Tuesday, August 31, 2010
However hurricanes are very unpredictable and can alter course for better, or for worse, at a moments notice. With this in mind, the leadership of MCFRS are preparing as though Earl will alter course and head straight for us. Better safe, and ready, than sorry and unprepared!
Follow the track and updates on the storm: Hurricane Earl
See below links that you might find helpful:
Preparing for Emergencies: A Checklist for People with Mobility Problems
Emergency Preparedness Checklist
Disaster Preparedness for the Disabled and Elderly (pdf - 1.34mb)
(American Red Cross)
Disaster Preparedness for Pets
Saturday, August 28, 2010
I just wanted to say thanks to all of you who do keep up with MCFRS. We would like to think we have a lot of diverse information that is of benefit to all of you. From safety tips to updates on significant emergencies, there is a little something here for everyone.
Thanks again and please encourage friends and family to check in on us.
MCFRS Life Safety Education
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Stop on by and see us if you are headed to the fair!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
Monday, August 16, 2010
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
Thursday, August 12, 2010
UPDATE 0905: MCFRS crews have completed building search. A total of 10 minor injuries with 4 transported to area medical facilities.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
When we got back to the station, I got a very interesting tour as it is one of the old fire stations. In Hollywood, every fire station has a pole that the firefighters slide down but that is not always the case. Many firefighters have gotten injured either falling or sliding down so it is rarely present anymore but they still have one at station #7. There is also a tower that was once used to hang wet hoses to dry but now it is used as storage for extra ones. After the tour, I sat down to watch TV as I anxiously waited for the siren to sound. As minutes turned to hours, it was already time for lunch.
After lunch, we went to the Public Safety Training Academy near my house that I have seen from the outside many times. As we drove around back, we noticed an experiment in full force. Two people from Good Morning America were filming the exothermic reaction that occurs when linseed oil is left to dry. It is amazing how a liquid can catch on fire just by drying in an oxygenated environment and it is important for the public to be aware. After spending an hour or two there, we were on our way back to the fire station.
With the day winding down and not one call, I was starting to wonder if I would ever get to see some action. As dinner was served, we were positive a call would come in right as we sat down to eat but to our surprise, it didn't. It is like it was announced that an intern was going to be with the Chevy Chase station and everyone should be extra careful so as not to give him what he came to see. As we finished dinner, it was time for me to depart and we were surprised that I had not gone on one call.
While it is a good thing there were no emergencies in the area, it would have been nice to see one. Hopefully there will be some more action if I get to do another ride-along. I thank the people at Fire Station #7 for their hospitality as I was there almost all day.
Friday, August 6, 2010
TO: Nancy Floreen, Council President
FROM: Isiah Leggett, County Executive
SUBJECT: EMS Transport Fee Referendum and FY2011 Budget Adjustments
As you are aware, if the ballot initiative related to Bill 13-10, Emergency Medical Services Transport Fee – Established, is successfully petitioned and certified, it stays the implementation of Bill 13-10, and therefore leads to an immediate shortfall in the current year budget of approximately $14 million. The purpose of this memorandum is to notify the Council of how I plan to proceed if Bill 13-10 is successfully petitioned to referendum.
The Emergency Medical Services reimbursement will fund critically needed services and would bring in $14 million a year – and $200 million over ten years -- in revenue from monies already set aside by private insurance companies, Medicare, and Medicaid. County residents with health insurance will pay nothing – no co-pays, no deductibles, nothing. The charge will be billed directly to Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance companies. County residents without insurance pay nothing. And whatever standard rates companies pay for the service will be accepted as payment in full. It would be most unfortunate if we cannot access these funds to improve services and save lives.
It is critical that we move quickly to identify immediately the necessary budget adjustments to deal with the potential new gap because of continued uncertainty about the economy and our revenue collections, and the need to ensure that we maintain adequate reserves. I have asked the Office of Management and Budget to begin preparing for my consideration, $14 million in tax-supported reductions.
Making these cuts will be tremendously difficult based on the reductions we have already taken. Balancing the FY2011 budget was extraordinarily challenging and our community is already bearing the impact of those difficult decisions. Because of the limited options available, these additional cuts will impact all of the County Government and will certainly hit public safety, including our fire and rescue services.
To place the cuts in perspective, the furloughing of county employees, which is proving challenging to our delivery of services, saved approximately $10 million, far short of what will be needed to cover the loss of revenue from the fee.
If the referendum is certified, I will share my planned reductions with the Council and I will ask that you act on them as soon as possible. The longer we wait in the fiscal year to identify reductions to offset a loss of reimbursement revenues for EMS transport services, the more difficult it will be to achieve the necessary savings.
For pdf actual version of Memo, please click HERE
With Volunteer Support, Prince William County, VA Passes Emergency Medical Transport Revenue Recovery Initiative
Which Strengthens Fire and Rescue at No Cost to County Residents
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Finally I arrive and enter the building in search of the office I need to find and luckily it is not far. On my first day, a group of young kids are scheduled to get a tour of the nearby fire station but first I need to get an ID card. It does not take long until I am sporting my own Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service badge.
Mr. Delaney informs me that we need to drive to get some handouts for the kids from a building not to far away. As we enter the parking lot, I have an idea of which vehicle we will be taking. Amidst many average cars, there is a large orange van with fire safety slogans on the sides. I climb into the passenger seat and look down on the cars around us as we slowly but surely left the parking lot.
With bags of handouts for the kids, we head over to the fire station to prepare for the tour. As we walk into the station alongside the massive fire trucks, it feels like this internship is going to be full of cool things. Soon enough, the tour has begun and even though it is for young kids, I find myself enjoying it too.
Eventually it is time to head back home and I can only hope everyday is as interesting as this one. In the days that followed, I have been introduced to a wide range of jobs in the Fire & Rescue Service.
Being with the resident expert of social media, Bill Delaney, we have talked to people about the uses of technology and different ways it can be used internally and externally. The potential the internet has to this organization is immense and it is just now being recognized.
We also have paid a visit to a local science lab to inform them of what safety precautions they should be taking. With chemicals that react dangerously to water and a wide range of other reactive substances, extraordinary steps need to be taken.
Finally, we spent some time with a group of senior citizens at OASIS to inform them about safety in their homes. Since people over the age of 65 have the highest risk of dying in fires at home, it is important that they are taught how to prevent or survive them. Having lived in their houses for a long time, the smoke alarms are most likely either out of date or are even without power. It is crucial that they are checked and replaced if need be but unfortunately it is often overlooked.
In the upcoming weeks, I hope to learn more about other jobs here, and maybe go out in the field. With the county fair in a few weeks, we are starting to prepare for a fun few weeks.