Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Anne Arundel County Approves EMS Transport Reimbursement With Support of Anne Arundel Volunteer Firefighters

Anne Arundel County Approves EMS Transport Reimbursement With Support of Anne Arundel Volunteer Firefighters - Earlier this week, the Anne Arundel County Council approved an EMS (emergency medical services) transport reimbursement fee with the support of their volunteer emergency medical technicians and firefighters. This brings Anne Arundel into line with other jurisdictions in the Baltimore and Washington metropolitan region that already have EMS fees or reimbursement programs. For more information go to:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Valor Awards to be Presented at Annual Public Safety Ceremony



Valor Awards to be Presented
at Annual Public Safety Ceremony

Unprecedented three Gold, two Silver and twelve Bronze Medals to be awarded

ROCKVILLE, Md., – The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce will host its 35th annual public safety awards program on March 20, 2009 at the North Bethesda Marriott Hotel and Conference Center located 5701 Marinelli Road, North Bethesda, Maryland. The annual event honors the heroic deeds and community service initiatives of Montgomery County’s law enforcement and fire-rescue workers.

Along with the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service and Department of the Montgomery County Police, other public safety agencies being recognized are the Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and the Maryland-National Capital Park Police, Montgomery County Division and for the first time the Maryland State Police and US Park Police.

Nearly thirty (30) public safety workers who were directly involved in various incident’s will receive medals of valor and community service awards. Honoring the awardees at the event will include County Executive Isiah Leggett, Council President Phil Andrews, Acting Fire Chief Richard Bowers, Police Chief Tom Manger, Sheriff Ray Kight, Acting MNCPP Police Chief Darien Manley, Correction and Rehabilitation Director Art Wallenstien as well as other local elected officials. Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, as well as Senator Ben Cardin, Representative Chris Van Hollen and Representative Donna Edwards are expected to attend.

Awards Ceremony

Thirteen (13) police officers and thirteen (13) firefighters will receive various Medals of Valor for their involvement in nine (10) separate incidents. In the 35 year history of this program the Gold Medal of Valor has been presented only nine (9) times. This year there will be an unprecedented three (3) Gold medal recipients along with two (2) Silver medals, twelve (12) Bronze medals and ten (10) Honorable Mention medal awardees. There will also be a Unit Citation presentation. Several of the past Gold Medal of Valor award recipients are expected to attend.

Awards of Valor are designated in several categories, including the Gold Medal of Valor which is the premier award that recognizes an act of bravery involving extreme personal risk that is clearly above and beyond the call of duty or an incident of valor that results in serious injury or death. A Silver Medal of Valor recognizes acts of bravery involving great personal risk beyond the call of duty, while a Bronze Medal of Valor is awarded to those who are involved in unusual personal risk beyond expectation while performing the usual responsibility and can also be awarded for unusual judgment, zeal, or ingenuity during an emergency situation in the performance of duty.

Honorable Mention of Valor awards recognize acts of valor and acts that involve personal risk, unusual demonstration of judgment, zeal, or ingenuity not normally involved in the performance of duties. Unit Citations are presented to those groups who have collectively performed exceptional service. The (Police) Chief Bernard Crooke Community Service Award and the (Fire) Chief Leslie B. Thompson Community Service Award are special awards presented for dedication and initiative above and beyond the call of duty over a period of time that has affected and benefited the citizens of Montgomery County.

Steve Robins, of Lerch, Early and Brewer, a Bethesda law firm is the committee chair for the Chamber of Commerce 35th annual public safety awards luncheon and ceremony. Attendance is a “sell-out” and will top over one thousand people.

Awards Ceremony

Public safety workers will be recognized for their efforts in the following incidents:

January 28, 2008 – Timberbrook Lane, Gaithersburg (police)
- assisted Mobile Crisis Team with armed and dangerous patient

May 5, 2008 – Foxlair Court, Gaithersburg (police)
- domestic situation and prevented a suicide of young man

June 5, 2008 – Dalewood Drive, Wheaton (fire/rescue)
- injured worker entangled in power lines and difficult rescue from tree

August 12, 2008 – Grand Prix Road, Silver Spring, Prince George’s and DC (police)
- armed robbery, abduction and carjacking with car chase and capture

August 16, 2008 – New Hampshire Ave., Oakview (police)
- attempted robbery/carjacking with foot pursuit and apprehension

September 6, 2008 – North Summit Ave., Gaithersburg (police)
- robbery in progress, off duty foot chase and capture of suspect

October 20, 2008 – Hawkins Creamery Road, Damascus (police)
- assisted teenage crash victims involved in wreck and car fire

November 26, 2008 – Inwood Ave., Wheaton (police)
- pulled (homicide) victim from burning house

December 3, 2008 – Jamestown Rd. Bethesda (fire/rescue)
- rescued triplets from burning house

December 23, 2008 – River Road, Potomac (fire/rescue, police)- rescued several motorists from swift water, including helicopte

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service awarded Jensen Grant

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) announced that Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service of Maryland has been selected as the winner of the 2009 Rolf H. Jensen Memorial Public Education Grant. The $5000 award will support the fire and rescue service’s training program to provide outreach on fire safety for adults over the age of 65. Read on

Monday, March 9, 2009

Safety In Our Neighborhoods: Firefighters going door-to-door checking smoke alarms

Richard Bowers, Fire Chief Pete Piringer, Public Information Officer
Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe Street, 12th Floor, Rockville, Maryland, 20850
Media Hotline – 240.777.2442

Safety In Our Neighborhoods
Firefighters going door-to-door checking smoke alarms
There has been a significant decline of residential fire fatalities in Montgomery County.
Having a functional smoke alarm is one of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce tragic deaths and injuries from fire. In fact, working smoke alarms nearly cut in half the risk of dying in a home fire.

Since November 2008 the men and women of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS) have been checking smoke alarms at least every Saturday afternoon in neighborhoods throughout Montgomery County as part of the ‘Safety in Our Neighborhood’ campaign.

Montgomery County firefighters have visited over 17,000 homes, installed nearly 500 smoke alarms and installed or changed over 600 batteries. The primary focus has been in areas populated with older residents and where residential fire fatalities have occurred. There was a significant decline of residential fire fatalities in Montgomery County. Last year in 2008 there were five (5) residential fire fatalities compared with thirteen (13) the previous year in 2007. All residential fire fatalities have occurred in a non-sprinklered dwelling.

2 – Smoke Alarms and Sprinklers
Fire Chief Richard Bowers notes, "This is a busy time of year for firefighters in this region. The simplest thing a family can do to protect themselves from fire is have a working smoke alarm, on every level of their home, and have fire escape plan."

Recent surveys conducted by fire fighters after serious fires in Montgomery County have found that nearly half, 50%, of the smoke alarms checked did not work. That is alarming! Smoke alarms DO save lives !

Montgomery County residents may schedule a home safety evaluation by calling the Home Safety Hotline @ 240.777.2476.

The Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service recommend that homeowners follow these tips to help prevent fires, deaths, and injuries:
* Install and maintain smoke alarms.
* Develop and practice a fire escape plan.

Fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as two minutes to escape safely. Your ability to get out depends on advance warning from smoke alarms and advance planning—a home fire escape plan that everyone in your family is familiar with and has practiced.

Because fire can grow and spread so quickly, having working smoke alarms in your home can mean the difference between life and death. Once the alarm sounds, you may have as few as two minutes to escape. Smoke alarms are the most effective early warning devices available.

Remember, check you smoke alarm and put a finger on it!

The combination of working smoke alarms and residential sprinklers almost guarantees that a family will survive a home fire

Friday, March 6, 2009

MCFRS is on Zannel

In a continuing effort to reach out in diverse and innovative ways to those we serve, MCFRS is pleased to announce that we now have a presence on Zannel. To learn more, and sign on to follow us, please go here: MCFRS on Zannel

Thursday, March 5, 2009



Montgomery County Fire Fighters “Spring into Action”
to Get Residents Ready And Creating a Culture of Preparedness and Safety

“Sounds of Silence – Could be Tragic”

The message is simple – check smoke alarms and have an escape plan.

A campaign will focus on all Montgomery County residents to be reminded to change the battery in their smoke alarm when they change their clock to reflect changing from daylight savings time to standard time this coming weekend on Sunday, March 8, 2009.

Get into a life saving habit – “Change Your Clock – Change Your Battery”.

Remember – the message is simple:

Develop an Escape Plan – Identify two ways out of each room in your home, identify a meeting place for your family outside, practice your plan at least twice a year when you change your clock. Once Outside – Account for all family members at your designated meeting place, call 911 from a safe location, never go back inside a burning building for any reason. Inform arriving firefighters if everyone got out and where the fire is located.

Spring Into Action – to get ready

Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives – Ensure you have a working smoke alarm on each floor of your home, additional smoke alarms can be placed in sleeping and kitchen areas, test your smoke alarms monthly, change the battery when you change your clock twice a year, if your smoke alarms are powered by your homes electrical system consider installing battery powered smoke alarms as a back up in case of a power outage. “Put a Finger on It” smoke alarms are effective only if they work!

Unfortunately, each year people die in residential fires that were started by preventable causes, such as unattended cooking, improperly discarded smoking materials, candles left burning unattended, space heaters, and child fire play. These are lives that can be saved. Smoke alarms save lives!

Citizens and residents that combine common sense fire and injury prevention habits with a working smoke alarm will increase the probability that even if a fire should ever occur in their home, that everyone will get out alive. Help us to help you, ensure you have at least one working smoke alarm in your home and plan an escape plan with your family. “Put a Finger on It.”
When home fire sprinklers are used with working smoke alarms, your chances of surviving a fire are greatly increased. Sprinklers are affordable - they can increase property value and lower insurance rates. In addition, a one-time property tax break is available for those who “retro-fit” their homes. Montgomery County is the largest jurisdiction in the United States to require residential sprinklers in all newly constructed homes.

Firefighters want all residents to know to always remember - If a fire starts in your home GET OUT and call 911 IMMEDIATELY closing the door to the room on fire as you go! DO NOT DELAY as fire doubles in size every minute.

For more information or if you are a Montgomery County resident and would like a FREE home safety evaluation call the Safety in Our Neighborhood – Home Inspection Hotline at 240.777.2476.