Wednesday, December 31, 2008

SAFE New Year!

Interim Chief Richard Bowers and the entire Montgomery County Fire & Rescue family want to wish everyone a very SAFE New Year! Please click here for more: Happy New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday Fire Safety

Happy Holidays from the women and men of Montgomery County Fire & Rescue! Please take a moment to go to MCFRS TV and watch Interim Fire Chief Richard Bowers talk with Sparky the Fire Dog about ways to help make this holiday season a happy and safe one for you and your loved ones.

Click here to watch the video: Holiday Fire Safety

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Triplets released from hospital!

The MCFRS family was pleased to learn that the Petrucelli triplets were released from the hospital. For more information, and continued updates, please go to the Petrucelli web site.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Outpouring of Support For Family of Triplets

As many know by now, there was a fire in MC last week that seriously injured two year old triplet boys. The family is in the thoughts and prayers of the MCFRS Family.

For updated information on the children's status and to find out how you can help, please go to Petrucelli Relief Fund.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue is now connected to Twitter

In an effort to continue to find innovative ways to reach our county residents, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue is pleased to announce we are now connected to Twitter on a Beta Test basis. This will allow you to stay connected with us and have a sense of what we are up to or, most importantly, to receive real time safety tips. You are not expected to respond to any updates unless you want to.

Please go here to check it out and sign up if you like: MCFRS on Twitter

To learn more about this go here: About

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Surviving a House Fire

The TODAY Show and Interim Fire Chief Richard Bowers partner up to show ways you can improve your chances of escaping a house fire unharmed.

Click here to watch the segment: Surviving a house fire

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Have a Very SAFE and HAPPY Thanksgiving

Chief Richard Bowers and the entire MCFRS Family want to wish you and yours a very SAFE and HAPPY Thanksgiving. Toward that end, please make sure you take time to review some Cooking Safety Tips.

Also take a moment to view what can occur if you use a Turkey Fryer inappropriately: Turkey Fryer Fire - COG Life Safety Group

For more on using the fryers, please take a moment to see what our friends at the Home Safety Council have to say: Turkey Fryer Safety.

Monday, November 24, 2008

MCFRS High School Cadet Program

MCFRS High School Cadet Program - The Montgomery County, Maryland High School Fire Science program is a national award winning one or two year program for high school juniors and seniors to educate and train students to become firefighters and/or emergency medical service (EMS) providers in Montgomery County. For more information go to:

Friday, November 7, 2008

Common Mistakes

Please take a minute to go to our Facebook page and see some examples of Common everyday mistakes.

County fire fighter's are out in the community promoting the fact that Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives ! Click on the previous link to see what you might find on your door that tells you we have been by your home!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!


Hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween tonight! Take a moment to review the below tips:

Halloween Safety Tips

Also do not forget that we change our clocks this weekend and when we do that we should also be changing our smoke alarm batteries!

Change Your Clock, ChangeYour Battery

Stay Safe,

Monday, October 27, 2008

Interim Fire Chief Named

Interim Fire Chief Named
Nationwide Search to Choose Permanent Fire Chief

County Executive Isiah Leggett has selected Division Chief Richard Bowers as Interim Fire Chief effective November 1, 2008. County Fire Chief Tom Carr recently announced that he will retire and has accepted a job as Fire Chief in the City of Charleston, South Carolina. Chief Carr will retire from the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service at the end of October 2008.

The permanent Fire Chief will be selected through a national search process. In the meantime Chief Carr and Chief Bower’s will work on the transition.

Monday, October 6, 2008

“It’s Fire Prevention Week: Prevent Home Fires!”

Chief Tom Carr and the women and men of the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service want to remind you that this week (October 5 - 11) is Fire Prevention Week! The theme this year is: “It’s Fire Prevention Week: Prevent Home Fires!”

Please take a moment to learn how to prevent the leading causes of home fires – cooking, heating, electrical and smoking-materials.

Safety tips for adults

For kids and families

Everyone should also take a few minutes of valuable time to plan and practice two ways out of your home in case of fire: Preparing A Home Fire Safety Plan. The time spent doing this could save your life as well as those of friends and family!

All members of Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service team wish you and your loved ones a happy and SAFE Fire Prevention Week!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fire Chief Tom Carr to Retire - Named City of Charleston (SC) Fire Chief

Thomas West Carr, Jr, age 54, has been named Fire Chief, City of Charleston (SC) Department. Chief Tom Carr, who has over 32 years of fire and rescue experience and began his public safety career in Montgomery County in 1978 as a paramedic/fire fighter and has risen through the ranks to become Montgomery County’s first Fire Chief. He had previously volunteered for several years at a local rescue squad prior to his employment. He has served as the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS) as Fire Chief since January 2005. He is expected to retire from Montgomery County in the near future.

In May 2003 he was appointed by then Montgomery County Executive Douglas Duncan as Chief for the Division of Fire and Rescue Services (DFRS), the highest ranking career chief fire officer. A year later, in 2004, the County Council passed new legislation reshaping the County’s fire and rescue service. After a nationwide search, Tom Carr was selected by then County Executive Doug Duncan as the ‘first ever’ County Fire Chief. He was unanimously confirmed by the County Council in October 2004. He was reappointed as Montgomery County Fire Chief by County Executive Isiah Leggett in 2006 and again unanimously confirmed by the Montgomery County Council as the County Fire Chief.

Under the direction of Chief Carr, the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service has grown into one of the nation’s largest combination (career/volunteer) fire service agencies in the Country operating with a budget of over $195 million and over 2,000 personnel. He has advocated firefighter safety and wellness and the MCFRS has achieved increased staffing levels improving firefighter safety and increased operational effectiveness. During his tenure, there has been enhanced staffing for fire inspectors and code enforcement allowing for improved efficiency of building inspections.

A high priority has also been given to career and volunteer recruitment in order to not only meet the demands of one of the largest County agencies, support the staffing initiatives and at the same time place an emphasis on diversity in order to better reflect the communities we serve. The Montgomery County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association and Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service were involved in a Direct Negotiations ‘contract’ or labor agreement for volunteers, the first of it’s kind in the nation. The Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service is also the only fire department in the U.S to directly support and maintain a Mobile Volunteer Corp, a group of emergency and non-emergency personnel directly supporting the county and local volunteer fire and rescue departments.

In 2007 the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service attained the distinguished Accreditation status through the Commission Fire Accreditation International (CFAI), which falls under the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE). The MCFRS is one of only 122 departments in the US and the largest combination, career and volunteer department in the nation to be accredited. In addition the National Fallen Fire Fighters Foundation recognized the MCFRS for implementing all of NFFF 16 life-safety initiatives, only one of a few and one of the largest departments to do so, by presenting the NFFF Seal of Excellence.

In conjunction with The International Association of Fire Chiefs, Montgomery County was the recipient of the national Heart Safe Community award, signifying that the resources are in place throughout the County that support the American heart Association’s ‘chain-of-survival’. Part of the reason for the award was also being that Montgomery County has the most automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) of any jurisdiction in the Washington region and the State of Maryland. Your chances of surviving are greater in Montgomery County.

In order to address an unusual trend of older adult residential fire fatalities, by Executive Order, a Senior Citizen Fire Safety Task Force was developed and a one-year report containing over 30 recommendations to improve life-safety and the quality of life for the County’s senior citizens, was presented to the Fire Chief and County Executive. A leader in the nation, the County also added an additional Child Passenger Safety Seat Inspection station – in conjunction with several local car dealers and local businesses. Montgomery County annually checks about 10,000 child safety seats – the most of any jurisdiction in US.

Furthermore, under Chief Carr’s guidance, the MCFRS has contracted to procure seventy (70) front-line vehicles, including 37 engines, 9 ladder trucks, 3 heavy rescues squads, 2 hazmat units and 20 EMS ambulances, to carry out the all hazard mission of the department into the future. Within the next year or so every first due engine-company will be operating with a full featured, precisely equipped unit with the latest technologies available to assure the safety of the crew cab occupants while entering, exiting, and riding in the vehicles. The contract for identical Compressed Air Foam (CAFS) pumper style fire engines alone is worth a total value of over $11.2 million dollars. The MCFRS has also broken ground on several new fire and rescue stations with others in the final planning stages.

In August 2008, Chief Carr was presented with the International Association of Fire Chief’s (IAFC) President’s Recognition Award during the annual Conference in Denver, CO. for his commitment to firefighter safety and support of the National Firefighter Near-Miss reporting system.

Prior to being appointed as the County’s first Fire Chief, Carr served as the Chief for the Division of Fire and Rescue Services from 2003 to 2005. Carr also served as the Assistant Chief of Operations and Special Projects and concurrently served as a commissioner on the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Commission for five (5) years.

Carr’s service also includes three years as District Chief, Human Resources and Labor Relations Officer overseeing, among other things the DFRS recruitment efforts, as well as the fitness and wellness initiatives. As a station commander he directed the implementation of the County’s nationally recognized Collapse Rescue Team and served as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (F.E.M.A.) Task Force Leader for the Maryland Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Team. As a US&R team leader Chief Carr responded to disasters in Oklahoma City and the Pentagon, as well as numerous U.S. hurricanes, including Hurricane Andrew in 1992. In 1989, Carr was selected to lead a small U.S delegation of rescuers to Soviet Armenia to evaluate the readiness of the United States for such catastrophes. As a result of this trip the national urban search and rescue task force was formed.

Chief Carr has a Master of Science degree in Human Resources Management from the University of Maryland. He is also a graduate of the George Washington University (DC) Certified Public Manager Program. He has a Bachelors of Arts degree from National University (CA). He currently serves on the Board for the Greater Colesville Citizens’ Association and is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF). Chief Carr and his wife Anne of over 25 years are longtime County residents and currently live in Colesville with their two teenage children.

In May 2004 the Montgomery County Council approved legislation to create a more unified command and control structure for the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service. The legislation established for the first time the position of a uniformed County Fire Chief who has the authority to administer, direct and originate fire and rescue operations for the entire Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, career and volunteer.

Other provisions of the new legislation included elimination of the previous position of Fire Administrator, the seven-member Fire and Rescue Commission will be retained as a quasi-judicial review board to assist the new chief; and the Chief of the Division of Volunteer Fire and Rescue Services was enhanced and redefined with a clear role in the administration, recruitment, retention and promotion of volunteer personnel and facilities.

The Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service is a full spectrum life safety agency protecting nearly 1 million people who live and work in Maryland’s most populous jurisdiction. The MCFRS is a combination system (career/volunteer), operating with a budget of about $195 million, comprised of over 1200 career uniformed personnel and professional civilian staff and an equal number of volunteers, nearly half of whom actively participate in emergency response. There are forty fire and rescue facilities, including a 56 acre training academy, state-of-the-art communication facility, as well as thirty-five community fire and rescue stations strategically located throughout Montgomery County’s 500 square miles in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Emergency Medical Services Reimbursement Fee

Montgomery County’s emergency medical services (EMS) are world class and it is important that we do everything possible to keep them that way. Unfortunately, it’s not easy as we are facing increasing resource demands and decreasing revenue due to current fiscal constraints.
County residents will not pay anything under the new fee. The fee will be billed directly to residents’ insurance companies, which have already factored the cost of patient transport into their rate schedules. The fee will be waived for uninsured residents.

To Learn More:

Proposed Emergency Medical Services Transport Fee (Watch EMS Fee PSA )-

Maintains and Strengthens Services at No Cost to Residents - Frequently Asked Questions- Facts About Emergency Medical Services Transport Fee

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Tropical Storm Hanna Threatens East Coast This Weekend

Tropical Storm Hanna Threatens East Coast This Weekend; Executive Places County’s Emergency Management Group on Alert and Urges Residents to Be Prepared - With Tropical Storm Hanna threatening areas along the East Coast this weekend with heavy rain and high winds, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett has placed the County’s Emergency Management Group on alert and is urging residents to prepare for the possibility of flooding and power outages. For more information go to:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"Fill the Boot"

On August 27-29, members of Montgomery County’s International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 1664 will be at intersections throughout Montgomery County, filling their boots with cash to help fight neuromuscular diseases. Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett (center) and local firefighters joined Jenny Stepanek (far left) and Maryland Muscular Dystrophy Association Goodwill Ambassador Mercedes ‘Merci’ Blouin-Escoto (center) to kick off the annual fundraiser.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fire & Rescue at the County Fair

Most people come out to the Montgomery County Fair with the thought of carnival games and rides and seeing all of the farm animals you could imagine. What most people do not realize is that Montgomery County Fire and Rescue is also there providing emergency medical and fire/rescue coverage as well as a large “learn and play area” filled with a moon bounce, fire trucks, and a large tent full of critical life safety education materials, giveaways and interactive tables.

I was at the fair the last two days and met many people of all ages. It provided all of us from fire and rescue an opportunity to speak with and educate many wonderful people about the services we provide as well as ways to prevent fires and injuries. As a former “practicing” fire fighter responding to emergency calls, I find it more enjoyable to speak with the public we serve in non-emergency settings rather than after their house caught fire or a loved one fell ill.

Below, you can find a few pictures I managed to take with my trusty cell phone camera. I will hopefully get a few more posted in the near future!

The fair runs until this Saturday. If you come by the fair, please make sure you visit our area. It is easy to find as we usually have a big ladder, from one of our ladder trucks, sticking high in the air!

Stay Safe! Bill Delaney

Friday, August 1, 2008

Vacation Fire Safety Tips

Getting ready to leave on a well deserved vacation and your home will be empty? Make sure to check your home before leaving to minimize the risk of fire while you are away.

To learn more, click here: Vacation Fire Safety Tips

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Pool Safety

Sadly, we have experienced a couple of drownings and near drownings in the county thus far this summer. I would like to refer everyone to a couple of items below that will hopefully help raise awareness and make everyone out there a little bit safer.

Please take a moment to read a related article in the Gazette: Pooling their resources for water safety

Also, please take a moment to view our Pool Safety tips.

Stay Safe,


Monday, July 21, 2008

Montgomery County Fire & Rescue is now on Facebook!

Montgomery County Fire & Rescue is pleased to announce that we are now on Facebook! Please come and check us out and leave a message. Let us know what you think.

Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Facebook page

Friday, January 18, 2008

Smoking and Home Fires Campaign

Smoking is the #1 cause of preventable home fire deaths in the U.S. and here in Montgomery County. Every year, about 1,000 people are killed in home fires that are caused by smoking materials like cigarettes. These fires didn't have to happen.

Please go to our MCFRS Virtual TV site to watch a quick video related to this: MCFRS Virtual TV

The audio you will hear is from an actual 911 call for a fire that started after a person fell asleep while smoking in bed. That person later died from severe burn injuries.

Below, please find some facts, safety tips, and general information that you might find useful!

Brochure (PDF, 633 Kb), Text
Poster (PDF, 470 Kb)
General Fact Sheet (PDF, 630 Kb), Text
Consumer Fact Sheet (PDF, 632 Kb), Text
PowerPoint Presentation (PPT, 7.2 Mb), Text
Campaign Letterhead - PDF Press (1.2 Mb), PDF Print (51 Kb)
Ways to Spread the Smoking & Home Fires Campaign Throughout Your Community (PDF, 119 Kb), Text