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Sunday, March 29, 2015

The PGFD Final Four

The Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department has their own version of the Final Four.  In a attempt to re-direct some attention from one of the most widely viewed sporting events on TV, Internet and radio today we felt we would share our version of the Final Four.

#1. 10-year Smoke Alarms. - Purchase, install one on every level of your home, primarily outside of sleeping areas and in bedrooms.  Test on the first day of each month.

#2.  10-Year Carbon Monoxide Detector - Purchase and install one for every level of your home primarily outside of sleeping areas.  Test on the first day of each month.

#3.  Plan an escape from your home in the event of a fire.  Identity two ways out of every room.  Practice your plan at least twice-a-year in conjunction with testing smoke and CO alarms.

#4.  Never leave cooking unattended. Never overload electrical outlets and extension cords.  Never leave candles burning unattended.  Keep matches and lighters out of children's reach.  Keep grills and BBQ's at least 3 to 10 feet away from items that can burn (including your house).  House on fire - GET OUT and STAY OUT.

In Prince George's County, if you need a smoke alarm and can not afford one, you can call 311 and request one.  A firefighter will come to your home and install a working smoke alarm, free of charge. Many, if not all, Fire Departments in the National Capital Region have similar smoke alarm programs.

Mark E. Brady
PGFD PIO

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Worker Extricated by PGFD from Recycling Equipment in Chapel Oaks

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

Prince George’s County Firefighters, Medics and the Technical Rescue Team were dispatched to a recycling center for a 911 report of a man trapped within machinery.  Fire/EMS units were alerted at around 10:15 am, Saturday, March 28, and arrived at the facility located in the 2000 block of Kenilworth Avenue in Chapel Oaks to find an adult male, late 20’s, that had his legs entangled in a conveyor belt.  

Firefighters from Chapel Oaks Station 838 and Hyattsville Station 801 quickly assessed the situation and developed a plan for extrication.  Medics determined the patient was conscious, breathing and in pain and were in close proximtry while the man was removed from the machine.  Fortunately, first arriving crews were able to safely extricate the patient quickly and the Technical Rescue resources were not required.


Paramedics continued to treat the patient that was suffering from traumatic injuries to both legs.  He was packaged and transported to a nearby Trauma Center.  His injuries are serious but not life threatening.

Images obtained by PGFD while extrication was in progress.




Sponsors Needed for Public Safety Valor Awards


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tomorrow is MEDIA DAY at the Market Place Project - Live a Life in the Day of a PGFD Firefighter

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

The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department is inviting members of our media to participate in a morning of training like a firefighter.  Firefighters have been utilizing a mostly abandoned mall to hone their skills of search and rescue, use of tools and learning new techniques.  Now, it’s the medias opportunity to wear a firefighters protective gear, breath air from breathing apparatus, search for a trapped victim in a non-toxic smoke filled room and use a thermal imaging camera to “see” through the smoke and watch silhouettes of firefighters search a room.

We place “safety first” and we don’t like to see anyone get hurt.  There is no actual fire, no heat; just non-toxic smoke.  You can still observe operations while wearing your civilian clothes in a room charged with non-toxic smoke.  The smoke is so thick you will be challenged to see your hand placed in front of your face.  Firefighters will be assigned to all participants to help ensure your safety.

Our time at the Market Place Project will be drawing to a close shortly.  This is medias opportunity to gain valuable insight to a day in the life of a firefighter.  We invite all disciplines of media; reporters, photographers, videographers, assignment desk, editors, producers, writers, anchors and interns.  Anyone and everyone is welcome.

If possible, call Mark E. Brady, if you are able to attend.


WHAT:            Media Day at the Market Place Project

WHEN:            Wednesday, March 25, 10:00 am until 12:00 pm

WHERE:          15505 Annapolis Road, Bowie
                        Enter Parking lot off of Superior Lane and look for PGFD

WHO:              Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor along with many Prince George’s County Firefighter/Medics


Plenty of photo ops, interviews and sights you have never seen before in a controlled and safe environment.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Combined County Public Safety Resources Help Prevent Injuries and Provide Shelter in Townhouse Fire

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

Prince George’s County Firefighters quickly extinguished a fire in a 2-story, middle of the row, Temple Hills townhouse early this morning.

Just after 12:30 am, Monday, March 23, an initial report of the fire was made by police officers that radioed in that smoke was coming from a townhouse in the 2800 block of Iverson Street.  Fire/EMS units arrived quickly and encountered heavy smoke coming from the front side of a townhouse with fire showing from the rear.

Prince George’s County Police Officers were the first to discover the fire and immediately notified Public Safety Communications by way of their radios and initiated an evacuation of sleeping residents from the townhouses closest to the one on fire.

The fire appears to have started in a kitchen of the townhouse of origin and quickly spread to the second floor and attic area.  Firefighters ensured the fire was completely extinguished and limited the extension of fire to adjacent homes through extensive overhaul and inspection of interior walls and ceilings

The County Police continued to radio updates about the conditions on the scene that were relayed by police dispatchers via computer aided dispatch system to fire dispatchers that broadcast the updates to the incident commander and responding firefighters.  The radio updates were useful in allowing the incident commander an opportunity to formulate a plan of attack before arriving on the scene.

It required about 20 minutes for firefighters to extinguish the work intensive fire.

Fortunately, through the combined efforts of police, firefighters, dispatchers and our Citizen Services Unit, no injuries were reported and displaced residents are receiving assistance.  One occupant was evaluated by medics but did not go to the hospital.  All occupants were able to safely escape thanks to the early notifications by police.

The occupants from the row of eight townhouses will be displaced, some just for the short-term.  A total of 22 residents, 11 adults and 11 children are displaced.  The County Citizen Services Unit and the American Red Cross are providing temporary relief for 8 of those residents.  Other displaced residents made their own arrangements.


Fire Investigators are still searching for the cause of the fire and have labeled this incident as “under investigation.”  Included in this investigation is the presence and status of smoke alarms.  Estimated fire loss is placed at $200,000.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Bio Diesel Tanker Crash on I-95 in Laurel March 10, 2015 Media Accounts

I-95 has opened after tanker truck overturned in Prince George’s County

 March 10 at 9:35 PM   
Truck overturns on I-95 in Maryland(1:05)
Interstate 95 is closed in both directions in the Laurel area after officials said a tanker truck carrying diesel fuel overturned across southbound lanes. (AP)
Updated at 9:15 p.m.
Maryland State Police said Tuesday night that they had charged a Laurel man with failure to control speed to avoid a collision and reckless driving contributing to the collision, among other charges. He was identified as Christopher W. Rhodes, 23. He refused medical treatment at the scene, according to a statement from the state police.
Updated at 6:47 p.m.
All lanes of Interstate 95 are now open after an overturned tanker spilled about 1,100 gallons of biodiesel fuel on the road, closing all and then part of the highway for more than eight hours.
The Metropolitan Area Transportation Operations Coordination Program said on Twitter that the southbound side of the road, which was closed much longer, was delayed for about three miles but is starting to become less clogged.
Updated at 4:18 p.m.
With the northbound lanes open again and two out of four southbound lanes reopened, Maryland Department of the Environment spokesman Jay Apperson said that the large biodiesel fuel spill would likely have no major adverse environmental effects.
Apperson said that Prince George’s County Fire Department officials worked quickly to put down absorbent cloth on the road, stopping the fuel from entering storm drains, where it could have polluted the water system.
About 400 gallons were collected in drums and the rest of the spilled fuel was being soaked up with absorbent materials by contractors hired by the trucking company which was carrying the fuel, Apperson said.
Updated at 3:38 p.m.
Maryland State Police said on Twitter that two southbound lanes have reopened, meaning traffic is now moving, if slowly, on both sides of Interstate 95.
Updated at 2:28 p.m.
The tractor-trailer that overturned on Interstate 95 in Prince George’s County has been righted, and authorities are working to get southbound traffic running again.
The northbound lanes have already reopened.
Assistant Fire Chief Paul Gomez said the tanker was carrying 7,500 gallons of biodiesel fuel when it was involved in a four-vehicle accident that sent one woman to a hospital with minor injuries. About 1,100 gallons spilled onto the road. The remaining fuel inside the truck was pumped into a different truck, and emergency responders were then able to right the fallen tanker, Gomez said.
He said that of the fuel that spilled, about 400 gallons has been collected in drums. The remaining 700 gallons will be cleaned up by the Maryland Department of the Environment and the trucking company, Gomez said.
He said the road is designed to slope so that rainwater runs toward the shoulder, so most of the fuel is on the shoulder, not the main roadway. Emergency responders put down absorbent cloths to stop the fuel from entering storm drains.
Gomez said that unlike gasoline, biodiesel is extremely unlikely to ignite, especially in cool weather. It probably also poses much less of an environmental hazard than spilled gasoline, but that depends on the specific additives used by the fuel’s manufacturer, which Gomez said the fire department does not yet know.
He said it is likely to take at least another hour until the 10 to 15 emergency vehicles currently on the scene can get the tanker moving and start opening up southbound lanes.
Updated at 1:22 p.m.
The northbound lanes of Interstate 95 near Beltsville have reopened, after an accident that caused a tanker truck to spill about 1,000 gallons of biodiesel fuel onto the road. The southbound lanes are still closed, the Maryland State Highway Administration tweeted.
Updated at 12:45 p.m.
Officials with the Maryland State Highway Administration said delays on the southbound side of Interstate 95 near Beltsville where a tanker truck overturned and spilled about 1,000 gallons of biodiesel fuel on the road are slowly starting to ease.
The interstate is shut down in both directions, and it is not clear exactly when it will reopen.
The tanker crashed on its side about 10:30 a.m. on the southbound side of Interstate 95, south of MD 198. It was not immediately clear what caused the tanker to crash, authorities said.
Around noon, Maryland highway officials said it is likely that the northbound side of the interstate will reopen first.
The traffic delays were starting to ease. On the southbound side of the interstate, traffic was backed up for three miles. Shortly after the incident, traffic was backed up for about eight miles, officials said.
Drivers are advised to avoid the area, and authorities are diverting traffic to Route 29, US 1 or the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.
A second tanker truck had arrived and was working to offload fuel from the overturned truck.
For drivers who are on the Capital Beltway, “don’t come up I-95 at all,” said David Buck, a spokesman with the Maryland SHA.
Buck said highway crews were “turning traffic around at MD 198 one at a time.” He said “there were people stuck between the diversion point and the accident itself.”
Updated at 11:44 a.m.
Interstate 95 is likely to be shut down in some parts for several hours after a tanker spilled about 1,000 gallons of bio diesel fuel on the highway near Beltsville, officials said.
The 7,500-gallon tanker truck crashed on its side. Crews were working to contain and clean up the spill. The driver of the truck is said to be okay, officials said. Two people suffered minor injuries in the incident.
Traffic is backed up for at least three miles and the interstate is shut down.
Drivers are advised to avoid the area.
The view of the overturned tanker and clean up wasn’t pretty –
Updated at 11:23 a.m.
Authorities said minor injuries were reported after 1,000 gallons of bio-diesel fuel leaked onto Interstate 95 near Route 200 in Beltsville. Crews were working to contain the spill, according to the Prince George’s County Fire department.
In a press release, officials from the Maryland State Highway Administration said state and local police and the Maryland Department of Environment, along with other agencies are responding to the incident.
Southbound traffic on the I-95 is being diverted to MD-198. On the northbound side of the interstate, traffic is being diverted to Md 212. Traffic along I-95 is backed up about eight miles.
Authorities suggest drivers avoid the area and take US 29, MD 295 and US 1 as alternate routes.
Updated at 11:03 a.m.
Authorities said the cleanup is starting after an overturned tanker truck spilled fuel on Interstate 95 near Route 200 in Beltsville. In a Twitter message, Mark Brady, a spokesman for the Prince George’s County Fire Department, said that the leak had been stopped and the cleanup was beginning.
Original post at 10:46 a.m. Authorities said an overturned tanker truck on Interstate 95 south at Route 200 near Beltsville is causing part of the roadway in that area to be closed. It is not immediately clear what caused the crash and it was not known how long the delays would last. Hazmat units have been requested to respond to the area. Highway officials said just before 11 a.m. that all north- and southbound lanes of I-95 in that area are blocked. Traffic is being diverted to MD-198.
In a Twitter message, highway officials said there were multiple vehicles involved and that there were injuries. There were no details on those who were injured. MATOC — the Metropolitan Area Transportation Operations Coordination program — said all southbound lanes were blocked because of the tractor-trailer and two of the northbound lanes on Interstate 95 were also blocked. The delays, the agency said, extended nearly two miles.
Prince George’s County officials said in a Twitter message that it was a biodiesel tanker that overturned.