire/emergency services and firefighter
life safety issues.Chief Siarnicki joins some of the nation's most
notable fire service leaders who have set the national standard of a fire
service that emphasizes preparation and readiness of all responders,
including: Marcine Goodloe, Ronny Coleman, Kevin O'Connor, Steve
Edwards, and Hal Bruno.The Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award
will be presented at the annual National Fire and Emergency Services
Dinner hosted by the Congressional Fire Service Institute. The
event will be held on May 9, 6:30 pm at the International Ballroom of the Capitol
Hilton in Washington, DC.
Chief Siarnicki joined the county
fire department in 1978 and, over 24 years, progressed through the ranks
to Chief of the Department. In 2001 he retired from PGFD and was appointed
Executive Director of the NFFF.Under his leadership, the NFFF has expanded
services to assist the survivors of firefighters who died in the line of duty
and developed programs to address firefighter safety and reduce the number of
line-of-duty deaths. One of his most important contributions to the
fire service is the 2004 Firefighter Life Safety Summit which resulted in the
creation of the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives.In
addition, Siarnicki has been recognized for his outstanding
leadership by numerous organizations, including: The Everett
E. Hudiburg Award, The Fire Engineering Lifetime Achievement Award,
Alan Brunacini Fire Services Executive Safety Award from the
International Association of Fire Chiefs, Metropolitan Fire Chiefs' Presidents
Award of Distinction, University of Maryland, University College Distinguished
Alumnus, American Burn Association's Moncrief Award and the Prince
George's County Fire/EMS Silver Medal of Valor.
On behalf of the officers and members of the
Prince George's County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics Association we
would like to congratulate Chief Siarnicki for being selected for this
March 19th the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department placed 19
new pieces of apparatus in service.
The event was held outside of FedEx Field in Landover and began with a
blessing by Deputy Fire Chief Neal Dennis. The apparatus have the latest in
safety and technological advancements the industry has to offer. All
of the pumpers incorporate security and temperature controls to provide safe
and secure access for paramedic supplies. The hose beds are some of the
lowest height available in the industry, minimizing injuries to our members
pulling hose lines on fire scenes. The 750 gallons of water on each pumper
provides more water than our past fleet, in the event of water supply or
hydrant problems. The five new engines have all been assigned to paramedic
engine companies throughout the county.
The two ladder trucks provide 105' of climbing height, with
technological stabilization controls allowing us to affect operations at as
much as 7 degrees below grade. Both trucks have pre-piped waterways, allowing
for safe, instant pressurization of an elevated water stream. The ladder
trucks have been assigned to Station 812 (College Park) and Station 832
(Allentown Road). In addition to
the five engines and two ladder trucks, the department placed in service a new
technical rescue vehicle that is assigned to Station 806 (St. Joseph's) and
also nine new command vehicles that will be assigned to the seven battalion
chiefs, the on duty safety officer, and the on duty EMS supervisor. Prince George's County Professional
Fire Fighters and Paramedics Association President Andrew Pantelis stated,
"After safe staffing, one of the Union's top priorities has been to advocate
for an adequate fleet replacement plan.
Events such as the IAFF's Fire Ops program have shown our elected officials
and community members how important it is to fund our equipment needs."
County Police Officer Injured During Car Fire Rescue Attempt
Just before 1:00 pm, Monday, March
18, 2013, Firefighters and Paramedics were alerted to a motor vehicle crash
with injuries on Martin Luther King highway at Whitfield Chapel Road in the
Springdale area of the county, Fire/EMS units were provided an update by Public
Safety Communications dispatchers that additional 911 calls were being received
indicating a vehicle was overturned, on fire and an occupant trapped inside.
A Prince George's County Police
Officer was first on the scene and was attempting a rescue of the trapped
victim when the vehicle burst into flames. The officer sustained burn injuries
to his upper body area and was transported to a local burn unit by personnel on
the scene. Tragically, the
occupant of the vehicle was killed in the accident. As of this posting, the officer has been released and the
officers and members of the Prince George's County Professional Fire Fighters
& Paramedics wish the officer a quick recovery.
Members Participate in Annapolis St. Patrick's Day Parade and St. Baldrick's Fundraiser
Yesterday over 20 members from the Prince George's County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics Association Local 1619 had the pleasure of marching in the first annual Annapolis City St. Patrick's Day Parade. In addition, while the parade was making it's way down West St, 5 members were participating in the St. Baldrick's fundraiser for kids cancer by getting their heads and eyebrows shaved. The 5 members reached their goal of $1000 and are already looking forward to participating next year. The officers and members of Local 1619 would like to congratulate the personnel that worked tirelessly for organizing both of these wonderful events.
Congratulations to the PGFD hockey team who recently completed their regular season in the College Park Hockey League. The team finished with a record of 12 wins and 8 losses. Goalies John Hart and Jonathan Di Iorio both finished with records of 6 wins and 4 losses, Hart also finished 2nd in the league in save percentage and tallied 2 shut outs. Di Iorio was 3rd in the league in save percentage and had 1 shut out. The team will begin its playoffs this evening at 7:45pm at Well Ice Rink in College Park.
In addition, this week members of the team will travel to Canada to play in the yearly Southern Ontario Fire Fighters Hockey Tournament. The members will be joining with fellow firefighters from Mississauga Local 1212 who are hosts of the tournament. The officers and members of the Prince George's County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics would like to wish the team good luck in their playoffs and to the members of the team that will be heading to Canada.
The officers and members of the Prince George's County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics Association would like to congratulate two members on their recent awards from the Knights of Columbus Council 2577 at their annual public safety awards on January 26.
FF/Medic Amy Gunn was recognized as the County Firefighter/Medic of the year. Amy is a ten year veteran of the department and in this time has become a field preceptor for paramedic interns and also is a mentor to paramedic students. She is also a member of the department's Quality Assurance Medical Review Board and in her off time is a CPR instructor and an instructor for the PGCC Paramedic Program.
The County Fire/EMS Civilian Employee of the Year was awarded to William Hawkins. Hawkins is a 38 year veteran of the department who was given this award for his actions in March of 2012 when while driving on the capital beltway, he noticed a truck swerving across all lanes of the interstate. After advising the dispatchers of the situation he continued to follow the vehicle and was able to bring it to a stop. After the arrival of the police, Mr. Hawkins was able to determine that the driver was suffering from a medical emergency and was able to render aide until the arrival of emergency personnel.
The officers and members of the Prince George's County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics Association Local 1619 would like to welcome recruit class #47 to the ranks of the department. This morning 18 recruits began their training to become sworn members of the department, along with 3 recruits from the United States Coast Guard make up the newest career recruit school.
The ability to hire the 18 recruit firefighter/medics was the result of a federally funded Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program. The Fire/EMS Department was awarded $2,589,516 to hire 18 new fire fighters under the SAFER Grant, which was created by Congress to help address the significant staffing, equipment, training and health and safety needs of fire departments.
Retired Brother Billy Mills Rescues Disabled Occupant of Burning Home
Around 10:00 am yesterday, January 4, firefighters from the Pointer Ridge station and surrounding companies were alerted for a house on fire in the Pointer Ridge section of Bowie. Retired Prince George’s County Fire Lieutenant Billy Mills happened to be in the area and followed the visible smoke to the scene. Brother Mills arrived on scene just as the first engine company was pulling up. Being a 20 plus veteran of the department his instincts immediately kicked in and he began to perform a quick 360 degree check of the burning structure, as he went to the rear of the house he saw a black lab in the back yard frantic. Brother Mills looked inside the house thru the sliding glass door and saw the occupant of the home in distress and unable to get out of the house on her own. Brother Mills immediately went inside the house and was able to safely drag her outside of the home; with the assistance of another neighbor they were able to carry her out awaiting EMS crews. The occupant was transported to a burn unit for treatment of her injuries, at this time she is listed in serious but stable condition. Crews on the scene ultimately extinguished the fire and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.
The Prince George’s County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics Association is sponsoring a raffle and prize winners will be drawn this coming February. The Grand Prize is a luxurious 7 night Royal Caribbean cruise for TWO! If, by chance, cruising is not your style, you can arrange another vacation of equivalent value. The 2nd place prize is a $500 gift certificate towards a vacation of your choice. The 3rd place prize will get you a wonderful travel basket full, very full, of great items.
The cost of a raffle ticket is $20. The drawing will be held on February 14th, 2013. Winners need NOT be present to win! These tickets make a great stocking stuffer for loved ones during the upcoming holidays. And what better way to surprise your significant other this coming Valentines Day than to win a cruise trip for TWO!
If you would like more information, please click on the link below. In addition to the flyer details, tickets are also available through your Executive Representative for your convenience.
39th Annual IAFF Softball Tournament Raises $40,000 for MDA
This year over seventy teams of firefighters and paramedics came together from across North America to play softball and raise money to fight neuromuscular diseases. The International Association of Fire Fighters MDA Softball Tournament has been hosted by IAFF Local 1619, Prince George’s County Professional Fire Fighters & Paramedics Association since its inception 39 years ago. It is the largest gathering of firefighters and paramedics outside of the International’s Biennial Convention. The tournament was held from Friday September 7th to Sunday September 9th. Unfortunately, Mother Nature decided to make her appearance for a third consecutive year when severe weather came thru on the Saturday of the tournament and ultimately ended up forcing the cancellation of numerous games due to the unplayable fields. Despite the setback, the tournament was able to raise $40,000 for Jerry’s Kids. Congratulations to Miami (FL) for winning the Open Division and Columbus (OH) for winning the 40 and Over Division. We thank you for your continued support and look forward to seeing everyone again this year, except Mother Nature!
County Police Officer Tragically Dies In Vehicle Accident
The Officers and Members of the Prince George's County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics Association extend our deepest condolences to family of Prince George's County Police Officer First Class Kevin Bowden who was killed in a vehicle accident yesterday, October 18th. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, your family, and our Brothers and Sisters in the Prince George's County Police Department.
The Officers and members of the Prince George's County Proffesional Fire Fighters and Paramedics Association would like to congratulate Career Recruit School #46 on their graduation last night. CRS 46 began on May 7th, and last night 33 recruits graduated and have begun their career in the field. Congratulations and best wishes on a long and safe career.
Members Don Pink To Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month
The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department has gone pink along with others across the Country in raising the awareness of breast cancer. October is breast cancer awareness month and we will help to highlight that one in eight women will develop breast cancer and every three minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer, not only effects women, but a percentage of men as well. Approximately 1,600 men will become breast cancer victims with about 400 diagnoses resulting in death. Though much research and strides have been made to cure the disease, much more research is needed to aid in the education and prevention to help save lives from this type of cancer.
This year the Fire/EMS Department will participate in the nationwide campaign for breast cancer awareness with members having the option of donning pink shirts for the entire month of October. This year members will have the option of not only wearing T-shirts but also wearing pink polo shirts. A member of our Department has designed a shirt that reflects our advocacy for breast cancer awareness. The shirts will display a symbol of care and compassion for those affected while demonstrating a level of professionalism to be seen by a member of the community.
Last year, the sale of Breast Cancer Awareness shirts generated about $13,000. These proceeds were donated to various agencies involved in breast cancer research. This year, with the addition of polo shirts being offered, members are hoping to surpass the 2011 total.
Member Awarded 2012 Mid-Atlantic Life Safety Educator of the Year
The Community Outreach Coordinator of the Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department was recognized as the "2012 Life Safety Educator of the Year" today. Teresa Ann Crisman was presented with her award by State of Maryland Fire Marshal William Barnard at the Mid-Atlantic Life Safety Conference held at the John Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in Howard County. Crisman, a resident of Greenbelt, was surprised with the award and even more surprised when she learned her mother, father and brother were in attendance.
Crisman is an 11-year employee of the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department where she serves as the Community Outreach Coordinator. She has dedicated her career to the education of our citizens, businesses, and visitors in areas of fire safety and injury prevention.Ms Teresa Ann Crisman is well known for her dedication and devotion to the Prince George’s County’s Safe Kids Coalition and the Risk Watch Injury Prevention Program. She has provided the leadership and resources to assist EMS providers in educating parents, children, and teachers in protecting children from the highest risk areas of injury. As the Community Outreach Coordinator she has daily contact with citizens and residents about fire safety and injury prevention programs. She coordinates fire prevention activities, open houses, school safety programs, career days and community events for the Fire/EMS Department.
Teresa Ann Crisman recently received the Maryland Institute of Emergency Medical Services “EMS for Children Award” for her dedication and devotion to the Prince George’s County’s Safe Kids Coalition and the Risk Watch Injury Prevention Program for over a decade. She has provided the leadership and resources to assist EMS providers in educating parents, children, and teachers in protecting children from the highest risk areas of injury. She has championed After School Programs, Child Passenger Safety Training, and Car Seat Checks in the county. She is a long standing member of the Fire and Injury Prevention Committee and serves as the chair of their Risk Watch Injury Prevention Curriculum Task Force. State Fire Marshall Barnard spoke highly of Teresa's accomplishments and highlighted, "Teresa Ann has recently been a strong voice in Maryland for the ban on the sale of novelty lighters and residential sprinkler requirements. She has pulled together multiple partners at the State and local levels to educate everyone on the serious dangers that these lighters bring to young children and the life-saving importance of requiring residential sprinkler systems."
Crisman is a certified Fire Inspector and performs state and county required inspections on day care centers. While she is there not only does she performs the inspection, she also uses the time to educate the care givers and children in injury and fire prevention and life safety.
Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor was in attendance for the award presentation and stated, "I cannot think of a more deserving person for this award. Teresa Ann literally has devoted her life to educating others, especially young children, about the importance of keeping safety first. I am extremely proud of her for receiving this prestigious award and distinction." He concluded by saying, "This award speaks highly of Teresa Ann and the entire Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department, Congratulations!!!"
The Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department attended funeral services for Police Officer First Class Adrian A. Morris on Tuesday, August 28, 2012. PFC Morris was involved in a departmental crash last week and died from his injuries. A funeral with full honors was held this morning with thousands in attendance. Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor, command staff members, a numerous members of the Prince George's County Proffessional Firefighters & Paramedics Local 1619 were part of the Fire/EMS representation at the service. The Garrison Flag was supported by truck companies from Upper Marlboro #820 and Bowie #819. Firefighter/Medics from St. Josephs #806, Largo/Kettering #846 and Landover Hills #830 provided support during set-up and EMS services during the event. Numerous Fire/EMS apparatus lined the funeral procession route to the Lakemont Cemetery on Central Avenue in Davidsonville. Members of the Police Department (FOP Lodge 89) were grateful for the respect provided by the Fire/EMS Department for PFC Morris.
County Police Officer Tragically Dies In The Line Of Duty
The Officers and Members of the Prince George's County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics Association extend our deepest condolences to the Prince George's County Police Officer who was killed and the Police Officer who was critically injured in the line of duty today. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, your families, and our Brothers and Sisters in the Prince George's County Police Department.
In September, during the week after Labor Day, over seventy teams of firefighters and paramedics will come together from across North America to play softball and raise money to fight neuromuscular diseases. The International Association of Fire Fighters MDA Softball Tournament is hosted by IAFF Local 1619, Prince George’s County Professional Fire Fighters & Paramedics Association. It is the largest gathering of firefighters and paramedics outside of the International’s Biennial Convention. Over the years this tournament has become an institution for our union and for MDA. Besides the fun, sport, and camaraderie that takes place each year as teams of fire fighters from across the U.S. and Canada gather in Watkins Park for competitive softball, this tournament continues to provide substantial support for MDA and Jerry's Kids.
The event will be held at:
Watkins Regional Park - Largo, Maryland
301 Watkins Park Drive
Upper Marlboro, MD
Friday September 7, at Noon with opening ceremonies at 6:15 p.m. through Sunday September 9, at 5:00 p.m.
Members to Participate in MDA Fill the Boot for “Jerry’s Kids”
On August 30th and 31st, officers and members of the Prince George’s County Professional Firefighters and Paramedics IAFF Local 1619 will be participating in an annual tradition of filling the boot for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Members will be at numerous intersections throughout the county from 8am to 11am and again from 4pm to 7pm both days. Last year our members were able to raise $8000 for MDA. This annual tradition began over 50 years ago and has helped to make the IAFF the largest national sponsor of the MDA. The partnership between the International Association of Firefighters and MDA began in 1954 and since then has donated almost $450 million dollars to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. This money is used to fund the research to eradicate this disease and over 40 other neuromuscular diseases. Also, funds are used to facilitate MDA summer camps for children suffering from these diseases and also public education.
Fire Department Receives $2.6 Million Grant to Hire Fire Fighters
The Officers of the Prince George's County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics Association are pleased to announce that the Prince George's County Fire and EMS Department has been awarded a federal grant in the amount of $2,589,516 to hire 18 new fire fighters. This grant was obtained as a result of a joint effort between our organization, the Fire and EMS Department, and Prince George's County Government.
The Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program was created by Congress to help address the significant staffing, equipment, training and health and safety needs of fire departments. Under SAFER, fire departments apply for federal grants to help pay the costs associated with hiring new personnel to maintain safe staffing levels. The importance of adequate fire department staffing has been well documented by independent studies. The National Fire Protection Association and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration promulgated standards for the minimum number of fire fighters needed to respond safely and effectively to emergencies.
Since 2001, the FIRE grant program has provided over four billion dollars to thousands of fire departments across the nation to hire employees, purchase protective equipment, provide needed training, and fund prevention activities. These grants have improved the effectiveness of fire department operations and protected the health and safety of local fire fighters.
Unfortunately, the weak economy is causing communities nationwide to reduce fire department staffing and cut back on training and equipment purchases. These budget cuts undermine emergency response and pose significant threats to public safety and local preparedness. Continued robust funding of SAFER and FIRE will help ensure that communities have the resources needed to protect the public safety.
The eighteen (18) SAFER grant funded positions are in addition to the 70 Fire Fighters that will be hired under the FY13 Budget. They will be deployed at the Department’s busiest stations, will help reduce the number of understaffed responses, and will decrease the injuries to personnel attributed to understaffing.
Andrew Pantelis, President of the Prince George's County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics Association stated "we are so pleased that our cooperative efforts with the Fire and EMS Department have resulted in the hiring of much needed additional personnel. This union administration will continue to make safety and staffing our primary goals." Since 2009, our organization has successfully lobbied for the hiring of and obtained over 300 new Fire Fighters and EMS providers.
Receipt of our grant award would not be possible if it were not for the hard work of our partners in the United States Congress. U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin and U.S. Representatives Steny Hoyer and Donna Edwards have always helped to support and ensure continued funding for these important programs. Congressman Hoyer, a champion for the fire service and one of the key sponsors of the SAFER program stated “I’m so delighted that Prince George’s County was awarded this SAFER grant that will help our Fire Department safely respond to emergencies and protect our residents. Democrats have consistently fought for investments in the SAFER grant program, and I remain committed to protecting these critical funds so that our fire stations have the personnel and resources needed to do their jobs safely and effectively.”
This is the second SAFER grant that has been awarded to the Prince George’s County. In 2010, the Fire and EMS Department received $3,458,682 to hire twenty-four (24) Fire Fighters and Emergency Medical Providers.
Prince George's County Treasurer Honored at IAFF Biennial Convention
We are pleased to announce that our very own Secretary-Treasurer, Theresa Lloyd, is a 2012 recipient of the prestigious International Association of Fire Fighters Leadership Award. The IAFF announced the eight winners of the 2012 IAFF Local Leadership Awards. "Our greatest strength can be found among our local leaders," said IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger. "These brothers and sisters build us up member by member; they fight for us in every statehouse, every city hall with a mix of intelligence and passion. I am so glad these local leaders are on my side of the table."
The 2012 Local Leadership Award winners are: Eddie Pugh, Tuscaloosa, AL Local 403; Arnoldus Janssen, Puget Sound Federal Fire Fighters Local F-282; David Stephenson, Ottawa, ON Local 162; Ray Snodgrass, CDF Local 2881; Theresa Lloyd, Prince George's County, MD Local 1619; Robert McCarthy, Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts and Watertown, MA Local 1347; Richard Ternes, Chicago, IL Local 2; and John Sandella, Newark, NJ Local 1860.
The IAFF would not be where it is today without strong leadership -- at all levels. Often, leaders are out front where we can see them, but sometimes they don't get noticed -- mainly because they're too busy getting things done. That's why the IAFF has established the Local Leadership Award to recognize and honor active and active-retired local officers (current and past) who have dedicated more than 15 years to their local. The Local Leadership Award was created by Convention resolution to champion the standard of leadership set by Dennis J. Murray, one of the longest-serving local presidents in IAFF history and the first recipient of the award at the 2008 IAFF Convention.
Retiree William “Bill” Barnard Receives “Bringing Home Safety” Award
The "Bringing Home Safety" award recognizes members of the fire service that work to increase the installation of residential fire sprinklers in their area. The award is a combined effort of The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC), NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative, and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC).
This year, the recipient is our own, William "Bill" Barnard. After retirement from the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department, Bill became the Maryland State Fire Marshall. Bill and his team have helped make mandatory residential fire sprinklers law in Maryland. He will receive the award at the 2012 Fire-Rescue International in Denver, Colorado this August.
From the Fire Sprinkler Initiative Website: "As State Fire Marshal and a member of Maryland's Residential Sprinkler Initiative Committee, Bill spent countless hours educating key stakeholders and attending hearings. His efforts played a major role in passing legislation that requires the installation of home fire sprinklers in all new one- and two-family homes along with a law that eliminates the option to opt out of the requirement," says Gary S. Keith, speaking on behalf of both HFSC and NFPA. Keith is Chair of HFSC's Board and is Vice President of NFPA's Field Operations. "Bill also played a major supportive role when HFSC developed the Prince George's County Home Fire Sprinkler Report in 2009. Members of the fire service throughout the country use the report. We appreciate Bill's diligence and are very pleased that the award will go to such an active life-safety advocate."
On Sunday, July 15th, the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department made several enhancements to improve service delivery to our citizens, businesses and visitors as well as improve the safety and health of the membership. These enhancements are as a result of recent contract negotiations between the Local and Prince George’s County Government.
One of the enhancements is the addition of four dedicated career Safety Officers. These Safety Officers will be assigned to each of the four shifts to assist incident commanders on operational matters. Additionally, they will serve as a resource to assist members with training and on-duty injuries and illnesses. The four career Safety Officers have been selected, have completed supplemental training, and are now assigned to their respective shifts. They are part of our established operational safety program.
Another enhancement will place additional EMS units in service and up staff various fire apparatus in the county. These changes will improve EMS response times to areas that have the highest demand for service and increase the number of advanced life support (ALS) providers on the street. These additional EMS units, with dedicated staffing, are being placed in service in stations, or adjacent stations, where the documented call volume exceeds a 4,150 incident threshold. Currently the District Heights, Suitland, Kentland and Oxon Hill areas meet the criteria.
The up staffing enhancement will ensure that fire apparatus in some stations will have dedicated staffing of four personnel. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) conducted studies that have shown that the size of firefighting crews has a substantial effect on the fire service's ability to protect lives and property in residential fires. Performed by a broad coalition in the scientific, firefighting, and public-safety communities, the study found that four-person firefighting crews were able to complete 22 essential firefighting and rescue tasks in a typical residential structure 30% faster than two-person crews and 25% faster than three-person crews.
Andrew Pantelis, President of the Prince George's County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics Association, stated that "the staffing enhancements that occurred this week were a long awaited first step in making our Department and our communities safer from the dangers of fire and medical emergencies. Our administration will continue to push for additional staffing improvements with the goal of ultimately staffing all units safely, reducing response times, and ensuring that we have the resources necessary to protect our residents."
The following is a breakdown of Fire/EMS Stations receiving additional staffing and new EMS units. These changes went into effect on Sunday, July 15 at 7:00 am.
Silver Hill Station #829 received 3 personnel. The station will now have 4 personnel on the Engine/Truck, 2 personnel on Ambulance 829, 2 personnel on Medic 829(ALS), and 2 personnel on Paramedic Ambulance 829(ALS).
District Heights Station #826 also received 3 personnel. The station will now have 4 personnel on the Engine/Truck, 2 personnel on Ambulance 826, 2 personnel on Ambulance 826B, and 2 personnel on Medic 826(ALS).
St. Josephs Station #806 received an additional 3 personnel. Station #806 is responsible for normal fire/EMS operations and is also the department’s technical rescue station that provides specialized rescue in areas such as collapse rescue and high angle rope rescues. The station will now have 4 personnel dedicated to the Engine/Squad/Technical Rescue, 2 personnel on Ambulance 806, and 2 personnel on Paramedic Ambulance 806(ALS).
The Chillum-Adelphi Station #834 will have 1 additional personnel assigned to day work, 7:00 am to 3:00 pm. The addition will enable the Engine/Truck and Ambulance to each respond with full staffing during these hours.
Members Presented With Award For Rescue On Capital Beltway
Firefighters and Paramedics were recently presented with Emergency Services Awards for their actions on a motor vehicle crash. At about 1:18 am, Saturday, April 14, Personnel were alerted to an incident involving multiple vehicles with one vehicle on fire with a occupant still inside on the Capital Beltway near the Ritchie-Marlboro Road interchange.
Personnel arrived on scene to find an occupant still trapped in a burning vehicle and quickly extinguished the vehicle fire. Firefighter/Medics from Largo Fire/EMS Station #846 arrived and tended to the critically burned and injured victim. The victim was provided fresh breathing air from a firefighters self contained breathing apparatus and removed from the vehicle. Emergency Medical Responders from St. Josephs Fire/EMS Station #806 and District Heights Fire/EMS Station #826 arrived soon after the victim was removed from the vehicle and crews worked feverishly on the victim as they awaited the arrival of Maryland State Police trooper 2. The victim was transported by Trooper 2 to a Burn Unit remains in critical condition.
Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor presented the awards and stated, "Without the efforts of everyone involved the victim would not have had a chance of survival. I am convinced that without the efforts of these individuals that the patients outcome would not have been the same."
Emergency Services Awards were presented to the following personnel:
Fire Fighter/Medic Lieutenant Robert G. Bilko
Fire Fighter/Medic Technician Michael M. Hayter
Fire Fighter Romeo N. Dela Cruz
Fire Fighter/Medic Kelli D. Cooke
Fire Fighter/Medic David B. Snyder
Fire Fighter/Medic Christopher M. Katzaman
Fire Fighter Michael J. Kiefer
Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker and Fire Chief Marc Bashoor joined recruit firefighters and other members of the Fire/EMS Department in a nearly 5 mile run on Thursday, May 24th 2012.
Temperatures at the event start time of 8:00 am were in the upper 70’s accompanied by bright sunshine and an impressive backdrop of the National Harbor. This was the 3rd Firefighters’ Memorial Bridge Run. Recruit class #45 chose to run in honor of Local #1619 members who have been affected by an occupational related disease or who have died in the line of duty. Each runner carried the name of a member who could no longer run. The run included portions of the park on the Maryland side, across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge (WWB), portions of the Virginia side and back across the WWB to Maryland.
The members of Career Recruit School (CRS) #45 organized the run and combined their physical training with an opportunity to raise funds for a very worthy cause. Career Recruit School #45 also organized a car wash and also held an event at a local restaurant to help raise funds for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation strives to reduce the number of LODD’s in the fire service by encouraging firefighters to make healthy lifestyle choices and maintain a well-conditioned cardiovascular system. Approximately 50% of LODD’s are caused by cardiac related events.
Elected Officials, Community Leaders, And Media Become Fire Fighters For A Day At Second Annual Fire Ops 101
On Friday May 4th, the Prince George's County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics Association hosted its second annual Fire Ops 101 Program at the University of Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute in College Park. Fire Ops 101 was created by the International Association of Fire Fighters with the hope to educate policy makers on our profession by putting them in situations that fire fighters and paramedics face everyday.
Joined by community leaders, government workers, and members of the media, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, States Attorney Angela Alsobrooks, Delegate Justin Ross, and Delegate Geraldine Valentino-Smith engaged in drills consisting of observing an indoor live burn exercise in room where temperatures reached in excess of 500 degrees, navigating through a dark confined space training maze, confining and extinguishing a liquid fuel fire using a hose, and a hands on CPR drill. Additionally, members of the Prince George's County Fire and EMS Department’s technical rescue team demonstrated rappelling from a building and the county bomb squad demonstrated the techniques to render a potential explosive device safe.
Nothing else gives citizens and elected officials a taste of the fire service like experiencing Fire Ops 101. This day shows them the smoke, the sweat, the adrenaline rush and the physical stress and strain that emergency responders face daily, all while exposing them to the complex issues of the fire service, such as the need for staffing, adequate equipment, and presumptive health. Spending a hands-on day as an emergency responder is one of the most effective ways to learn about our job.
The Fire Ops event could not have been such a success without the assistance of our members who devoted countless hours of their own time, the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute for providing an outstanding facility and staff, and the Prince George's County Fire and EMS Department for allowing utilization of apparatus and equipment.
The Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department recently presented Medals of Valor to deserving individuals for their actions on incidents in 2011. Additionally, a Firefighter and Paramedic of the Year were recognized for their outstanding performance. The Valor Awards Luncheon was held on Wednesday, April 25, 2012, at Martins Crosswinds in Greenbelt, Maryland. Recipients were presented with their awards by County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, County Council Chair Andrea Harrison and Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor.
Here are the recipients from the Fire/EMS Department.
Gold Medal of Valor: FF/Medic Alexander Myers
Silver Medal of Valor: Lt. John Callan, FF/Medic Bobby Blevins
Bronze Medal of Valor: Assistant Fire Chief Adon Snyder, Jr.
In the early morning hours of January 27, 2011, during a crippling snowstorm, firefighters were dispatched to the 4500 block of Woodgate Way for a reported house fire with a person trapped. On arrival, crews encountered a 1½ story single-family dwelling with thick black smoke and heavy fire showing. Three occupants had already escaped, after being alerted by a working smoke alarm, and were frantically telling the arriving firefighters a family member was still inside the residence. Personnel took immediate action and were able to successfully rescue the trapped resident on the second floor.
Silver Medal of Valor: Lt. Russell Poe
Bronze Medal of Valor: Paramedic Captain Danny Hughes, FF/Medic John Godenick, FF/Medic Ryan Shipp
During the early morning hours of Sunday, November 27, 2011, firefighters responded to a house fire at 2411 Griffen Street in the Chillum-Adelphi area. On arrival, heavy fire and thick smoke consumed the front portion of a one-story, single-family home with three victims reported trapped inside the residence. First arriving firefighters initiated an attack on the fire, as other firefighters made their way ahead of the hose lines into the burning structure to search for the trapped occupants. Firefighters searched the rear of the house through blinding smoke and intense heat, locating three unconscious victims in their bedrooms whom they quickly removed from the increasingly untenable conditions. Once outside, the victims were found to be without pulse or respirations, and emergency pre-hospital care was initiated by firefighters and paramedics. Unfortunately, despite the valiant rescues, the victims succumbed to their injuries later at the hospital.
Bronze Medal of Valor: FF Michael Shipp
On Friday, August 12, 2011, Fire Fighter Michael Shipp was a member of the crew onboard the ambulance from Morningside Fire/EMS Station 827, which was transporting a patient to a hospital. The unit was traveling on the Capital Beltway and approaching Forestville Road, when Fire Fighter Shipp noticed a cloud of dark smoke and what appeared to be flames underneath a Hummer SUV. Fire Fighter Shipp promptly contacted Public Safety Communications to advise them of the matter and to request additional resources. The SUV’s driver was engaged in conversation on her cell phone, making it difficult to alert her to the situation. Fire Fighter Shipp positioned the ambulance behind the SUV and continued his attempt to capture the woman’s attention. Upon finally getting her attention, the woman remained on the phone and even accelerated before eventually pulling onto the right shoulder. She did not readily believe the SUV was on fire, and Fire Fighter Shipp had to physically remove her from the vehicle. Once the woman realized her vehicle really was on fire, she proceeded to the ambulance, where the crew kept her out of harm’s way. Meanwhile, Fire Fighter Shipp attempted to extinguish the flames with a fire extinguisher; however, the fire had intensified and within seconds the vehicle was fully engulfed in flames. His quick thinking and immediate action are directly responsible for changing the outcome of what potentially could have been a tragedy.
Silver Medal of Valor: FF/Medic Michael Conway, Jr.
On the morning of November 25, 2011, Fire Fighter/Medic Michael Conway, Jr. was a member of the crew on board the Engine from Bowie Fire/EMS Station 839, which was dispatched to 14140 Pleasant View Drive for the report of a house fire with people trapped. Upon entering the two-story, single-family dwelling, Fire Fighter Conway and volunteer members encountered heavy “blacked-out” smoke conditions and intense heat in the first floor hallway. Locating the steps, and without the protection of a hose line, they began searching aggressively for the occupants reportedly trapped in the home. Fire Fighter Conway entered a room and immediately located several victims. Fire Fighter Conway then helped the victims to an exterior balcony, where a volunteer member assisted him with removing three of them from the balcony and onto the ladder. The three 12-year-old patients were turned over to the care of awaiting paramedics, who assessed them and transported them to the hospital. For mobility reasons, the adult female was unable to exit via the ladder. A decision was made to remove her by way of the interior stairwell. Fire Fighter Conway removed his face piece and placed it on the victim, and with the assistance of an officer on the scene, she was removed to safety.
Silver Medal of Valor: FF/Medic Edward Scott
Bronze Medal of Valor: FF/Medic William Philpott, Jr.
On the evening of Monday, November 21, 2011, Prince George’s County firefighters responded on the Engine from the Clinton Fire/EMS Station 825 for a report of a medical emergency at 8501 Weimar Court. On arrival, they encountered an adult family member attempting to administer a nebulizer treatment to a five-year-old female. Fire Fighter/Medic Edward Scott along with other personnel assumed care of the child and began assessing her condition. Fire Fighter/Medic Philpott interviewed the child’s family members, in an effort to gather pertinent information. In just a few short moments, the young girl’s lips turned blue and her respirations began to decrease, at which point she coded. Immediately and without hesitation, Fire Fighter Scott initiated CPR, while Fire Fighter Philpott contacted Public Safety Communications for an estimated time of arrival of the ambulance and/or paramedic units. After being notified that units were at least five minutes out, and recognizing the child was in imminent danger, Fire Fighter Scott decided to go ahead and transport on the Engine. The patient was revived en route to Southern Maryland Hospital, where after a three-day stay she was discharged to home and is doing very well. The quick thinking of the crew, and Fire Fighter/Medic Scott’s decision to transport on the Engine, in spite of the challenges it would present in performing CPR, undoubtedly saved the little girl’s life.
Paramedic of the Year: FF/Medic Amy Gunn
Fire Fighter/Medic Amy Lynn Gunn is the embodiment of the best qualities found in many of the excellent paramedics currently operating in the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department. A nine-year veteran of the Department, her professionalism and excellence in field care are known to her coworkers—career and volunteer—hospital physicians and nursing staffs, and paramedic students participating in clinical ride-along.
Fire Fighter/Medic Gunn is a nationally and State Certified ALS Provider, Field Training Coach for County Paramedic Interns, and a Paramedic Preceptor for visiting paramedic students. She is also a member of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department Quality Assurance Medical Review Committee, participating in formal actions to improve system-wide EMS response. Off duty, Fire Fighter /Medic Gunn is a CPR Instructor, Paramedic Instructor at Prince George’s Community College, and the Clinical EMS-Liaison between the Community College and the Fire/EMS Department. For her overall professionalism, consistent excellence in patient care, the courage to carry on, and dedication to all aspects of the paramedic profession and the Fire/EMS Department, FF/Medic Amy Gunn is awarded the 2011 Paramedic of the Year.
The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department participated in a region wide mass Casualty Incident (MCI) on Thursday April 26. The scenario for the drill involved a mid air collision of two aircraft during an aerial demonstration show at Andrews Air Force Base. One aircraft goes down into a spectator area at Andrews while the other aircraft goes down in Cheltenham.
The Fire/EMS Department used the grounds of the training academy on Commo Road to stage the exercise. A burning aircraft simulator was utilized as were the 27 firefighters recruits that posed as crash victims. The victims displayed various injuries through the use of make up that gave the appearance of open wounds, fractures and burn injuries.
The 27 victims were triaged and categorized based on the severity of their injuries and subsequently transported to area hospitals. The Department used the Ambulance Bus, 2 Ambulances and a van to provide transportation to the hospital. Victims were sent to Doctors Hospital, Fort Washington Hospital Center and Southern Maryland Hospital.
The incident utilized the policies established by the National Incident Management System with multiple agencies coordinating a Unified Command on-site.
The goal of the exercise was to ensure that government agencies at every level are
Prepared to take coordinated action to protect the public in the event of an actual disaster
in the National Capitol Region. This was a joint exercise conducted by the 11th Air Wing,
Joint Base Andrews to test and evaluate the Joint Service Open House (JSOH)
Emergency Management Plan, Mass Casualty (MASCAL) response, NIMS and ICS
operations in a Unified Area Command structure
Training Academy Hosts Fire Safety Day for Students
On Thursday morning, April 19, 2012, the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department Training Academy hosted a group of Central High School students, treating them to a morning filled with fire safety and live fire training observation.
The students are from the school’s Community Referenced Instruction (C.R.I.) program, which is a segment of Central’s Special Education Department. The core subjects of the program, Reading, Math, and Science, are accessed through the Maryland State Curriculum. However, the program also offers different community-based curriculum. Students in the C.R.I. program graduate with a Certificate of Program Completion.
Captain Dana Brooks, also an Executive Board member of the Fire Fighters Association, gave a classroom presentation to the three dozen students and staff that included fire safety and a spirited question and answer session. The group then moved outside, where Career Recruit School #45 was participating in live fire exercises at the academy’s burn building. Lieutenant Ashley Breen assisted Captain Brooks with the outside presentation that included stop, drop and roll; firefighter demonstrating donning personal protective equipment and self-contained breathing apparatus; and rope skills.
On June 11th, the Prince George's County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics Association will host the 18th Annual Frank Colea Benevolent Golf Tournament at the Bowie Golf and Country Club.
Proceeds from the Golf Tournament and the Colea Benevolent Fund are used solely to support Fire Fighters, Paramedics, and other members of the Public Safety community who are called upon to protect our community from the dangers of fire, accidental injury and illnesses, natural disaster and acts of terrorism. Your contribution is used in support of our First Responders who have suffered from burn injuries, hazardous exposures, chronic illnesses and bereavement services.
The golf tournament is the primary source of financial support for the Colea Benevolent Fund. The overwhelming success of the tournament is made possible by the generous and caring support provided by organizations and individuals such as you. We hope that you will participate in this most worthwhile charity. This is your opportunity to support the Fire Fighters, Paramedics, and other Public Safety Officers in our area who give so much.
Just hours before the Maryland General Assembly adjourned for the 2012 legislative session, the House of Delegates passed House Bill 1101, a measure that greatly expands cancer presumption for Maryland Fire Fighters, Paramedics, Fire Instructors, and Fire Investigators. The legislation has been a priority for the Professional Fire Fighters of Maryland (PFFMD) for several years.
“The passage of HB 1101 was a great victory of our members and this union,” said Andrew Pantelis, President of the Prince George's County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics Association. “Our officers and state affiliates came together, fought hard and walked the halls of the State House each day to ensure our victory.”
The measure, which expands the current presumption law to include non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma, brain cancer, testicular cancer and breast cancer, is expected to be signed into law in the next few weeks.
At the strong urging of the Fire Fighters Association, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley included the presumption legislation as part of his administration’s legislative package for the 2012 session. He and Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown personally lobbied the measure throughout session and particularly in the final days and hours of session.
The final vote was 101-33 in the House. The state Senate passed the measure on Friday by a vote of 42-5 with seven Republicans joining with a united Democratic caucus in support of the bill. “We are very pleased that every Democrat in the House and Senate, except for one, voted for this legislation,” said Mike Rund, President of the PFFMD. “We appreciate their support and are also grateful to the handful of GOP Senators and Delegates who bucked their leadership and stood with Maryland Fire Fighters.”
“The IAFF is very pleased with the passage of Maryland House Bill 1101“ said IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger. “At a time when our members are under attack from coast to coast and are fighting to preserve the benefits won over the past years, it is certainly a pleasure to celebrate a significant victory and expansion of benefits for our members.”
Our efforts were bolstered by the strong support of fire fighter-friendly Senators and Delegates. While we cannot possibly thank everyone who assisted us with this endeavor, we would be remiss if we did not include a list of individuals who went above and beyond to assist our organization with the successful passage of this bill. They are as follows:
Michael Rund, President, Professional Fire Fighters of Maryland
Jeff Buddle, Vice President, Montgomery County Career Fire Fighters Association
Jim Brinkley, Director of Health and Safety, IAFF Headquarters
Rich Duffy, Assistant to the General President for Health and Safety, IAFF Headquarters
Kevin O’Connor, Assistant to the General President for Government Affairs, IAFF Headquarters
Gerry Evans, Lobbyist, Evans Consulting LLC
David W. Stamper, Legislative Officer for Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley
Dr. Virginia Weaver, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Dr. Gayatri Reddy, Johns Hopkins School of Occupational & Environmental Medicine
Hon. Steny Hoyer, Minority Whip, United States Congress
Hon. Martin O’Malley, Governor, State of Maryland
Hon. Anthony Brown, Lieutenant Governor, State of Maryland
Hon. Mike Miller, President, Maryland State Senate
Hon. Mike Busch, Speaker of the House, Maryland House of Delegates
Hon. Rob Garagiola, Maryland State Senator, 15th Legislative District
Hon. Dereck Davis, Chairman, Maryland House of Delegates Economic Matters Committee
Hon. Benjamin Barnes, Maryland State Delegate, 21st Legislative District
Hon. Tom Hucker, Maryland State Delegate, 20th Legislative District
Hon. James Malone, Maryland State Delegate, 12th Legislative District
PGFD Firefighter Competes for a Spot on "America Ninja Warrior"
A Prince George’s County Firefighter/Medic is competing for a spot on “America Ninja Warrior.” Aric Lee, 36 years of age and a 7-year-member of the Fire/EMS Department, is competing in this weeks regional tryouts in Miami, Florida.
Lee, of Alexandria, Virginia, is currently assigned to the Bunker Hill Fire/EMS Station #855 and was able to attend the tryouts by using a combination of personal leave and fellow Firefighter/Medics covering his shifts. If he is successful in advancing to the next level, Lee will compete in the finals held in Las Vegas in late April.
Prince George’s County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor stated, “On behalf of the entire Fire/EMS Department I wish Aric the very best in this competition. I fully support his efforts and know he brings tremendous agility, strength and tenacity to the competition. I fully expect him to advance to the finals.”
Lee stated just before leaving for Miami, "I am looking forward to not only representing firefighters and Paramedics/EMT's, but also the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department. I may not win, but I am not going there to lose."
America Ninja Warrior is a popular cable TV show whose website states, “American Ninja Warrior 2012! 1 course, 100 finalists. The ultimate obstacle course comes to the US for the first time ever. Will any American have what it takes to become the first American Ninja Warrior?” The show is broadcast on the G4 network.
To be successful in this competition contestants must be in top physical condition. There are several videos and pictures of Aric's workouts on his Facebook page. He will be updating his Facebook page this week posting his progress in Miami.
On March 22, a ceremony was held to recognize all the members of the Fire/EMS Department that were promoted over the past year. The ceremony was hosted and dnner provided by the Prince George's County International Association of Firefighters and Paramedics Local 1619 and held at their Florian Hall in Bowie, Maryland. Guests included Council Member Mary Lehman, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Public Safety Barry L. Stanton, County Police Chief Mark Magaw, County Assistant Police Chief Kevin Davis, Department of Corrections Director Mary Lou McDonough and Director of the Office of Emergency Management Ron Gill.
The ceremony was well attended by nearly 150 people including the Fire/EMS Departments Deputy Fire Chiefs, a majority of the Assistant Fire Chief's and those promoted along with their family, friends and co-workers. The event opened with a Presentation of Colors by the Fire/EMS Departments Honor Guard with a beautiful offering of the National Anthem by Bridgette P. Wilson. Chaplain Paul Brown opened and closed the event with blessing and prayers. Speakers included Local IAFF 1619 President Andrew Pantelis, Council Member Lehman, Mr. Stanton and Fire Chief Bashoor.
Fire Chief Bashoor stated, "Over the past year, you have accepted a new opportunity of leadership within the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department. If you have not heard it from me before, you will now. As you ponder your responsibilities, use your education, experience, and these few simple words as the foundations for your success – those words – 'Just Do The Right Thing.' I have lived by that quote my entire career." he continued saying, "There's no book on the shelf and no plaque on the wall to explain what the right thing is. You have to learn it - you have to know it."
Each promotee that attended the event was presented a certificate of promotion and a congratulatory letter. Congratulations to all those promoted, we look forward to seeing you again next year.
On Thursday, March 22, 2012, Prince George’s County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor presented two members of his Department with The Fire Chief’s Special Achievement Award. This is an honorary award that is presented each year to an individual or individuals who exemplify a spirit of service, evidenced by their unselfish commitment to others.
William J. Hawkins, Aide to the Fire Chief, was the first recipient of the Fire Chief’s Special Achievement Award. He has served the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) for over 30 years, initially as a volunteer then as an employee. Chief Bashoor stated, “Hawk has continually absorbed every task put in front of him, even after having suffered several personal and family tragedies in the past year. He has done absolutely everything I and this department has asked, and more. From loading and distributing protective gear to recruits; running the breathing air truck and filling breathing air bottles all over the County; setting up public outreach displays; managing vehicle maintenance for the Fire Chief’s office; or driving me from point A to point B, this guy does it all without complaint. It is my honor to award the 2011 Fire Chief’s Special Achievement award to William Hawkins.”
The recipient of the second award was Assistant Fire Chief Richard M. Lambdin, Manager of Facilities/Resource Planning. “I am equally honored to present this award to Assistant Fire Chief Lambdin. He has answered the call whenever it comes. His responsibilities for facilities and resource planning cross the gamut, from testing and vetting new recruits to coordinating construction and facility maintenance concerns at nearly 50 facilities—including coordination with the 37 Volunteer Fire/Rescue Corporations that reside in those facilities. Along with others, he has overseen the hiring of nearly 300 personnel; the construction and opening of 3 new fire/EMS stations; and the planning for 3 additional stations. After 20 years on the job, he has recently announced his retirement. He has accepted the position of Fire Chief for the Whispering Pines North Carolina Fire Department. They are fortunate to get him, and he will be sorely missed in our Department,” said Chief Bashoor.
The Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department is currently seeking qualified candidates for the position of Fire Fighter I/II, grade Y-01. Recruits are trained in the Fire/EMS Training Academy as Fire Fighter I. This position is entry-level firefighter trainee work responsible for combating and preventing fires, operating and maintaining Fire and EMS equipment, apparatus and quarters; providing first aid, basic life support; and transporting patients. This work may expose incumbents to hazardous conditions/situations and includes the operation of emergency vehicles and equipment.
CLOSING DATE: In order to be eligible for the 2012 examination, each applicant must submit a completed application online, maintain the email account designated in the application, because notices will only be delivered via email, and update your profile whenever there are changes to your personal information, in order to be considered. The application must be completed and submitted online via the Prince Georges County website: All completed applications must be received by 5:00PM Eastern Standard Time (EST) on April 20, 2012.
Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department Career Recruit School (CRS) commenced today with 27 students. All 27 recruits already have certification as an Emergency Medical Technician up to some with Paramedic status. The recruits will take an EMT recertification and protocol update class instead of having to take the entire course. Recruits will also learn and be nationally certified as firefighters. The Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Training Academy is located in Cheltenham.
Fire Chief Marc Bashoor, Deputy and Assistant Fire Chief's as well as civilian managers, administrative personnel and staff from the training academy met the recruits this morning as they started their first day. Recruits had the opportunity to introduce themselves and speak briefly on their background.
Bashoor provided words of welcome, encouragement and provided a bit of Department history to the recruits and told them, “You should take these themes of safety, pride, and continuous improvement to heart now, from the onset of your employment, rather than as a result of remembering about them after some critical incident in the future. To help you, your instructors will drill these 3 simple phrases into your minds over the coming weeks; risk little, to save little; risk a lot, to save a lot; risk nothing, to save nothing.”
VFW Announces Fire Fighter and Paramedic of the Year
The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department received notification that two of our members have been selected to receive a very prestigious award. The Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) chose Fire Fighter/Medic Stephanie A. Buffum as their organization’s “2011 Paramedic of the Year.” The organization’s choice for “2011 Fire Fighter of the Year” is Fire Fighter Nicole Orme. Both Buffum and Orme will be awarded at the Post and District levels.
Fire Fighter/Medic Buffum, according to the VFW, is being recognized for her “extraordinary knowledge in the medical field, keen ability to problem solve, attention to detail, and profound dedication to the citizens she serves and protects. Her 12 years of service and accomplishments is just a short testament that she loves what she does, and bigger and better things are coming her way.”
Upon being told of her award, Buffum stated, “I am excited and honored to have been selected for this award.”
Fire Fighter Orme, the VFW stated, “has a history of serving our fellow soldiers, including mobilizing the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department and community to create military care packages for more than 100 soldiers serving overseas. She has made multiple visits to Walter Reed to present care packages to the wounded warriors and their families. Fire Fighter Orme has worked with the USO Metro out of Fort Meade, coordinating multiple dinners during Thanksgiving and Christmas, whereby hundreds of soldiers unable to be home for the holidays and the families of deployed soldiers were able to a meal. Fire Fighter Orme makes her family, Department, and community very proud. It is an honor to present her as our organization’s 2011 Fire Fighter of the Year.”
“I am both humbled and grateful to be recognized for doing something I absolutely love,” said Fire Fighter Orme.
Fire Fighter/Medic Buffum and Fire Fighter Orme will be presented their awards at a ceremony in March 2012.
Firefighter's Son Remembered What Dad Said and Helped Save a Life
So often it seems the things we say to our children go in one ear and out the other. With that being the case, we are not always as mindful as we perhaps should be when engaged in conversation while in the presence of our children. We don’t mind that they overhear some things; but at times they hear something they shouldn’t have, and they repeat it. A recent incident at Huntington Elementary School, involving 10-year-old Corey Wargo, is proof that our children are more often than not listening to us.
The Wargo family plays a significant role in the history and rich tradition of the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department. Sergeant Jerry Wargo retired with nearly 25 years of service to our County’s citizens and residents. His three sons, Christian, Corey, and Cody have followed in dad’s footsteps and are 4th generation firefighters in our Department.
Fire Fighter/Medic Technician Corey Wargo, a 10-year veteran, is currently assigned to Seat Pleasant Fire/EMS Station #808. Corey and his wife, Carol, and sons Clay (10), Colin (8), and Chase (2) reside in Huntington, Maryland. With so many family members working in the Fire/EMS Department, it is safe to assume conversations in the Wargo household include work occurrences and how the family should respond in the event of a home emergency. Clay Wargo, a 4th grader at Huntington Elementary School, apparently heard and remembered some very important information from some of those conversations.
Clay recently witnessed a classmate choking on a hot dog during lunch at school. The child turned red, was unable to speak, and had put his hands around his throat. Clay recalled hearing his parents say, “When someone puts his hands around his throat, it means he is choking and needs help. When someone is choking, punch that person in the back and squeeze their stomach.” He recognized the universal sign of choking, without even knowing that is what it is called. Seeing what was happening, he quickly positioned himself behind his classmate and began to pound on the boy’s back. After several blows, a piece of hot dog was dislodged and coughed up. Clay had just performed a successful back blows, a part of the Heimlich maneuver, which is used to dislodge an object someone is choking on. The two youngsters immediately notified a teacher of what had occurred.
Huntington Elementary School principal, Ramona Crowley, learned of the incident at the end of the school day. She notified Clay’s mother and proceeded to ‘make a big deal of Clayton’ at a hastily called school assembly. “Clayton is a very special young man. Thank heaven that he was sitting where he was during lunch. I’m also grateful to his father for taking time to teach Clayton such a valuable lesson,” said Principal Crowley.
Corey Wargo, stated, “I was surprised and proud that he had the courage and knowledge to step up and help someone in distress. His classmate had recently had braces put on and was afraid to chew. He decided to break off a piece of the hotdog and swallow it whole. The young man is very grateful!”
Congratulations to Clay Wargo for a job well done! He demonstrated the knowledge and courage to help someone in need, and quite possibly saved a life.
Knights of Columbus Honors Members of the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department
The Knights of Columbus, Sacred Heart Council #2577, recently honored two members of the Prince George’s County Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Association. The Annual Public Safety Officer Recognition ceremony was held at the Knight of Columbus in Bowie on Saturday, January 28, 2012.
Fire Fighter Michael Conway was one of two firefighters recognized as the Knights of Columbus Fire Fighter of the Year. Conway was recognized for his efforts to help rescue four occupants trapped on the second floor of their burning home in Bowie.
Fire Fighter/Medic Edward Scott was bestowed the Knights of Columbus Paramedic of the Year distinction for his role in helping to save the life of a 5-year-old Clinton girl that had stopped breathing.
PGFD CARES: Breast Cancer Awareness Group Raises $10,000
The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department (PGFD) has joined with others across the Country in raising the awareness of breast cancer. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and we will help to highlight that one in eight women will develop breast cancer and every three minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer, not only effects women, but a percentage of men as well. Approximately 1,600 men will become breast cancer victims with about 400 diagnoses resulting in death. Though much research and strides have been made to cure the disease, much more research is needed to aid in the education and prevention to help save lives from this type of cancer.
This year the Fire/EMS Department will participate in the nationwide campaign for breast cancer awareness with members having the option of donning pink shirts starting on Sunday, October 16, 2011 through the end of the month. Prince George's County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor stated, "The color “pink” has become symbolic of breast cancer awareness. I am authorizing the change in work uniforms during this time to help with awareness efforts."
“Prince George’s County is united in our fight against breast cancer, which impacts so many of our neighbors, family members, and friends,” said County Executive Rushern L. Baker. “It is important that we take this time to increase awareness of the effect that this disease has on our community, as well as the importance of finding and beating cancer early while encouraging our residents to get proper screenings.”
A member of our Department has designed T-shirts that reflect our advocacy for breast cancer awareness. The shirts display a symbol of care and compassion for those affected while demonstrating a level of professionalism to be seen by a member of the community.
Chief Bashoor stated, "If not you, we all know someone who has been affected by breast cancer. This is an opportunity for us to show our support and I know that the men and women of this Department will do their part to support this worthy cause."
This initiative, “PGFD CARES,” was organized by a handful of Prince George’s County Firefighter/Medics to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research. The effort has exceeded all expectations and today is just the second day. Organizers for PGFD CARES had set a goal of selling 200 shirts to other members of the Fire/EMS Department. Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor granted an exception to the uniform policy and starting October 16, 2011, Firefighter/Medics had the option of wearing the specially designed pink t-shirt in lieu of their regular work uniform shirt. The response to participate in the program was overwhelming with nearly 1200 T-shirts sold as of today. The response has been so overwhelming that Chief Bashoor extended his uniform policy exception until the end of the month.
The funds raised from the purchase of the PGFD Pink T-shirts have generated an amazing $10,000. These funds will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. for the Cure Walk on October 23, 2011. A group of PGFD Firefighter/Medics will be participating in the Susan G. Walk for the Cure Walk and invite other interested in walking to join them. Fire Fighter/Medic Stephanie Buffum lost her mother to breast cancer, her mother was 38yrs old. This group will be walking for and honoring Anna C. Chafin. The PGFD CARES TEAM will wear the PINK PGFD T’s during the walk. but will be representing PGFD in the fight by wearing the PINK t-shirts.
Fire Fighter/Medic Stephanie Buffum has documented some very personal thoughts about her mother to raise awareness that the devastation goes beyond the cancer itself. We would like to thank Stephanie for sharing these thoughts:
As my fellow PGFD comrades wear their pink shirts this month, I can only hope that we all will reflect as to WHY we support breast cancer awareness. There are a select few that have been directly affected by this "beast" (as it was called in my household). Wearing pink is more than just breast cancer alone. It’s the devastating mark it leaves on a family. It’s the financial, physical and emotional burden it leaves on not only the patient but also their loved ones. Its organizations like the Red Devils that help families with some of the trivial things you and I may take for granted like house cleaning, transportation to and from appointments and preparing family meals ... just to name a few. Susan G. Komen, American Cancer Society and Avon have been great as well to spread the word and fight this terrible disease.
September and October are difficult months for me. September being when I lost my mom to breast cancer and October is just a month of reminders of what she went through. I am only hoping that my story, will help you all put a name and a more concrete reason of WHY we support breast cancer awareness.
My mom was diagnosed at age 38 (I was 6). One of those days that I can still see and hear so vividly. My mom had a mastectomy where cancerous nodes were mistakenly left behind. (Grrrrrrr!!!) She did chemo and was coming up to her magic 5 year mark when cancer made its way to the other breast.... another mastectomy and chemo. We were once again close to the magic 5 year mark when we discovered that "the beast" had moved everywhere, lungs, bone and in the end it was in her liver. She died in 1993, a young mother and wife, an assistant cheerleading coach, friend and a notable name in the community. She fought this battle with such grace and also working as she could. She told one doctor along the way that a "Mack truck would take her out before cancer". Back then, it embarrassed me when she would say that ... now, I am simply amazed!!!
My mom Anna was a non-smoker, didn't drink (with the exception of her beloved Bahama Mama's - in moderation). She was not to overweight and ate fairly well. She was active and overall no health concerns prior to this. No breast cancer history in the family. Her dad did have a history of colon cancer, diagnosed in 1993 at age 92? and actually dying 3 days before my mom.
I can say as a family member, this was more than just difficult. It was the occasional living hell. Chemo was brutal when she was getting it; she was bald and extremely sick. She went through multiple admissions at Bethesda Naval Hospital when she became neutropenic, dehydrated etc. My dad continued to work - to pay the bills. I would care for my mom as needed. In my senior year of HS, I did work release (half days) both to work a few hours a week and to come home and be the primary care giver for her. I had to grow up very quick, I didn't go out or to parties and I lost a lot of my childhood. And lets face it ... kids can be cruel. I look back and can't believe some of the things said to me about my mother.
I write this not for any sympathy, but to raise awareness that the devastation goes beyond the cancer itself. I was very fortunate to have my BFF Jen, Karen, Misty and Rachel (and their families) in my life. I would spend many a weekend with them. They would make sure I had rides to cheerleading practice and sometimes to school. Good peoples. I (recently) have received criticism and some labeling of who I am and who I have become and I can tell you ... I challenge everyone to walk a few steps in my shoes and see how you turn out. I know my parents would be very proud of the Woman, Mother, Wife, Friend, FF, Paramedic and RN that I have become. I gained my strength and stubbornness from my mother honestly and I am so proud to be like her. I am also very grateful for my husband who continues to keep my mom and dads memory alive. He is sporting an awesome pink bracelet this month with my moms name on it.... along with his pink T-shirt.
Even after my moms death, she continued her cancer crusade. In her last 6 months, she did studies with NIH with test chemo. Some of the chemo she trialed with has proved to be successful in the fight against ovarian cancer and are in use today :-)
So why will you be wearing PINK this month??? I wear pink for my mom Anna Chafin, Carol Shields, Tanya Grace and Tammy Rigoli.
Congratulations to Fire/EMS Department Major Paul Cruz on his recent significant accomplishment in his “other” career. On Friday, September 16, 2011, Paul Cruz, who currently serves as the Executive Officer in the Office of the Fire Chief, was ceremoniously pinned with his anchors. He was also presented his chief’s cover hat after being elevated to the rank of Chief Petty Officer, backbone of the United States Navy. The pomp and circumstance ceremony, conducted at Naval Air Facility Washington, Andrews Air Force Base, was filled with naval tradition.
Fire Fighter/Medic Catherine A. Crilley, also in the U.S. Navy Reserve as a Senior Chief, served as Cruz’s sponsor and presented him with his chief’s cover hat. Paul Cruz was pinned by his wife, Frances; daughter, Madison; and son, Aidan.
Major Steve Hess, Major Adon Snyder, Battalion Chief Steve White, Executive Aide Susan Taylor, and Public Information Officer Mark Brady represented the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department at the event.
Congratulations Fire Major and Chief Petty Officer Paul Cruz.
Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker and Fire Chief Marc Bashoor joined recruit firefighters and other members of the Fire/EMS Department in a nearly 5 mile run on Friday, August12, 2011.
Temperatures at the event start time of 8:00 am were in the low 80’s accompanied by bright sunshine and a impressive backdrop of the National Harbor. This was the 2nd Firefighters’ Memorial Bridge Run in honor of all fallen firefighters. The run includes portions of the park on the Maryland side, across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge (WWB), portions of the Virginia side and back across the WWB to Maryland.
The members of Career Recruit School (CRS) #44 organized the run and combined their physical training with an opportunity to raise funds for a very worthy cause. A $25 charitable contribution was offered by participants with proceeds to be combined with other fund raising efforts all being donated to the National Fallen Fire Fighters Foundation (NFFF).
The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation strives to reduce the number of LODD’s in the fire service by encouraging firefighters to make healthy lifestyle choices and maintain a well-conditioned cardiovascular system. Approximately 50% of LODD’s are caused by cardiac related events.
If you have any questions or would like to make a donation contact Fire Fighter/Medic Technician Ashley Breen at the Fire/EMS Training Academy, (301) 856-3410.
PGFD Community Outreach Coordinator to be Awarded a "Star of Life"
On Tuesday, May 17, 2011 at 10:00 AM, the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) will present its annual Star of Life Awards to honor EMS personnel, citizens, and EMS programs statewide. The awards will be presented in the Miller Senate Office Building, President’s Conference Room, East I, 11 Baden Street, Annapolis, MD.
Our very own Teresa Ann Crisman, Community Developer, coordinator of the Community Outreach for the Fire/EMS Department has been selected to receive one of the top awards to be presented by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley.
Members of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department have long recognized Teresa’s skills and unique manner in delivering life safety and fire prevention education and apparently the State of Maryland has recognized her skills as well. Crisman will receive the MIEMSS Star of Life for “Maryland EMS for Children Award.” The award states;
“For her tireless efforts in reducing injuries in children through life-safety education in Prince George’s County and across the state.
She has led major activities that included car seat checks, child passenger safety training, fire prevention school programs, and Safe Kids events. She serves as Chair of the Risk Watch Task Force.”
Elected Officials, Community Leaders, and Media Become Fire Fighters for a Day
On April 29th, the Prince George's County Professional Fire
Fighters and Paramedics Association hosted a Fire Ops 101 Program at the
University of Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute in College Park. Fire Ops 101 was created by the International
Association of Fire Fighters with the hope to educate policy makers on our
profession by putting them in situations that fire fighters and paramedics face
Joined by community leaders, government workers, and members
of the media, Maryland Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown, Prince George's
County Executive Rushern Baker, Prince George's County Council Members Mary
Lehman, Eric Olson, Andrea Harrison, Karen Toles, and Mel Franklin engaged in
drills consisting of extinguishing a vehicle fire with a hose, observing an
indoor live burn exercise in room where temperatures reached in excess of 500
degrees, and navigating through a dark confined space training maze.
Additionally, members of the Prince George's County Fire and EMS Department demonstrated
a cardiac arrest response and fire response scenarios for participants to
"I am used to putting out fires every day, just not so
literally," said County Executive Rushern Baker. "I want to thank IAFF Local 1619
for putting together a wonderful event that made every participant realize the
sacrifice our heroes in the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department
undertake on behalf of our safety every day."
Nothing else gives citizens and elected officials a taste of
the fire service like experiencing Fire Ops 101. This day shows them the smoke, the sweat, the
adrenaline rush and the physical stress and strain that emergency responders
face daily, all while exposing them to the complex issues of the fire service, such
as the need for staffing, adequate equipment, and presumptive health. Spending a hands-on day as an emergency responder
is one of the most effective ways to learn about our job.
"We are so pleased that our Lieutenant Governor, County
Executive, and County Council stood on the front lines with us today to learn
and understand the issues that are affecting the fire and rescue service," said
Andrew Pantelis, President, Prince George's County Professional Firefighters
and Paramedics Association, "Their participation in these intense drills
demonstrates their commitment in making Prince George's County a safer place
for their constituents and our members."
The Fire Ops event could not have been such a
success without the assistance of our members who devoted countless hours of
their own time, the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute for providing an
outstanding facility and staff, and the Prince George's County Fire and EMS
Department and the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services for
allowing utilization of apparatus and equipment.
IAFF Local 1619 Firefighters and Paramedics Donate Smoke Alarms
Every firefighter knows that a working smoke alarm provides residents with an early alert of a fire inside their home, this is especially important when everyone is asleep, a time when the most home fire fatalities occur. A working smoke alarm improves the chances of you and your family surviving a home fire by 50%. With an early warning of a fire and the fact that everyone inside the home is safe outside also increases the probability that firefighters will be able to stay safe and go home at the end of the shift without injury.
The Prince George's County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics Association donated over 100 smoke alarms to the Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department today. These smoke alarms will be added to the inventory that firefighters provide free-of-charge to our citizens and residents. One duty a firefighter performs includes going door-to-door throughout their local communities checking to ensure that everyone has a working smoke alarm. If an alarm is found to be non-working; a fresh battery is provided and this will often correct the issue. There are times when an alarm is found to be old and in poor condition and there are times when a home is found with no smoke alarm at all. In these cases, firefighters will install a new working smoke alarm for you and then demonstrate how to test the alarm monthly and change the battery at least once-a-year.
Local 1619 President Andrew Pantelis stated, “A working smoke alarm should be considered the most important item in every home. We are proud to be able to provide new smoke alarms that will protect our citizens, residents and our firefighters.”
Acting Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor accepted the donation at the Fire/EMS Department Headquarters in Largo and stated, “I accept these smoke alarms on behalf of the men and women of our Fire/EMS Department and for our citizens and residents. We must keep safety first and ensures everyone goes home.”
Citizens and residents of Prince George’s County can contact our Safety First Smoke Alarm Line at 301-864-SAFE (7233) and request a smoke alarm. A firefighter will arrange a convenient time to come to your home and install a new working smoke alarm; free of charge.
Only 343 firefighters could participate in the event, the same number of firefighters that made the ultimate sacrifice on September, 11, 2001. Thanks to Dave Statter of www.STATter911.com and crew for providing the video about the event.
The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department (PGFD) has developed and is currently evaluating a mobile simulator for “MAYDAY” in-serve training for firefighters. This training was developed in part due to a Safety and Investigative Report (SIT) that reviewed circumstances involving a house fire that critically injured a firefighter. The SIT identified several contributing factors that led to the firefighters injuries, including, lack of training and experience in firefighter survival skills.
The PGFD has continually made available and conducted several training programs including Fireground Survival Training and other similar programs in an effort to make these survival skills second nature. Typically, in order to simulate an actual fireground situation, training has been held at the Fire/EMS Department’s Training Academy in Cheltenham; located in the southern portion of the county and is not conducive, geographically, to in-service training programs for a large portion of stations in central and northern parts of the county.
The Technical Services Battalion, under the command of Major Adon Snyder, has developed a mobile “mayday” simulator, accompanied by a classroom lecture, which can be easily brought to any Fire/EMS station or training facility. A 40-minute classroom session with power point presentation and practical evolution comprise this training program. The practical portion starts with participants raising their heart rate to about 140, a rate consistent with response and initial activity at an incident scene. It is also the heart rate where decision making could be adversely affected. Raising the heart rate is accomplished by participants donning full personal protective equipment (PPE) and self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) then carries a stand-pipe pack for approximately 5 to 10 minutes. The firefighter then places their cloth covered face piece on and begins to breathe air. The firefighter, with no visibility, is then instructed to follow a 100 foot section of hoseline. The firefighter follows the hoseline and is led up a ramp and then up steps to a simulated second floor and then experience a sudden floor collapse.
The firefighter, following General Orders and valuable lessons learned in the classroom portion of the drill, must then demonstrate the correct survival skills and mayday procedure.
The mobile mayday simulator was constructed inside of a fire department utility box truck. The conversion of the interior box of the utility truck includes elements required for participants to ascend steps onto an upper floor landing and a collapsible floor which will allow participants to feel the unexpected jolting experience of a floor collapse. The firefighter has been previously instructed to ensure their SCBA and PPE are still in place and then transmit, by way of their portable radio, a correct MAYDAY message.
The drill is designed not only for firefighters but also incident commanders that will receive the radio mayday message and act accordingly. Scenarios can be modified to include non-working radios, dislodged facepiece, etc. The mobile mayday simulator has been used at select stations in order to collect data and evaluate the program. The program has received very positive feedback from both evaluators and participants. A train-the-trainer program is now being developed and will soon be made available to all personnel.
Acting Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor has high praise for the development and implementation of the training module. He stated, “This training will be beneficial to everyone that participates. We will be protecting and saving ourselves. Remember; Safety First ensures everyone goes home.”
The IAFF is fighting back against politically motivated attacks on our members' pensions. On February 9, the IAFF launched a public education campaign calling out politicians like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who use first responders as scapegoats for the financial woes of the nation’s states and cities.
In a full-page ad in the February 9 USA TODAY, and in upcoming television spots and YouTube videos, the IAFF is asking for public support for the work fire fighters and paramedics do and the benefits they’ve earned.
“After a Career Saving Lives, Politicians Want to Take Our Life Savings,” declares the USA TODAY ad.
“This is truly an unfair attack, a political attack. It’s really just a smoke screen,” says IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger, who noted that 10 national, state and local organizations recently issued a release disputing politicized misinformation about pension solvency. “We’re adding the voice of fire fighters to the growing campaign to protect vital public services.”
In an article posted by In These Times, Schaitberger calls for dialogue, instead of an escalating war of words.
“In an era of revenue shortfalls and budget deficits, fire fighters have become scapegoats of mayors, governors and corporate opportunists who have grossly misrepresented the facts in the public discourse over unfunded pension liabilities,” he wrote. “What they’re not saying is that they are responsible for the unfunded liabilities,” Schaitberger continued. “They are responsible for riding the wave of pension plan investment profits and putting off making annual pension payments for years. They are responsible for creating pension payment holidays and failing to make actuarially required payments. Now their misjudgments leave them facing much larger pension bills.”
Ultimately, the blame for the fiscal problems of local and state governments rests at the feet of Wall Street speculators who crippled the U.S. economy with what amounted to fraudulent investment schemes, Schaitberger says. And he accuses the same speculators of lining up to get their hands on fire fighter pension money.
“We recognize that these Wall Street speculators are urging politicians to turn over our pension funds to them, in the form of riskier defined contribution retirement plans,” he says. “They have no problem risking our future if it lines their pockets.”
Schaitberger says the IAFF will defend its members vigorously, taking the case directly to the public. “Our entire careers have been dedicated to protecting our neighbors and our neighborhoods,” he says. “We believe our neighbors will stand with us against these unfair political attacks.”