Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Blair High School Sports Academy Mentor Program

A collaboration involving MCFRS, Dept. of Recreation and the Task Force on Mentoring, has implemented a mentor Sports Academy program for students at Blair High School (BHS) in Silver Spring. The sports event kicking off the program is a flag football tournament. The County Council has been a strong supportive advocate for the Sports Academy and its work with under-achieving students.

Captain Tommy Foster is the lead for MCFRS in this very worthwhile endeavor and shares his experience, thus far, below:

I met with John Smith (Councilman Andrews Office), Joy Rafey (Task Force on Mentoring), and Daryl Gincherman (Task Force on Mentoring) for a brainstorming session on how we could make this happen. We all agreed that we needed to find a way to connect with the kids and felt strongly about utilizing sports as a way to make that connection.

John and Joy moved very quickly in setting up a meeting with BHS Principal Darryl Williams and Jose Segura from Sports Academy. A plan was devised, and the motions of the plan moved forward. The idea was to have a large flag football tournament, which would last approximately 6 days between the hours of 3pm-5pm.

I went back to senior leadership within my organization, and was given support by Fire Chief Richard Bowers towards moving forward with this collaboration.

Jose Segura from the Sports Academy recruited and organized 80 to 90 students for the event, which began this past Monday, November 16th. I brought a handful of firefighters and volunteers with me to participate in the games and began plugging them into different roles. Some of went in as quarterbacks, wide receivers, and defenders while others would help by refereeing the games. It felt great to see my fellow firefighters making an impact for the different teams. .

I was able to find several strong, diverse, young, and athletic role models in MCFRS to help out. Firefighters Tony Bencosme, Van Free, Seshibe Sefako, Ariel Dominguez, and Sean Carroll. Our approach was to have fun and mentor later. What I found on day four was openness from the students that allowed me to provide them information about ride alongs, career and volunteer opportunities, and an opportunity to come visit any of the mentors at their stations (to learn about life in a fire station) when the tournament was finished. I told the students they were not obligated to sign up for anything I had to offer but, to my amazement, they all signed up!

My goal is to provide these kids with valuable life lessons as they observe the discipline, focus, and accountability that their fire department mentors have demonstrated. They might also be inspired to volunteer their time and serve their community or attempt to make the fire and rescue service a career. These kids are hungry for opportunity, and are hungry for a vision to the possibilities that surround them!

This has been a wonderful and eye opening experience.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Infant Entrapment and Suffocation Prompts Stork Craft to Recall More Than 2.1 Million Drop-Side Cribs

I just wanted to make sure all of you out there are aware of the following recall involving drop-side cribs.  There are several makes and models, in addition to the one pictured below, so I encourage each of you to go to the CPSC web site to gather more information.

Infant Entrapment and Suffocation Prompts Stork Craft to Recall More Than 2.1 Million Drop-Side Cribs

Monday, November 23, 2009

Stand By Your Pan This Thanksgiving!

It is that time of the year again when family and friends gather to celebrate, eat, drink, and be merry. Likewise, it is also the time of year where everyone is practicing to maybe be the next Iron Chef. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking fires are more likely on Thanksgiving than any other day.

With the last sentence in mind, I would like to offer all of you out there some information that you might find useful not only for Thanksgiving this week but for all of the various holidays and observances over the next several weeks.

I will be hosting a Cooking Safety Show this Wednesday, November 25th at 1 PM – 2 PM at MCFRS Blog Talk Radio Show.

You can listen live on your computer and I will be taking phone calls as well as Instant Messages. If you can not listen live no worries! The show will be available for download on the web site to listen when you can.

Our friends at the NFPA urges cooks to stand by their pan to prevent fires. Both MCFRS and NFPA discourage the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that immerse the turkey in hot oil.

Go here to read more: Turkey fryers

Go to our YouTube site to see a great video by Underwriters Laboratory (UL) that highlights the dangers: MCFRS on YouTube

NFPA also have some other resources you might find helpful:

NFPA's cooking safety tips

Here’s wishing you and yours a SAFE and Happy Thanksgiving!


Friday, November 20, 2009

H1N1 Vaccination Clinic

Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will hold an H1N1 vaccination clinic on Sunday, Nov. 22nd, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The clinic is limited only to the following target groups: Children ages 6 months to 24 years; Pregnant woman; Parents/Caregivers of children less than 6 months of age; adults 25 to 64 with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease; and Health care workers and emergency medical service workers. The clinic is located at the Physical Education Building, Montgomery College, Rockville Campus, 51 Mannakee St., Rockville, MD 20850. Vaccine is available on a walk in basis to the first 5000 individuals listed above. You should dress appropriately for the weather as waiting will be outdoors.

Families can assign one person to wait in line, while others wait in the car.

DHHS will hold a second H1N1 vaccination clinic on Tuesday, November 24th from 9 a.m. to noon. The clinic is by appointment only and will be limited to adults 18 to 64 years with chronic illnesses such as asthma, diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS, etc. To make an appointment, please call (240)777-4040 on Monday, November 23rd from 3 to 4 p.m. Callers will be asked for name, doctor’s name and phone number when making an appointment. Location of vaccination will be given when appointment is made.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fire & Carbon Monoxide Risks During Cold Weather

Cold temperatures may prompt families to turn to drastic measures to heat their homes. Even traditional alternative heating sources, such as a fireplace or space heaters can be dangerous if not used properly. As temperatures drop in your community, some simple tips can help keep families safer.

Winter months in particular are the peak time for house fires and carbon monoxide poisonings, with most incidents due to improperly ventilated or malfunctioning heating sources. Families can better protect themselves by having working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms on every level of the home and in sleeping areas. Read On 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Candle Safety

The Holidays are fast approaching and candles are in demand. See and hear a quick presentation on Candle Safety. Click Here: MCFRS on Screenr

Monday, November 9, 2009

Our latest innovative way to reach out to the community!

Check out our latest innovative way to reach out to the community!

You can also view this on our YouTube site: MCFRS-TV

Let us know what you think: Email Bill

Friday, November 6, 2009


A Public Hearing concerning the draft “Update of the Fire, Rescue, Emergency Medical Services, and Community Risk Reduction Master Plan” (“Master Plan Update) will be hosted by Montgomery County Fire Chief Richard R. Bowers on Monday, November 30, 2009 at 7 p.m. in the Lobby Auditorium of the Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe Street, Rockville. Public parking is available on the lower level of the nearby County Office Building Parking Garage located at Monroe Street and East Jefferson Street.

The draft Master Plan Update includes proposed changes to response time goals, delivery of advanced life support services, and four-person staffing implementation, among other changes. The document also proposes additional recommendations addressing various aspects of fire-rescue related risk. Major revisions, additions and deletions being proposed in the document could require amendments to the “Fire, Rescue, Emergency Medical Services, and Community Risk Reduction Master Plan.” The draft Master Plan Update can be viewed at the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service headquarters at 101 Monroe Street, any of the County’s Regional Services Centers, or on- line at

Those wishing to testify during the Public Hearing must contact Cecilia Johnson no later than November 24 at 240-773-8945 or at

The opportunity to testify will be given to the first 30 persons requesting to testify. Individuals representing themselves or their household will be given 3 minutes to testify, and those representing a group or organization will have 5 minutes. Those testifying are asked to provide a written copy of their testimony to Chief Bowers at the Public Hearing.

Persons having disabilities that need any services or aids to participate should contact Mrs. Johnson no later than November 23.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What's Brewin Episode 2 Part 1 Richard Bowers Chief: MCFRS

See our Fire Chief, Richard Bowers, on the County's What's Brewin show. Learn more about the Chief and our department!

Part 2 is posted on our YouTube site:

Stay Safe,

Bill Delaney

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fire Station 29 to Read Part of Mattie's book on Good Morning America This Morning

I wanted to make everyone aware that this morning at 0830 you can see members of our Fire Station 29 read part of Mattie's book on Good Morning America, ABC Channel 7.  Please also see a message from Mattie's Mom below.  This was a truly remarkable young man.

-Bill Delaney

Hello friends,

Am asking for your assistance and enthusiasm here. Please pass this info to folks in your email address book, your facebook page, your twitter followers, your co-workers, your church, your friends and relatives... everyone. This matters a lot to me.

This Monday, Nov 2, I will be on Good Morning America to release "Messenger: The Legacy of Mattie J.T. Stepanek and Heartsongs." This is not a book by Mattie, but the first book ABOUT Mattie's life! Early reviews of the book have been wonderful, and folks say they are left smiling, and re-remember why Mattie inspired us so profoundly with his words, his message, and his wit and wisdom. Dr. Maya Angelou penned a beautiful foreword for this book, which is available on online sites like amazon for pre-orders. And on Wednesday, Nov 4 at 7 pm, the book release event will take place at the White Flint Mall Borders Bookstore on Rockville Pike/North Betheda, MD. Please visit Mattie's website ( ) for info about the book and updated info about publicity.

Thank you so much my friends,

Jeni ("Mattie's mom").

Jennifer Smith Stepanek, Ph.D.

MDA National Vice President

Chair, Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation