Monday, October 5, 2015

Good Samaritan Off Duty Firefighter Identified

Yesterday Montgomery County Police Officer James Herman performed life-saving actions on a 9 month-old-girl on the side of Northbound I-270.

Read here for further background: Officer Performs Life-Saving Actions on Child on Interstate 270

FF Channell meeting President Obama just
hours before assisting in saving a
young life.
At some point during Officer Herman's life saving action, a Good Samaritan, who identified himself as an out-of-state firefighter, stopped his vehicle on the side of I-270 to offer assistance.  After rendering aid he departed before his name could be learned.  The only real identifying feature was a shirt associated with the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service that had occurred in Emmitsburg, MD earlier in the day.

With that information, and at the request of MCFRS, an impressive social media campaign was initiated by fire service members associated with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation to try and track this person down. He was rather quickly identified via the Firefighter Nation Facebook page as Brody Channell who is a Firefighter with the Little Rock, Arkansas Fire Department.

We are also happy to hear via local media that the young girl is recovering in hospital and that her parents are appreciative of everyone's efforts to save their daughter.

A tip of the helmet again to Officer James Herman and to Firefighter Brody Channell for stopping to help Officer Herman and the young child.  As well, a job well done to Battalion Chief Steve Mann and our crews who responded and transported the young child to the hospital.

Additional added 7:40 am on 10/6/15: FF Channell was in Emittsburg at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial service to honor his Father, Dennis, who died in the line of duty last year.

It's Fire Prevention Week!

It's that time of year again - Fire Prevention Week (October 4 - 10)!  This years theme and focus is: "Hear the Beep where you Sleep! Every Bedroom needs a Working Smoke Alarm."

Below is a good video from our partners in safety at the National Fire Protection Association.  Please take a couple of minutes to watch and learn important potential life saving information.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Are You Ready?

We continue to urge County residents to be alert to changing weather conditions and to be prepared for possible flash flooding and potential high winds over the next several days.

Part of preparation includes having an emergency kit.  MCFRS urges all residents to take a moment to view information below, from our friends at the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, and take action!

Make a Kit

One of the most critical steps you can take to sustain yourself and your family during a disaster is to create an emergency kit before the disaster strikes.

An emergency kit contains items you might need including food, water, medication, a flashlight, a radio, and batteries. These items will help you if you are asked to stay home for as many as three days.

However, a kit may also be useful in case you have to evacuate your home. If the items you need are in your emergency kit, you will not have to scramble at the last minute to gather important items.

Include the following items in your emergency kit:
  • Water - One gallon per person per day for at least three days
  • Food - A three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Can Opener - Manual hand-cranking
  • Radio - Battery-powered or hand-cranking
  • Flashlight - With extra batteries
  • First Aid Kit
  • Medication - A three-day supply
  • Toiletries - For personal hygiene
  • Copies of Important Documents - Insurance policies, identification, and bank accouns in a waterproof container
  • Other Items (Depending on the Household) - Infant formula and diapers, extra clothing, books or games for children
For information on how to assemble an emergency kit, visit the following sites:
  • Assembling a kit for your pet - information from

Additional Resources

Alert Montgomery
Montgomery County's Are You Emergency Ready brochure includes information on items that should be in your emergency kit. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

TURN AROUND - DON’T DROWN and Try an Alternate Route! List of Roads That Flood

Many Roads in Montgomery County Susceptible to Flooding so Consider Alternate Routes Beforehand!

The next several days will be wet and potentially very windy!  County residents are urged to be alert to changing weather conditions and should be prepared for possible flash flooding.
Flash floods more often occur in mountain streams, hilly areas or low-lying areas.  But they do happen in urban and suburban areas like Montgomery County as well.  Flash floods can occur even though it's not raining where you are. It may be raining hard farther upstream and raining so hard that the water can not be absorbed into the ground.

Safety Tips:

If a flash flood warning is issued, act immediately.  Don't wait for high water to dictate your course of action.

Know your location when you are driving.  If you needed rescue, would you be able to direct emergency crews to your location?  Distracted driving can lead to a situation where you are stranded and unable to direct emergency crews to you.  Be alert!
Never drive through a flooded road or bridge.  Turn Around - Don’t Drown and try an alternate route! In many cases, it takes far less than a foot of water to incapacitate a vehicle.  It may stall, leaving you stranded, and depending on the level of water, you may not be able to open a vehicle door.  Do not underestimate the power of moving water.
Watch for flooding at bridges and dips in the road.  Never drive where water is over bridges or roads. Turn around - Don’t Drown!  The bridges or the road could suddenly be washed out. If you're driving at night be especially careful.  Often visibility is limited due to wind and rain.
Often what you can't see below the surface of the water is far more dangerous than the high levels of that water.  Remember that rocks, tree limbs and other debris can be caught in moving water and can be dangerous if you are forced to walk, wade or swim through flood waters.
If you have to walk or wade through flood water, use a stick to poke the ground in front of you with each step.  It can help you determine water levels, the bottom surface and the safest possible way to get to higher ground.
Remember that flash floods can come without warning, and sometimes without weather.  Be alert and heed all warnings and recommendations from officials. From FEMA's website, some further information about driving through flooded roadways:

Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.

A foot of water will float many vehicles.

Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUV's) and pick-ups

TURN AROUND - DON’T DROWN and try an alternate route!


Monday, September 28, 2015

We Prepare Everyday

September is National Preparedness Month! MCFRS encourages all residents to plan and prepare for a variety of emergencies that can potentially occur.

Please take two minutes to watch the below video, from the Ready Campaign and Ad Council, that shows how people with disabilities can take charge to prepare themselves and their families for emergencies.