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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Safety First Day of the Month - Activated CO Detector Saves Neighbors Life


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

A resident of a Greenbelt apartment building knew about the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) and the only safe way to detect the “Silent Killer” is to have a working CO detector.  At about 12:30 pm, Sunday, February 1, her CO detector sounded a warning indicating unhealthy levels of CO.  She called 911 and firefighters and paramedics responded to 6101 Beezewood Court, a 3-story garden-style apartment building.  The 911 caller did not know her CO detector and her actions just started a chain of events that would end up saving a neighbors life. 

Apartment complex maintenance workers arrived prior to the firefighters and started to ventilate the building effectively reducing CO levels inside the building.

Firefighters arrived and used gas meters to find 100 parts per million (PPM) of CO.  Anywhere from 0 to 35 ppm is considered normal with anything over that being considered unhealthy with prolonged exposure.  All occupants were evacuated as firefighters searched for the source of CO and to account for all occupants. 

Firefighters searched all the apartments with only one not generating a response from an occupant.  They forced entry and found an adult female unresponsive and in respiratory arrest.  EMT’s and paramedics immediately initiated treatment for CO exposure and worked to revive the unconscious non-breathing female.  Medics were successful in reviving her and soon had her breathing on her own.  She was transported to an area hospital in critical condition.

Firefighters discovered a dislodged ventilation pipe that carries the toxic CO gas from a basement water heater to the exterior.  The patient’s apartment was on the first floor and directly above the basement water heater.  The appliance was shut down and ordered to be repaired before being tuned back on.  The apartment building was ventilated and occupants were allowed to return.

CO is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas and is referred to as the “The Silent Killer.”  The properties of CO (colorless, odorless and tasteless) make it nearly impossible to detect without monitoring equipment. A working CO detector is the only method residents can use to detect the presence of CO. CO detectors are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased at hardware and home improvement stores.  We recommend the use of 10-year CO detectors.

CO results from incomplete oxidation of carbon in combustion and/or the inadequate ventilation of CO after normal combustion. Sources of CO include unvented kerosene and gas space heaters; leaking chimneys and furnaces; back drafting from furnaces, gas water heaters, wood stoves, and fireplaces; gas stoves; generators and other gasoline powered equipment; automobile exhaust from attached garages.  A broken or malfunctioning ventilation system for these appliances is often found to be at fault for the release of CO into the home.

CO Poisoning Prevention Tips

• In Prince George’s County, it is now a law that you have at least one battery-powered CO detector on each level of your home and near sleeping areas, and make sure it is more than 5 feet from fuel-burning appliances to prevent false alarms.  The Fire/EMS Department strongly encourages the use of a 10-year CO detector.
• Ensure that fuel-burning appliances are properly installed and working according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Inspect these appliances for adequate ventilation.
• Do not burn charcoal inside your house, even in the fireplace.
• Do not use gasoline-powered generators inside of your house.
• Keep chimneys clear of animal nests, leaves and residue to ensure proper venting.
• Do not block or seal shut exhaust flues or ducts for appliances, such as water heaters, ranges and clothes dryers.

If It Happens to You

• Never ignore your CO detectors if it sounds.
• Determine if anyone in the household is experiencing symptoms of CO exposure symptoms such as a headache, nausea, drowsiness or confusion. Call 911.
• Exit your home. Leave the CO detector where it is.
• Do not return to your home until the emergency personnel have arrived, the home is aired out and your CO alarm returns to normal operation.

Friday, January 30, 2015

PGFD PROFILE - Deputy Fire Chief Corey A. Smedley

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


Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III recently appointed Corey A. Smedley to the position of Deputy Fire Chief.  The appointment was effective December 29, 2014.

Deputy Fire Chief Corey A. Smedley began his career as a firefighter with the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department in June 1995.  Previous to becoming a member of the fire service, he served in the Army Reserve for 10 years.  Over the course of his tenure with the Department, the 19-year veteran has worked in Emergency Medical Services, Special Events Unit, and the Office of the Fire Marshal.    
  
Prior to being appointed Deputy Chief by County Executive Baker, III, Smedley was the Special Assistant to the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Public Safety, where he assisted with strategic planning initiatives.  He also was entrusted as the liaison with Police, Fire/EMS, Corrections, Homeland Security, Office of the Sheriff, States Attorney and the County’s judicial system.  His responsibilities comprised of public safety organizational management, policy development, and research and evaluation.  Additionally, he was the Fire/EMS Department’s liaison to the Insurance Service Office, which sets the fire insurance standards for each jurisdiction.

Deputy Chief Smedley holds a Master of Science in Management from Johns Hopkins University, Bachelor of Arts in Mass Media from the University of the District of Columbia, and an Associate of Applied Science in Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic from Prince George’s Community College.  He is a certified Nationally Registered Paramedic, Maryland Police Correctional Training Commission Certified Law Enforcement Officer (inactive status), Inspector III, Instructor III and Fire Investigator.  In 2014, he earned his Certified Public Manager credentials from the George Washington University.  

Deputy Chief Smedley, a native of the District of Columbia, is the proud father of three sons, Cameron, Ceyon, Cemille.  His career in the fire service was inspired by his sister, Andrea Smedley, who was also a member of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department and the first firefighter in their family.


When asked about his goals in this new position, Deputy Chief Smedley stated, “Public Service is one of the most rewarding professions on the planet.  What better way to serve than to support the public servants of this great department (Volunteer, Civilian, Career) through fiscal responsibility, human resource management, training, logistics/supply as well as building and maintaining the most state of the art community based Fire/EMS Stations” 

Train the Trainer - All Hazard Position Specific PIO Class at National Emergency Training Center

I will be instructing a Train the Trainer - All-Hazards Position Specific Public Information Officer Class at the National Emergency Training Center (NETC) in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The course still has some vacancies and scheduled to be conducted on the date as noted below:

• E-953 All-Hazards Position Specific Public Information Officer TtT on March 16 – 20, 2015

The class is a week long with on-campus housing provided for you. Check with your State Training Officer on having food and transportation covered as well. The PIO Class itself is free of charge.

The NIMS ICS All-Hazards Position Specific Training Program is designed to provide additional training for persons serving on the nation’s Incident Management Teams (IMT’s), or to those persons who are working to be become involved in doing so. Given that, the following prerequisites are required for admission into these courses:

• IS-100, 200, 700, & 800
• ICS 300 & 400
• Previous completion of the class the student is looking to teach, or have served actively in the position on an IMT within the past
5 years, or have demonstrated experience in the field that can be documented and verified by the appropriate State Training
Officer or authorized Federal representative.
• Qualified as an instructor or Teacher with the appropriate credentials (NFPA 1041 Level II, Teaching Certificate, etc.)

If you possess the above qualifications, have experience in serving on an Incident Management Team or similar position within the ICS system and you have a desire to teach one of these dynamic courses of instruction, please submit a completed FEMA Application Form # 119-25- through your respective State Training Officer to NETC Admissions.
There are also vacancies in the following NETC class as well:
•             E-957 All Hazards Position Specific Liaison Officer TtT on April 8 – 9, 2015

https://training.fema.gov/apply/119-25-1.pdf

Thanks,

Mark E. Brady
Chief Spokesperson/PIO
Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department
mebrady@co.pg.md.us
@PGFDPIO on Twitter

WJLA Brad Bell Report - Annapolis fire and how to protect your home from fire - "Heart Breaking"

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Berwyn Heights House Fire - Seminole Place


Mark Brady, PGFD PIO, 240-508-7930 A father and daughter were rescued by three Good Samaritans from their burning Berwyn Heights. A neighbor, passerby and a volunteer firefighter pulled the pair to safety prior to the arrival of firefighters.

The woman, 60ish years of age, and her 80ish year old father were transported to a Burn Center for treatment of smoke inhalation injuries. The daughter has been treated and released while the fTher remains hospitalized for observation.

Firefighter/Medics were alerted at about 9:15 this morning to a house fire in the 6200 block of Seminole Place in Berwyn Heights. Units arrived to find fire showing from a bedroom window from the 1-story single family home. The fire was quickly extinguished.

Two firefighters were injured while battling the fire. One sustained a shoulder injury and the other sustained minor burns. Both were transported to medical facilities, treated and released.

Fire Investigators determined the cause to be accidental and attributed to a cigarette. The fire caused an estimated $75,000 in fire loss.

The two family members may have escaped without injury, however, the home did not have any working smoke alarms. Having working smoke alarms combined with a home escape plan increases the chances of surviving a home fire by over 50%.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

When It’s Cold Outside, Pets Get Cold Too!

Prince George's County: Subscribe MyPGC

When It’s Cold Outside, Pets Get Cold Too!

For immediate release: 
1/28/2015 12:00:00 AM

For more information, contact: 
Linda Lowe, Public Information Officer, Department of the Environment/301-883-5952
​ Follow these ‘pawtection’ tips to keep your pet safe in cold weather
LARGO, MD – Can’t stand being outside in the cold temperatures?  Imagine how your pet feels.  When frigid air hits, the Prince George’s County Animal Management Division reminds pet owners that if it’s too cold for you to be outside, it’s too cold for your pets and advises owners to keep their animals indoors and to closely monitor their exposure to winter elements.  But if your pet must stay outdoors, County law requires you to provide the following protection:
·         A dog house of appropriate size that is dry, draft free and elevated off the ground.
·         A wind flap attached to the doghouse to keep cold air out and warm air in.
·         Non-absorbent bedding like straw or wood shavings to help keep the dog warm.
·         Fresh drinking water; routinely check your pet’s drinking water to make sure it is not frozen and use a secured container to prevent tipping.
 
Other cold weather safety tips pet owners should consider include:
 
  • Keep kittens and puppies under six months, and small or short-haired dogs inside.
  • Consider indoor house training for puppies as they do not handle cold temperatures like their mature counterparts.
  • Consider dressing your pet in specially made coats or sweaters; some pet owners also use booties or other shoe like foot protection.
  • Increase your pets protein to help keep the pets fur healthy.
  • Don’t let your dog off its leash in the snow or ice; they can easily become lost and snow and ice can be dangerous when they are running loose. 
  • Make sure your pet always wears ID tags and is properly licensed and microchipped.
  • Wipe or dry your pet’s feet, legs and stomach when they come in out of the sleet, snow or ice.
  • Never leave your pet in a closed car in the winter. Cold temperatures can quickly create a freezer-like environment in a car putting your pet at risk of hypothermia and frostbite. 
  • Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep with a blanket or pillow, away from drafts.
  • Check your car. Outdoor and feral cats seek shelter from the cold under car hoods, in wheel wells and underneath cars. Knock on the hood and honk the horn to remove any cats nestled in these areas.   
 
If you’re looking for a dog or cat to keep warm in your home, contact the Animal Services Facility at (301) 780-7200 or visit www.princegeorgespets4us.com.
 
# # #
 
For more information please visit our website news page.

This email was sent to mebrady@co.pg.md.us using GovDelivery, on behalf of: Prince George's County Maryland · 14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive · Upper Marlboro, MD 20772-3050 · 3-1-1 (inside County) or 301-883-4748 (outside County)Powered by GovDelivery

Monday, January 26, 2015

Riverdale Family Exposed to High Levels of Carbon Monoxide


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

A Riverdale family was apparently exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide (CO) overnight and became sick.  Fortunately, the family woke up and was alert enough to leave the home.  They went to a nearby clinic as all six family members were suffering from flu like symptoms.

At around 8:30 am today a clinic associated with a local hospital notified the Fire/EMS Department they were treating six people that arrived at their facility initially complaining of headaches and nausea.  After some quick testing the clinic determined they were all suffering from CO exposure. 

The clinic provided the families address and the Fire/EMS Department responded to the home in the 6000 block of Sheridan Street.  The home was first searched for anyone else still inside.   A sick dog was removed from the house to the exterior and a fresh air environment.  The dog is currently doing fine and is with firefighters awaiting for County Animal Management officials or a family member.

Firefighters detected 200 parts per million (ppm) of CO which is considered very high.  A normal CO reading would be between 0 – 35 ppm.  Any reading over 35 ppm is considered unhealthy. 

The family told hospital staff that they just had a new water heater installed yesterday.  Firefighters turned off all appliances and gas to the house and have notified the gas company of the situation.



CO is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas and is referred to as the “The Silent Killer.”  The properties of CO (colorless, odorless and tasteless) make it nearly impossible to detect without monitoring equipment. A working CO detector is the only method residents can use to detect the presence of CO. CO detectors are inexpensive and can be purchased at hardware and home improvement stores.  We recommend the use of 10-year CO detectors.

CO results from incomplete oxidation of carbon in combustion and/or the inadequate ventilation of CO after normal combustion. Sources of CO include unvented kerosene and gas space heaters; leaking chimneys and furnaces; back drafting from furnaces, gas water heaters, wood stoves, and fireplaces; gas stoves; generators and other gasoline powered equipment; automobile exhaust from attached garages.  A broken or malfunctioning ventilation system for these appliances is often found to be at fault for the release of CO into the home.

CO Poisoning Prevention Tips

• In Prince George’s County, it is now a law that you have at least one battery-powered CO detector on each level of your home and near sleeping areas, and make sure it is more than 5 feet from fuel-burning appliances to prevent false alarms.  The Fire/EMS Department strongly encourages the use of a 10-year CO detector.
• Ensure that fuel-burning appliances are properly installed and working according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Inspect these appliances for adequate ventilation.
• Do not burn charcoal inside your house, even in the fireplace.
• Do not use gasoline-powered generators inside of your house.
• Keep chimneys clear of animal nests, leaves and residue to ensure proper venting.
• Do not block or seal shut exhaust flues or ducts for appliances, such as water heaters, ranges and clothes dryers.

If It Happens to You

• Never ignore your CO detectors if it sounds.
• Determine if anyone in the household is experiencing symptoms of CO exposure symptoms such as a headache, nausea, drowsiness or confusion. Call 911.
• Exit your home. Leave the CO detector where it is.
• Do not return to your home until the emergency personnel have arrived, the home is aired out and your CO alarm returns to normal operation.