Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Potomac River - - Just Stay Out!

Firefighters Distribute Safety Tips Over the Holiday Weekend

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service personnel were out in force over the Memorial Day weekend in and around the Potomac River reminding visitors of the inherent dangers associated with the river and passing out safety tips aimed at informing and educating visitors to stay out of the Potomac River.

Considerable interagency cooperation at the local, county, state and federal levels has focused attention on methods to prevent drownings in and around the Potomac River since 2004. The presence of Montgomery County Firefighters distributing bi-lingual educational materials over the holiday weekend served to underscore the continued commitment and importance of this initiative and the goal of “zero” drownings as the summer season kicks off in the Washington Metropolitan area.

A copy of the safety tips in both English and Spanish (2nd page) are below.

Great Falls Warning

Friday, May 27, 2011

Splash into Summer Safely! Keep these Water Safety Tips in Mind

As the weather heats up, chances are you will be headed to the beach or pool to cool off this summer. Whether you’re a seasoned swimmer or just learning how to swim, many water-related accidents can be avoided by knowing what to do and how to stay safe. Drowning is the second leading killer of children ages 14 and under and the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service urges residents to review these important tips to increase safety around the water:

 Learn to swim and never swim alone. One of the best things you can do to stay safe around the water is to learn to swim and to always swim with a buddy. Even experienced swimmers can become tired or get muscle cramps which might make it difficult to get out of the water safely.

 Learn life-saving skills. Know how to prevent, recognize and respond to emergencies. Valuable lifesaving seconds are lost by having to wait for Emergency Medical Services to respond and administer CPR. Learning CPR and other life-saving skills and rescue techniques can save lives.

 Seconds count when it comes to water emergencies. Keep a phone (cell or cordless) by the pool or nearby when engaged in recreational water activities so that you can call 9-1-1 in an emergency.

 Don’t rely on swimming lessons, life preservers or other equipment to make a child “water safe.” Remember - swimming lessons are no substitute for supervision of children. Formal swimming lessons can help protect young swimmers around the water however constant adult supervision is critical.

 Never leave children unsupervised around water (bathtubs, pools, ornamental backyard ponds, etc.). Small children don't think of water as a danger and, by nature, are very curious.

 Diving dangers. Diving injuries can cause permanent spinal damage, injuries and even death. Protect yourself by diving only in areas that are known to be safe, such as the deep end of a supervised pool. Always check the water’s depth and remember that jumping in feet first can be very risky if you haven’t checked the water for rocks or other hidden hazards.

 Pay attention to local weather conditions and forecasts. Stop swimming at the first indication of bad weather.

 Know Your Limits. Watch for the “dangerous too’s” . . . too tired, too cold, too far from safety, too much sun, too much strenuous activity.

 Maintain constant supervision of children. Know where your children are at all times. Never leave a child unattended in the water or pool area. Don't be distracted by phone calls, chores or conversations. If you leave the pool area, take the child with you.

 Don’t rely on substitutes. The use of floatation devices, water wings and inflatable toys can not replace parental supervision. Such flotation devices could suddenly shift position, lose air, or slip out from underneath, leaving the child in a dangerous situation.

 Water and alcohol don’t mix. Each year, up to half of all adult drownings are linked to alcohol use.

Keep it Clean! Make safety part of your Spring cleaning routine

Spring cleaning is a great time to focus on safety in and around the home and to identify and correct any potential safety hazards. Following the safety tips outlined below can help get your spring off to a safe start:

•When using ladders, check for safe and proper placement. Be aware of any obstructions including overhead wires and tree branches.

• Inspect your grill prior to use. Check grill hoses for leaks and cracks and store propane tanks away from your house and garage. When disposing of ashes from a charcoal grill, put them in a metal bucket and either soak in water or let stand for several days before disposing of them.

• Recycle: Get rid of old newspapers, magazines and junk mail. These items tend to pile up quickly and can contribute to the severity and spread of fire. Pay special attention to items that may have collected near your furnace, hot water heater, fireplace and stairs over the winter months.

• Check play equipment for loose or exposed hardware, broken parts and stability before children begin playing on outside toys.

• Never operate a lawn mower in your bare feet, avoid wearing loose clothing and wear proper eye protection.

• Be safe with toxic items - household and pool chemicals, paints and poisons should be properly marked and stored under lock and key and safely out of children’s reach. Dispose of any that are leaking or expired. Additionally, clean up work areas. Put dangerous tools, adhesives, matches, or other work items out of children’s reach.

• Fill lawn mowers, motorbikes and power saws outside and only when the motor is cool.

• Store gasoline in a cool place away from the house in a detached garage or shed, and always in an approved safety can.

• Fire is not the way to get rid of yard waste. Leaf burning and general yard waste burning is not permitted in Montgomery County. Dispose or recycle yard waste properly or mulch/compost yard waste and trimmings.

• Spring is also an important time to assess your home’s fire prevention tools and readiness. Following these simple maintenance and prevention tips can help keep you and your loved ones safe:

- Test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are working.

- Be sure to change the batteries in all smoke alarms annually. Smoke and carbon monoxide alarm units should be replaced every 10 years, according to manufacturer recommendations.

- Changing weather temperatures can cause windows and doors to stick. Windows should be checked to ensure they can open and close properly in case they are needed as exits in an emergency.

- Review and practice your home escape plan. Conduct a home fire drill and be sure everyone knows the location of your family’s outdoor meeting place.

- Make sure your house address numbers are visible from the street. Addresses that are hidden, unreadable or have missing numbers may delay emergency responders from getting to you as quickly as possible.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

MCFRS Significant Fire & EMS Incidents From May 16 through May 22

Battalion 1 Incidents

• House Fire in the 8600 block of Lynbrook Dr- Fire units responded for a house fire and arrived on scene to find a smoking toaster oven.

• Apartment Fire in the 700 block of Northampton Drive - Report of smoke from the garden apartment. Fire units arrived to find food on the stove with no extension. No reported injuries, displacements or dollar loss.

• Apartment Fire in the 11400 block of Cherry Hill Rd., (Mutal Aid to P.G. County) - 4 Story apartment building. Units arrived to find fire showing from the front, first floor window that was extending up to 2nd floor. Fire put out with $50,000 in damages.

Battalion 2 Incidents

innerloopbeltway3• STABBING in the 7000 block of CLARENDON RD – Fire and Rescue Units found 1 adult with a stab wound and transported to a local trauma center.

Battalion 3 Incidents

• BUILDING FIRE in the 5000 block of NICHOLSON – Fire units arrived on scene to find fire and smoke from the duct work on the roof. Fire crews extinguished the fire and scene secured for Code Enforcement and health inspector.

• House Fire in the 2 block of Reach Ct - Fire units arrived and found a fire on the stove. Fire put out.

Battalion 4 Incidents

No significant incidents.

Battalion 5 Incidents

No significant incidents.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Local Fire Fighters to Join Wounded Veteran on Walk to US Capitol Thursday

BY: Dwayne Harris
President - Montgomery County Band of Brothers

Troy Yocum is a wounded Iraq War Veteran that has been walking across the United States for the past year helping to raise money to assist needy military families.

Tomorrow, May 26, the Montgomery County Band of Brothers (MCBB) and several other fire fighters are going to meet Troy at the Town Hall in Forrest Heights, MD at

NEWS ADVISORY: Firing up the Grill? Keep these Safety Tips in Mind


Firing up the Grill?
Keep these Safety Tips in Mind

With Memorial Day fast approaching, people will be firing up their grills for the first time this year and the last thing on many minds is probably safety, right? Well, it shouldn’t be according to Fire Chief Richie Bowers. Every year, thousands of homes catch fire because of inproper use of grills and the Fire Chief wants to remind residents that preparation is the key to staying safe when using grills this season.

Before you plan your next outdoor cookout, please review these safety tips:

 If you haven’t used your grill in a while, give it a good spring cleaning. Scour the grate with a wire brush. Save future cleaning time by using a nonstick cooking spray to prevent food from sticking to the grill.

 Before using your grill for the first time this season, go online to check whether your grill has been recalled due to any dangerous defects.

 Position the grill in a well-ventilated, flat and level surface away from your house, overhangs, deck railings, tree branches, shrubbery and anything that can burn. Never use a grill indoors or in a garage.

 Never leave a grill unattended – even for a minute – and supervise children and pets around the grill: declare three-foot “kid-free zone” around the grilling area.

 Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled-up sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can dangle over the grill and catch fire.

 Use long-handled tongs and brushes while grilling.

 Never move a lit barbeque.

 Make sure the barbeque is turned off, and completey cooled, before covering.

For Gas Grills:

Before grilling, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for checking the connection to the cylinder. An easy way to do this is to tighten the connection, turn on the cylinder and then apply a soapy water solution around the connection. If bubbles appear, the connection is leaking. Turn the cylinder off, reconnect the cylinder and check again.

 Check grill hoses for cracking, corrosion, brittleness, holes and leaks. Make sure there are no sharp bends in the hose or tubing.

 If repairs are needed, do not attempt to do them yourself. Enlist a professional.

 Always keep propane gas containers upright.

 Always open the lid of a grill before igniting it.

 Regularly remove grease and fat buildup in trays below the grill so it cannot be ignited by a hot grill.

 If you smell gas, turn the grill off immediately and do not use it until it is repaired.

 Do not store tanks or other flammable materials near a grill, indoors or in a heated area such as a vehicle trunk. Propane tanks need to be stored in well-ventilated areas.

For Charcoal Grills:

 Use the proper starter fluid and store the can out of reach of children and away from heat sources.

 Never use any type of grill inside. Don't barbeque in the garage, even with the door open. Barbecues produce carbon monoxide, which can build up in an enclosed area. Carbon monoxide is invisible, colorless and tasteless -- but extremely dangerous. Instead, set up your grill in a corner of your deck or patio. Avoid grilling on a covered or enclosed porch or on top of anything that can catch on fire.

 Since charcoal produces CO fumes until the charcoal is completely extinguished, do not store the grill indoors with freshly used coals.

In Montgomery County, unless you live in a house, it is illegal to:

• Kindle or maintain charcoal burners and/or gas-fired grills on balconies or within 20 feet of any structure.

• Store liquid propane (LP) gas cylinders, within 20 feet of a multi-family residential building.

Remember, when cooking outside - ALWAYS open the hood before lighting the grill. ALWAYS keep the grill in a safe area away from children, pets and heavy people traffic where someone could bump into it. NEVER try to grill inside and remember, it is best to grill 20 feet away from anything that can burn. Have a safe summer!

Sources: NFPA, CPSC and the USFA

# # #

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tornado Folklore

By: Rocky Lopes

There is this thing called "folklore," which by definition can include legends, oral history, and popular beliefs. Folklore creeps into some of our thinking about severe weather, and may be something you have heard or have passed on to children. Let me share some "Tornado Folklore" that many of us have heard:

Folklore: Tornadoes only happen in "tornado alley" -- roughly defined as states in the Midwest from Texas to Minnesota.

Truths: While many strong tornadoes happen in the Midwest, they can -- and have -- happened in every state.

In many years, more people have died as a result of tornadoes that happen east of the Mississippi River than west of the river. Why? People who live west of the Mississippi River are more accustomed to having tornadoes, and have learned what to do, when to get to shelter, and how to be safe since they were a child.

Folklore: Tornadoes never hit cities.

Truths: Since the majority of land area in the U.S. is unpopulated, it appears as if tornadoes only strike rural areas.  The relative amount of area of a city with tall buildings is small compared with the city as a whole.

Unfortunately, we learned in April and May, 2011, that this belief isn't true. Just ask residents of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, or Joplin, Missouri.

Folklore: You need to open windows in your house to equalize air pressure before a tornado may strike, to prevent the house from exploding.

Truths: Even with windows closed, houses have enough openings to vent the pressure difference in the time it takes a tornado to pass.  Some of the strongest thunderstorms have longer duration of low air pressure -- houses do not explode during those storms, so they won't during a tornado.  Opening windows is a dangerous and useless waste of time, and could actually be harmful to the house.

Folklore: Get into the southwest corner of your basement in case of a tornado.

Truths: Being underground is definitely safer than being above ground, but no particular corner of a basement is safer than any other.  Tornadoes can come from any direction. While it may appear that tornadoes in the Midwest always move from southwest toward to northeast, that is not always true. In fact, recent tornadoes in 2011 came from all directions

Folklore: Tornadoes do not cross bodies of water

Truth: Tornadoes cross rivers regularly. The stream of tornadoes that occurred on April 27, 2011, crossed many rivers in 17 states.

Folklore: Once the tornado has passed, you can go out to inspect for damage.

Truths: Some strong storms can produce more than one tornado, sometimes several tornadoes at a time. On April 27, 2011, 362 tornadoes happened from two long lines of storms, creating the largest tornado outbreak in U.S. history.

Folklore: Our area doesn't have sirens, so we will not get notified in case of a tornado.

Truths: We are fortunate in Montgomery County to have many ways to get warnings in case of tornadoes or other emergencies. 

Sign up for Alert Montgomery. This system will send alert messages to any device you specify: cell and smart phones, email accounts, PDAs, and pagers. It's free, and you can adjust settings on it to receive alerts for life safety, fire, severe weather, accidents involving utilities or roadways, and crime.

NOAA Weather Radio will sound an alert for severe weather and other emergencies that are issued for Montgomery County. Once you set it, it will provide a tone alert with a radio announcement describing what is happening and what to do. You can buy one of these radios from electronics stores.

Providers of cable television service in Montgomery County, e.g., Comcast and FiOS, will broadcast notices from the Emergency Alert System (EAS) when issued by the county. EAS notices are broadcast on all channels simultaneously.

Be sure to "Like" the Facebook page for the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services (MCFRS) Department, and Montgomery County Department of Homeland Security.

And follow MCFRS on Twitter.


Rocky Lopes is an emergency management professional and has published numerous articles and information on disaster safety for some 25 years. He works at the National Weather Service Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, and has lived in Montgomery County his entire life.

FY12 MCFRS Budget Includes Funds for Two Recruit Classes

The Montgomery County Council has allocated funds for two abbreviated recruit classes of pre-trained Firefighter/EMTs. For these classes, MCFRS will be seeking applicants with some pre-existing certifications. The specific requirements and certifications necessary to be considered for this recruit class have not been announced, but may include firefighting, hazardous material and EMT experience.

Applications for the pre-trained classes will likley be accepted during the month of June, 2011. Additional information about any pre-exsisting certifications will be posted on the MCFRS website, blog and facebook as soon as it is known. All interested persons are encouraged to sign up for the MCFRS e-mail newsletter at our website (www.mcfrs.org/recruiting), Twitter Page, or to check the facebook page frequently.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Severe Storms

With the tragic events in Joplin, MO yesterday and our forecast for today, I thought it a good time to provide all of you some safety tips as well as a resource for now and in the future.

When a tornado warning is issued for your area:

• Seek shelter in a windowless interior room in the lowest level of the house. Go to the basement, if you have one. Stay away from windows.

• If you are caught in the open during a tornado, stay low and go to a drainage ditch or other low point on the ground. 

• If you are in your vehicle during a tornado, get out of the vehicle and go to a drainage ditch or other low point on the ground.  Do not try to outrun a tornado.

To prepare for a severe weather event, please go here: Severe Storms

A great resource from Weather.com: Severe Weather: Track the Storms

As always, be safe and be prepared!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Safety Tips for Bike To Work Day

Are you riding your bike to work today?  If so, make sure you do so safely!  Use your head and wear a helmet!

I found these Five Steps to Riding Better from the League of American Bicyclists that I thought some of you might find useful.

Be safe out there today and be seen!


Five Steps to Riding Better
1. Follow the Rules of the Road
• Ride with traffic and obey the same laws as motorists.
• Use the rightmost lane that heads in the direction
that you are traveling.
• Obey all traffic control devices, such as stop signs,
lights, and lane markings.
• Always look back and use hand and arm signals
to indicate your intention to stop, merge or turn.
2. Be Visible
• Ride where drivers can see you.
• Wear brightly colored clothing at all times.
• At night, use a white front light and red rear light
or reflector. Wear reflective tape or clothing.
3. Be Predictable
• Ride in a straight line and don’t swerve between
parked cars.
• Make eye contact with motorists to let them
know you are there.
• Do not ride on the sidewalk.
4. Anticipate Conflicts
• Be aware of traffic around you and be prepared
to take evasive action.
• Learn braking and turning techniques to
avoid crashes.
• Be extra alert at intersections.
5. Wear a Helmet
• Make sure that the helmet fits on top of your
head, not tipped back or forward.
• After a crash or any impact that affects your
helmet, visible or not, replace it immediately.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

MCFRS Significant Fire & EMS Incidents From May 9 through May 15

Battalion 1 Incidents

• Gas Leak Dale Dr. & Mansfield Rd. - 6" natural gas line leak. Fire Units stood-by while Washington Gas clamped the line.

Battalion 2 Incidents

• BUILDING FIRE in the 5500 block of WISCONSIN AVE - Fire Units arrived with no sign of smoke or fire and, after further investigation, found a short in a wall outlet with extension to a sonogram machine. No injuries and a loss of $50K Contents and $200 to the Structure.

• Hazardous Materials Incident in a Commercial office building – Fire and Hazardous Materials Units responded for an unknown powder in an envelope. Investigation revealed a non-harmful powder. Scene remanded to MCPD. No damage or injuries.

• Injured Hiker on the Billy Goat Trail. Fire Units dispatched for an injured hiker. Units located and transported a 49 year old female w/ an ankle injury to a local hospital.

Battalion 3 Incidents

• House Fire in the 12400 block of Wisteria Dr - Fire Units arrived to find a fire outside of a townhouse along a fence with slight damage to structure.

• BUILDING FIRE in the 500 block of LAWSON WAY , Fire Units arrived on scene and found a fire that had been extinguished by the fire sprinkler system. Cause was possibly electrical in nature. There was $50K in damage to the structure and $5K contents. 2 occupants were displaced and there were no civilian or FD Injuries.

Battalion 4 Incidents

charlesrdIMAG0256• House Fire off of Charles Rd. Fire Units arrived on scene with a 2-story house that was fully involved in fire. All occupants were out and defensive fire fighting operations initiated. House was a total loss along with detached shed in back yard and box truck in driveway and damage to one other auto. Vinyl siding melted off of both houses on either side. One Fire Fighter treated for dehydration and transported to a local hospital where he was treated and released.

• Vehicle Collision at Rt 108 & Volunteer Drive – Fire Units arrived on scene to find a single vehicle collision with 4 patients. 2 Priority One Trauma codes were transported to area hospitals. One seriously injured patient also transported to a local hospital. One patient was deceased on-scene.

Battalion 5 Incidents

No significant incidents.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

News Advisory: Fire Chief and County Executive to Recognize “Everyday Heroes”


Fire Chief and County Executive
to Recognize “Everyday Heroes”

Local Residents Actions Save Others

Thursday, May 19, 2011
1 p.m.

Offices of the County Executive
Executive Office Building – 2nd Floor
101 Monroe Street, Rockville

Rockville - - - County Executive Isiah Leggett and Fire Chief Richard Bowers will recognize a group of “Everyday Heroes” in a brief ceremony in Rockville. Several individuals will come together to be recognized for their collective ‘life-saving’ action(s) that occurred throughout the County at various emergencies.

Incidents include neighbors who rushed in to save an elderly couple in a Potomac house fire, a truck driver who arrived on the scene of a vehicle crash and pulled the injured driver from the burning vehicle to safety and an alert resident who spotted a distressed kayaker who been thrown from her kayak and was clinging to the branches of a tree in the frigid Potomac waters and summoned critical emergency help which ultimately saved the boater’s life.

Because of their quick thinking, decisive action and willingness to ‘get involved,’ several people are alive today due to these extraordinary acts of courage and bravery.

# # #

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

News Advisory - Seneca Creek Wildland Fire –Final Investigation


Montgomery County Fire and Rescue officials have released the final investigative report of the Seneca Creek wildland fire which occurred on Saturday, February 19, 2011. The fire began at approximately 9:30 a.m. and burned approximately 500 acres.

HPIM1072Investigators have determined after careful analysis and examination of the fire scene, conducting numerous interviews with residents and other officials that the fire originated in the area of the 17100 block of Germantown Road. The fire was fanned by strong winds, dry conditions and traveled southeast along the surrounding forested area where it was stopped by fire crews in the Ancient Oaks North subdivision. During the investigation of the fire scene, investigators observed evidence of human activity, including but not limited to, discarded smoking materials, food and drink containers, rubbish, vehicle tire marks including conventional vehicles and four wheel all terrain vehicles (ATV), as well as the remains from tree cutting operations. Due to the large area involved and the amount of fire damage, the exact origin, cause and first material ignited are undetermined.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue officials would like to remind all county residents that if they see people illegally dumping yard waste or trash of any kind to report it right away to 311.

Remember – See Something, Say Something.

# # #

Turn Around - Don’t Drown!

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

County residents are urged to be alert to changing weather conditions and should be prepared for possible flash flooding over the next 24 hours as a storm system already in our area is expected to bring heavy rains.

When it rains heavily, there may be flash floods, flood warnings and flood watches issued. 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!



MD 29 (Columbia Pike) at Paint Branch - N. of White Oak
MD 185 (Conn. Ave) at Rock Creek - S. of Kensington
MD 190 (River Road) at Cabin John Creek - Potomac
MD 193 (Univ. Blvd) at Sligo Creek - Wheaton
MD 586 (Viers Mill Rd) at Rock Creek - S. of Twinbrook Pkwy.
Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park - Kensington-Chevy Chase
Sligo Creek Pkwy - Silver Spring-Takoma Park


MD 97 (Georgia Ave) at Reddy Branch - N. of Brookeville
MD 124 (Woodfield Rd) at Goshen Branch and at Gr. Seneca Creek - N. of Brink Rd.
MD 117 (Clopper Rd) at Gr. Seneca Creek - W. of Gaithersburg
MD 117 (Clopper Rd) at Little Seneca Creek - E. of Boyds
MD 355 (Frederick Rd) at Little Seneca Creek - W. of Brink
MD 121 (Clarksburg Rd) near Little Seneca Lake - N. of Boyds
MD 118 (Germantown Rd) at Great Seneca Creek - S. of Germantown
River Rd and Berryville Rd at Seneca Creek - Seneca
Blunt Road at Great Seneca Creek - S. of Brink Rd.
Davis Mill Rd at Great Seneca Creek - N. of Gaithersburg
Brighton Dam Rd at Hawlings River - NE of Brookeville
Goldmine Rd at Hawlings River - E of Olney
Zion Rd at Hawlings River - E. of Laytonsville
Hoyles Mill Rd at ford of Little Seneca Creek - Germantown, west of soccer complex
Loghouse Rd at Magruder Branch - S. of Damascus
Elton Farm Rd at Haights Branch - N. of Sunshine
Howard Chapel Rd at Haights Branch - N. of Sunshine
White’s Ferry Road and River Road - White’s Ferry

More at: Street Flooding Hazards

Friday, May 13, 2011

Local Event Benefits MCFRS & Pets on Saturday, May 14th: Pet Safety Expert's Nationwide Effort Hits Home This Weekend

Herndon, VA - Local pet safety expert Ines de Pablo started the Montgomery County Project as part of the 02 Fur Life Program which has provided more than 1550 pet oxygen masks for fire, EMS and police departments in North America.  The life saving equipment for pets is not usually accounted for in department budgets and de Pablo is kicking off fundraising efforts this weekend with a dog wash at the Herndon Bark'N Bubbles location.

WHEN: Saturday, May 14th, 11am-3pm

WHERE:  Herndon Bark'N Bubbles Dog Wash, 795 Center St, Ste 1, Herndon, VA

WHAT: Proceeds from day's dog washes benefit the Montgomery County Project and provide pet oxygen masks for fire stations in Montgomery County, Maryland 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

MCFRS Significant Fire & EMS Incidents From May 2 through May 8

Battalion 1 Incidents

No critical incidents

Battalion 2 Incidents

• Injury in the 9600 block of Forest Drive. Units found a 19year old female w/ severe eye trauma. Patient was flown to hospital in Baltimore via Eagle 2.

• Injury from a Fall in the 5500 block of Ridgefield Rd - Adult male was transported to a local area hospital.

Battalion 3 Incidents

• Motor Vehicle Crash at Middlebrook Rd / Germantown Road – Fire Units arrived on scene to find a loaded dump truck lateral impact into a small sedan - 1 patient was pinned and trapped. One patient was a trauma code and transported to a local area hospital. Remaining two patient’s transported to another local area hospital with serious injuries.

• Pedestrian Struck at Crabbs Branch & Monona - 11 year old was struck by a vehicle. Patient transported to regional hospital.

• Motor Vehicle Crash at Rt 118 & Seneca Meadows - 4 patients involved. All 4 transported with minor to moderate injuries to local hospitals.

• Motor Vehicle Crash at Great Seneca Hwy & Richter Farm Rd – Fire Units arrived to find a crash involving a motorcycle. Patient transported to a local hospital with serious injuries.

Battalion 4 Incidents

• Natural Gas Explosion in the 11200 block of Ashley Drive. Fire Units arrived on scene to find a house completely destroyed. Two seriously injured adults taken to a local area hospital. Second Alarm was called for and dispatched. Total Loss well over $700K.

• House Fire in the 11100 block of Dewey Rd – Fire Units arrived on scene and found a fire that was already out in the basement. One person was burned and transported to burn center.

Battalion 5 Incidents

• Town House Fire in the 100 block of Misty Dale Way – Fire Units arrived on scene and found a small fire in the attic resulting from defective roof fan. Total loss of $20K.

• Hazardous Materials Incident in the 20300 block of Seneca Meadows Pkwy – Hazmat Unit called for small sulfuric acid spill. Hazmat Unit evaluated and mitigated with no injuries.

• Bus Crash at Stringtown/Frederick Roads – Fire Units found a MCPS bus involved in the crash. 12 patients with minor injuries were treated and transported to a local hospital.

• House Fire in the 24700 block of Etchison Dr – Fire Units arrived on scene and observed smoke coming from front door of home. Fire in the dryer and it was already out.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Charles Rd Fire This Morning

Some photos from the house fire this morning on Charles Road.  Most of the photos courtesy of Sergeant Alan Felsen of MCPD. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

O2 Fur Montgomery County Project At Saturday's Pet Fiesta

Stop by Wag'N Enterprises at booth number 59 at tomorrow's (Saturday) Pet Fiesta at the Reston Town Center 10:00am - 4:00pm to learn about the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Project, which aims to get all 36 stations equipped with pet oxygen masks. 

First responders need the masks and equipment to save pets and working K-9 dogs from smoke inhalation from fires or other emergencies.  Check out Wag’N at booth number 59 to learn what you can do to help save pets!

TGIF Safety Tip: Disaster Training Opportunities Available to the Public

This is not a safety tip per se but it relates to preparedness which can, ultimately, help keep you safe during disasters.  Please take a moment to review the below and click on the link.  A really unique and FREE on line training opportunity to help keep you and your loved ones prepared and safe!

Have a safe weekend!



In times of disaster, a trained and informed public is better prepared to protect themselves, their families, their workplace and their neighbors. This webinar will showcase several disaster training resources that are available in communities across the nation. FEMA recognizes that it takes a “whole community” approach to meet the needs of the public before, during and after a disaster. Learn how your community can train and educate its citizens to be better prepared and involved in your community’s disaster response and recovery efforts.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Home Safety Make Over

Last Saturday, April 30, the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS) partnered with Rebuilding Together Montgomery County (RTMC) and over 1,000 community volunteers to repair, rehabilitate and provide safety improvements in the homes of 31 low-income homeowners throughout Montgomery County.

MCFRS is equipped each of the homes with ten-year smoke alarms and other safety enhancements. A couple of photos from the day are below. Remember, working smoke alarms save lives!

Rebuilding America
MCFRS Senior Outreach Coordinator Matt Kelleher installing a smoke alarm.  Working smoke alarms save lives!
Rebuilding America
Captain Polikoff with members of Rebuilding America.  Members of Station 23 C-Shift are in the background.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Rockville Home Destroyed by Gas Explosion


Ashley Drive Incident Rockville - - Just before 3 a.m. today, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue was called to the 11200 block of Ashley Drive in Rockville for a report of a house explosion. Units arrived on the scene and found a single family rancher style home that was completely destroyed. Two adult occupants, one male and one female, were located at the rear of the residence under debris and were treated and transported to a local burn center. The adult male remains in serious condition and the female remains in serious condition with life threatening injuries.

Montgomery County Fire and Explosive Investigators report the explosion was caused by an improperly installed natural gas dryer. The explosion caused an estimated $750,000 damage to the structure and two adjacent homes. Debris from the home was distributed in a wide area surrounding the home.

ASHLEY DR IncidentSeventy-five fire and rescue personnel were on the scene for approximately 1 ½ hours. Investigators remained on the scene for an additional eight hours. Washington Gas and Pepco representatives were on the scene to assist with the incident and investigation.

Gas appliances should be installed by a licensed professional.

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MCFRS Significant Fire & EMS Incidents From April 25 through May 1

Battalion 1 Incidents

• BUILDING FIRE in the 900 block of Cannon Rd (CANNON ROAD ES) – Fire Units dispatched for a generator on fire outside of the school. No extension to the school.

• Pedestrian Struck Rt 193 @ Rt 29 - 1 adult male standing on the side walk struck by an out of control auto. Patient sustained traumatic injuries and was transported to a local hospital priority one by Medic Unit.

Battalion 2 Incidents

No significant incidents

Battalion 3 Incidents

Brighton Dam Rd 5• Vehicle Collision at North Bound 270 under Gude Drive – Fire Units dispatched for a collision involving a motorcycle with one trapped in the car. Both patients transported to area hospitals.

• Gas Leak in the 12600 block of Wisteria Dr - Fire Units responded to a reported gas leak in the restaurant. Fire Fighters arrived on scene and found open front door w/major gas leak. Units mitigated the leak & coordinated w/Office of Code Enforcement & Fire Explosive Investigation.

• HOUSE FIRE in the 13600 block of Straw Bale La. Fire Units arrived with nothing evident but a report of heavy smoke in the basement. Units found a freon leak from the HVAC unit in the basement. Freon was quickly evactuated and the structure ventilated until Freon detector showed the area to be safe. No loss or injuries.

• HOUSE FIRE in the 13500 block of Niagara Falls Ct – Fire Units arrived on the scene in front of the house no smoke or fire evident. Investigation in the back found that smoke was coming from the rear of the house. Fire Fighters worked to extinguish a fire in the void space between floors 1 and 2. Fire Explosive Investigation found fire started with an electrical short in a fan. Fire loss of $125K with no injuries but residents displaced.

Battalion 4 Incidents

• Fall From Window in the 14100 block of Grand Pre Rd. – Fire Units dispatched for a 4 year old male who fell from a four story window. Patient sustained traumatic injuries and flown by helicopter (Tropper2) to an area Hospital

• House Fire in the 3500 block of Pear Tree Court. Fire Units arrived on scene and found a fire in a bedroom of the home. Fire loss was $500K for the structure and $100K for the contents. There were no injuries and the cause is still under investigation.

Battalion 5 Incidents

• Vehicle Collision Redland Rd & Muncaster Mill Rd – Fire Units arrived on scene and found a two vehicle collision with one person trapped. Person extricated and both patients transported to a local hospital.

• Vehicle Collision on Airpark Rd 1/ 4 mile east of Muncaster Mill Rd – Fire Units arrived on scene and found a single vehicle into a light pole. One adult male trauma code transported to a local hospital.

• Fire Extinguished by Residential Fire Sprinkler in the 9 block of George St - Fire Units arrived on scene and found kitchen fire on the stove & extension to microwave w/ fire sprinkler activation. Fire loss $0 for the Structure and $500 for contents.

• Shooting in the 400 block of N. Summit Ave – Fire Units arrived on scene and found two persons who had been shot. One patient DOA and one adult female with life threatening injuries transported to a local hospital.

• House Fire in the 17700 block of Amity Drive – Fire Units dispatched for a report of a townhouse fire. Fire Fighters found a fire out on a mattress on 2nd floor. Loss of $2K to the structure and $500 to contents. There were no injuries.