Friday, September 30, 2011

High Point BBQ Battle to Benefit MDA

On Friday evening and Saturday October 14th and 15th, the Montgomery County Career Firefighters and the Montgomery County Career Officers will sponsor a BBQ competition and festival to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Friday evening's activity will begin at 5 p.m. and the Jay Henley and the Stonebroke Band will perform live from 7:30 p.m. until 10. There will be plenty of food and fun!

On Saturday October 15th from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., there will be food vendors, moon bounces, rock walls, and much more for the entire family.

We would like to invite any BBQ enthusiasts to sign up to compete. If you have ever wanted to, but never entered a competition, this is a great low stress opportunity. There is $1400 in prize money and a great time to hang out with friends around the grill. Please share this with all of your list friends.

Here is a link to the event and hope to see you there to help raise much needed funds for our family at MDA: http://www.highpointcatering.com/bbq-battle/index.html

Assistant Chief Scott Graham

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The End of a Trail Blazing Career Today


When Fire Fighter Pam Foltz stepped into the Glen Echo fire station almost 32 years ago, she did not think of herself as a trail blazer.  However, when she set foot in the station, she became the first career female fire fighter hired in Montgomery County.  As a matter of fact she was one of only 25 career female fire fighters nationwide!

Now, nearly 32 years later, Pam will be working her last shift on September 29 at Silver Spring Fire Station #1 far exceeding a promise she made to several fire department leaders, who gave her the opportunity, that she would work at least 25 years – which was the number of years required for full retirement.

Pam was inspired to join the fire service by several neighbors in her Fairfax County neighborhood who were volunteer fire fighters.  Back in the late 60’s and early 70’s many volunteer members would respond to calls for help directly from their home.  After watching this for many years, and interacting with the neighbors, Pam knew that “she just wanted to do this.”

After graduating from Falls Church High School, Pam went away to college and the hope was she would become a school teacher.  However the tug to become a fire fighter was too great and after returning home her first year she announced to her parents that she was quitting school to become a career fire fighter.  Reaction in the Foltz household was mixed as her Mom told her to “go get your dream” while Dad was just a little bit upset.

Pam then proceeded to apply to several area fire departments including DC, Arlington, Fairfax, and Montgomery County.  It was Montgomery County who called first and after successfully passing the physical agility test, she was eventually offered a position by Glen Echo.  Note: back then, each volunteer corporation hired their own career fire fighters to augment volunteer members who worked their regular jobs during the day.  It was then off to the Public Safety Training Academy (PSTA) where she trained with 14 other recruits from around the County.

At the PSTA Pam encountered a few obstacles.  Pam stated, “Unlike now, there were no female facilities at the PSTA to include bathrooms or locker rooms.  I could not shower and clean up after training fires like my male peers.  There was no place to store my clothes.  I went home each and every day very dirty and smelly and had to carry everything with me.”

It was there where she also learned that perhaps some of the male fire fighters were not too happy to have her around.  As Pam relays, “The instructors did not want me there.  Several members of a recruit class that had started a few weeks earlier let me know that the instructors were talking about trying to stoke the training fires to a point where it would maybe burn me just enough and thus, hopefully, would cause me to quit.  What they did not realize is that it actually made me even more determined to complete the training and stay on.”

Some of the challenges Pam faced when getting to the fire station included having to wear uniforms tailored for men and having to adhere to male grooming standards.  The leadership at Glen Echo came to her and gave her two options for sleeping arrangements when she was working the night shift – sleep in the same dorm room as the men or they would convert a small administrative office into her own personal dorm room.  In response, Pam stated that “she wanted to be treated just like everyone else,” and opted to sleep in one of the beds in the dorm room.

The challenges were not confined to the fire station and even Pam alone.  Pam was not the only unique, at the time, fire fighter assigned to the Glen Echo station.  Also there was the first African American fire fighter and the two become fast friends – a friendship that lasts to this day.  Pam recalled, “We would sometimes be on the ambulance together and the residents had really never seen a female or African American fire fighter.  There were actually times we would go knock on the door of the house that had requested help and the residents would refuse to let us in.”

As time went on, more female fire fighters joined the departments throughout the county and then the county as a whole in 1988 as all career fire fighters fell under one county department.  Asked what has changed over 32 years for women Pam mentioned, “Montgomery County was actually very progressive for the time.  Female tailored clothing was provided, the PSTA built a female locker room, female grooming standards were developed, and overall guidelines and standards were developed related to female fire fighters.  Many fire departments from across the country that had just begun to hire women fire fighters actually sought out Montgomery County for advice and guidelines.”

When asked about mentors considering she was a rare breed when she first started, Pam identified several male fire fighters who really believed in her and helped her tremendously.  Now retired members Lt. Dicky Arnold, Lt. Dan Irvine (whose son is a current MCFRS member), and Fire Fighter Mike Simmons were a few to come to mind.  Pam also credits then Glen Echo Chief Tappen with getting her to network with other female fire fighters from across the country by paying her way to attend a then relatively new organization called Women in the Fire Service.

So what got her through the rough times and led her to such a long and rewarding career?  Pam states that, “One big key was to pick and choose my battles.  I was mainly able to let a lot of stuff just roll off my back and I moved on.  Did not complain or whine.  That was huge!  Adaptability was another big one.  The combination of both really helped me with my male peers which led to a very tight-knit and supportive family like group.”

And one big one was the earlier mentioned promise she made to several then fire service leaders all of whom are now deceased.  “I would like to think they would be very, very proud of me today,” said Pam.

One highlight of Pam’s career came in the late ‘90’s when one day, at Silver Spring Station #1, there were 5 female fire fighters on duty at once!  The topper was the ladder truck that particular day had an all female crew which Pam suspects was the first time something like that had every occurred.

When asked what she would miss most Pam stated without hesitation, “The people I work with!  I will also miss going on emergency calls and the fact that every new shift was something different.  No two days were ever alike.”

As for future plans, Pam indicated that “I am going to take some time to get to know myself a little bit better.  Take time off for me and perhaps do some travelling.  My parents are also elderly and have medical issues so I plan to spend some time with them as well.”

Congratulations Pam on a trail blazing career!  You are a pioneer and one many women in the fire service today here in Montgomery County, as well as across the country, owe a bit of gratitude too.

Driving in Fog - Safety Tips


The below is from Weather.com and I thought it appropriate for this mornings commute.

Stay Safe - Bill


Fog can be thought of as a cloud at ground level. It forms when the temperature drops to the dew point (the temperature at which air is saturated), and invisible water vapor in the air condenses to form suspended water droplets. Fog can reduce visibility to 1/4 mile or less, creating hazardous driving conditions. If you can't postpone your trip until dense fog lifts -- usually by late morning or the afternoon -- follow these tips:

* Drive with lights on low beam. High beams will only be reflected back off the fog and actually impair visibility even more.

* Reduce your speed -- and watch your speedometer. Fog creates a visual illusion of slow motion when you may actually be speeding.

* Listen for traffic you cannot see. Open your window a little, to hear better.

* Use wipers and defrosters as necessary for maximum visibility.

* Use the right edge of the road or painted road markings as a guide.

* Be patient. Do not pass lines of traffic.

* Do not stop on a freeway or heavily traveled road. If your car stalls or becomes disabled, turn your vehicle's lights off, and take your foot off of the brake pedal. People tend to follow tail lights when driving in fog. Move away from the vehicle to avoid injury.

Sources: National Weather Service, Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

News Advisory - Montgomery County’s First Female Firefighter Retiring after 32 Years


Firefighter Pam Foltz Proves She Has The Right Stuff   

Rockville - - -  The Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service has grown over the years. In 1979, Pam Foltz made history when she became the first woman in Montgomery County to successfully complete recruit school and became a career firefighter. At the time, the department had no policy for maternity leave, uniforms and gear were tailored for men, firehouse living quarters and locker rooms were not designed for women and only male grooming standards existed. However, that’s all changed in the 32 years that Firefighter Foltz has been putting out fires and taking the heat. Montgomery County quickly made changes to accommodate the changing workforce and developed standards and guidelines that were ultimately viewed as a model by  fire departments around the Country. 

Breaking the barrier into a male-dominated field and motivated by the desire to save lives, Foltz left college and a promising future as a school teacher to become a career firefighter.  After three decades on the job, she is hanging up her gear for the final time on Wednesday and retiring.  “It’s been a great career. The fire service has changed and the culture has changed,” said Firefighter Foltz. “I think of the many mentors I have had over the years, many of them now deceased, and would like to think that they would be very proud of me and where we are today.” 

Always viewed as a progressive department, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service and Firefighter Foltz have seen both the image of fire fighting and the culture of the fire service slowly transform. With only 6,000 of the nation’s 300,000 full-time firefighters female, Firefighter Foltz has worked hard to change stereotypes associated with the career. While she 

faced many challenges right out of recruit school, she is proud to have forged ahead and to see women making strides, moving up the ranks and climbing the ladder of success. A memorably moment came in her career came in the late 1990’s when she arrived at work at Station 1 in Silver Spring and there was an all-female crew on duty, which she believes was the first time something like that had ever occurred.  
“It’s becoming less of an eye-opener when a little girl says she wants to be a firefighter or EMT when she grows up,” said Fire Chief Richard Bowers. “I think women like Firefighter Foltz have opened that door and blazed the trail and that’s a win-win for the department and the community.” 

Well-wishers are invited to stop by and wish Firefighter Foltz well on her last shift:
                               Thursday, September 29, 2011
                               10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
                               Fire Station One
                               8110 Georgia Avenue
                               Silver Spring, MD

                                                                        # # # 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Firefighter Pipes & Drums Plays For Wounded Warrior’s


On Wednesday, September 21, 2011 members of the Montgomery County Fire Fighters Pipes and Drums assisted with "Marines Helping Marines"  http://www.marineshelpingmarines.org/ entertain Wounded Warrior's at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (AKA Navy Med. Hospital). 

An honor and privilege for all pipe and drum members involved.   


Photos Courtesy of Montgomery County Fire Fighters Pipes and Drums

Driving in Fog - Safety Tips

The below is from Weather.com and I thought it appropriate for this mornings commute.


Stay Safe - Bill



Fog can be thought of as a cloud at ground level. It forms when the temperature drops to the dew point (the temperature at which air is saturated), and invisible water vapor in the air condenses to form suspended water droplets. Fog can reduce visibility to 1/4 mile or less, creating hazardous driving conditions. If you can't postpone your trip until dense fog lifts -- usually by late morning or the afternoon -- follow these tips:

* Drive with lights on low beam. High beams will only be reflected back off the fog and actually impair visibility even more.

* Reduce your speed -- and watch your speedometer. Fog creates a visual illusion of slow motion when you may actually be speeding.

* Listen for traffic you cannot see. Open your window a little, to hear better.

* Use wipers and defrosters as necessary for maximum visibility.

* Use the right edge of the road or painted road markings as a guide.

* Be patient. Do not pass lines of traffic.

* Do not stop on a freeway or heavily traveled road. If your car stalls or becomes disabled, turn your vehicle's lights off, and take your foot off of the brake pedal. People tend to follow tail lights when driving in fog. Move away from the vehicle to avoid injury.

Sources: National Weather Service, Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Learn Your Address - An Activity for Kids!

Houses have numbers instead of names. Firefighters and police use those numbers to find houses in an emergency so they can help you. The number you see on the front of your house is your home's first name. The street name or number is your home's last name. The home's first name and last name together make up your address. This house's first name is: 5677 (first) Piringer Street SW (last).

Instructions

Adobe PDF Download (PDF, 160 Kb) and print this page and have a grown up write your house's name (address) on the lines below. Read it out loud.
House with the number 5677 located on Piringer Street Southwest
First Name (House number) -


Last Name (Street) -


Now copy your address. Color the house above the same colors as your home.






Help us help you - please make sure your house numbers are visible from the street and help your child learn his/her address and phone number. Hang this sheet up near your phone while your child is learning.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Morning Equipment Check


The below video is courtesy of Fire Fighter Robert Evans III as he was conducting a morning equipment check of Engine 726 recently. 

Each and every morning at every County fire station, our Fire Fighters check out the fire trucks and their tools to make sure they are in proper working order.  We want to make sure we are always prepared to help when you need us!

In the video, Fire Fighter Evans is showing us just a small piece of what he, as the Engine driver, checks out in the morning.  Have to make sure those lights and sirens are in working order!  Obviously, there is a whole lot more he checks out.  

video

Monday, September 19, 2011

It’s Child Passenger Safety Week! Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Child Passenger Safety


What is Montgomery County's law regarding car seat use?
Montgomery County does not have its own car seat law. We follow Maryland law which currently states that children must ride in a child restraint system until they are at least eight years old, unless they are 65 pounds or 4'9" before their eighth birthday. Maryland law states that the child restraint has to be federally approved and used correctly. Booster seats are considered child restraints, as well as infant seats, convertible seats and forward-facing seats.
What do I do if I need help getting a car seat?
If you live in Montgomery County and qualify, there is a voucher program that will provide a car seat for your child for $25.00. Call 240-777-2467 for any questions regarding eligibility. Once you have a voucher for a car seat, MCFRS will teach you how to install and use it properly at a scheduled car seat appointment.
When can my child ride in a car and just use the seat belts?
Most children are between 8 to 12 years old before they can safely ride in just a seat belt alone, unless they are 4 feet 9 inches tall. Click here to view PDF and find out if your child properly fits in a seat belt. When a child can safely ride with just a lap and shoulder belt depends on the vehicle. It is not uncommon for children to be able to ride safely in one family vehicle with the seat belt and not in another one.
When is my child allowed to ride in the front seat of my car?
Maryland's law does not state a child can't ride in the front seat (except for rear-facing infants in a car with active airbags-this is against instructions, very dangerous and illegal), however, it is strongly recommended by all safety experts that children ride in the back seat until they are teenagers. Age 12 and under should ride in the back seat. Children are 40% less likely to be seriously injured or killed in the back seat than the front seat.
When should I turn my child forward-facing?
Children should ride rear facing as long as possible, usually up to at least 18 to 24 months. Infant-only seats usually are rated for use up to 22 pounds and convertible seats can be used rear facing up to 30 to 45 pounds. The longer a child rides rear facing the safer they are.
How soon can my child use a booster seat?
Children should not ride in a booster seat until they are over 35 to 40 pounds and behave well enough to sit still in a booster seat with a lap-shoulder belt. Generally, children are at least 3 to 4 years old before they should ride in a booster seat.
How does one get certified to be a car seat technician?
In order to become a certified technician one must successfully complete a NHTSA standardized certification class that lasts approximately four days. Contact the program manager at 240-777-2467 for information about upcoming classes in Montgomery County. Classes are held every other month.
Will MCFRS come to my school/church/Day Care Center and organize a car seat check?
MCFRS conducts car seat checks eighteen hours a week among three different locations. Due to limited availability of certified technicians at other times, it is not usually possible to come to additional sites. Contact the program manager if you have specific requests.
Why is there a wait for a car seat appointment?
It is not unusual for MCFRS to receive fifty or more calls in a single day requesting a car seat appointment. With the available technicians, we can only schedule approximately 500 appointments each month. We make every effort to return your calls and meet your appointment needs as promptly as possible. We schedule appointments three weekdays and one evening each week, as well as three Saturdays a month.
What do I do if I need an appointment right away and there are none available for a week or more?
All car seats come with instruction manuals, as well as toll free numbers to reach the manufacturer. If you read and follow the instructions you should be able to safely use the seat until the next appointment is available. Call the MCFRS car seat hotline number (240-777-2222 to find other locations in the area that check car seats.
Is there anything special I need to know if I have a premature or smaller baby?
It is important to read the weight and height requirements on your infant seat. Some infant seats are rated for use from 4 to 22 pounds and others require a child to be at least 5 pounds. If you are anticipating a smaller newborn, get one of the car seats rated for use starting at 4 pounds. Sometimes newborns have a medical need to lie flat. If this is the case, your physician will suggest using a car bed. MCFRS has a supply of car beds for loaner use when this is necessary.
Are there any websites you suggest for additional child passenger safety information?

Do you also install car seats or just inspect them?
Our program wants to educate you about your car seat during your appointment. The more you have done ahead of time to prepare, the better your learning experience will be. We suggest that you try to read your car seat owner's manual and attempt to install your car seat before your appointment. Regardless of how your seat arrives, you will leave with a properly installed car seat and will know how to properly secure a child in it.
Is there a charge for this service?
There is not a charge for your appointment and we want to keep it that way for everyone. The funding for this program is limited due to reduced grant funding and minimal staff, so if you wish to help the program purchase seats for families in need or inspection supplies, donations can be made and are always appreciated. You will receive information about how to make a donation in the packet of materials you receive at your appointment. All donations go directly towards program costs.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Blood Drive in Memory of Fire Fighters Carlos Alfaro Jr. and Sr.




Blood Drive in memory of fire fighters Carlos Alfaro Jr. and Sr.

Sunday, October 24 16th 8 AM to 2 PM
Fire Station 16 
111 University Blvd. E. Silver Spring, MD

Save Lives, Donate Blood... we appreciate a call to confirm an appointment with Steve Mann, 301-440-9294







Thursday, September 15, 2011

Firefighters Going Door-to-Door in White Oak Neighborhood This Morning


This morning, Thursday, September 15, 2011, between 10 AM – 12 PM local fire-rescue crews from the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service will be going door-to-door in the neighborhood, 11400 block of December Way, where a large fire occurred very early this morning. Uniformed firefighters will be handing out fire and injury prevention information, offering to check smoke alarms and replacing batteries or smoke alarms if needed.

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. Fire Chief Richard Bowers notes, “The simplest thing a family can do to protect themselves from fire is to have working smoke alarms, on every level of their home, and to have a fire escape plan.”

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

News Advisory: Montgomery County Employees Federal Credit Union Makes Generous Donation to Firefighter’s Breast Cancer Charity


IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  September 14, 2011  
 
Check it Out!
Montgomery County Employees Federal Credit Union Makes Generous
Donation to Firefighter’s Breast Cancer Charity 

Rockville - - The Montgomery County Employees Federal Credit Union (MC EFCU) will present a check to Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service Firefighter Marshall Moneymaker for his charity that supports efforts to raise awareness about breast cancer. Firefighter Moneymaker has become a steadfast champion to the breast cancer community and has dedicated much of his off-duty time to raising awareness about the importance of early detection and raising funds to find a cure after he lost three sisters to the disease.

The MC EFCU learned of his story and kicked off a two-month campaign to raise funds to support his efforts and advocacy. The generous donation was the result of a credit card campaign in which $50 was donated for each new account opened. Officials will present a check for $4,000 to Moneymaker’s charity “For 3 Sisters” on Thursday, September 15th.  

Where:   Montgomery County Employees Federal Credit Union
   19785 Crystal Rock Drive, Suite 201
   Germantown, MD 20874

When:    Thursday, September 15th at 2:00 p.m.       


                                                                        # # # 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Firefighter Rescues Child from Burning House - Update


IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  September 13, 2011  
 
Firefighter Rescues Child from Burning House - Update

Rockville - - Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service rescued a 10-year-old boy from a burning house in the 200 block of Elizabeth Avenue in Rockville this  yesterday morning. Firefighters were dispatched at 0727 for the report of a house fire. First-arriving units encountered heavy smoke and fire from the structure. Firefighters rushed in and pulled an unconscious child from the burning house to safety. A waiting medic unit transported the 10-year-old to a local specialty center where the child remains with critical injuries.

More than 45 firefighters responded to the fire at the height of operations.  Fire Investigators on the scene conducted an origin and cause investigation. An examination of the scene revealed a fire that remained contained to the room of origin. The kitchen housed the washer and dryer. The fire originated in the electrical wiring feeding the electric dryer. The fire is listed as accidental and was caused by an unknown malfunction or failure of the 220 electrical plug/outlet to the dryer. The estimated damage is nearly $125, 000.

Montgomery County Firefighters will be conducting an “After the Fire” door-to-door outreach campaign in an effort to check smoke alarms and talk to residents about fire safety.

                                                                        # # # 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Firefighter Rescues Child from Burning House


IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  September 12, 2011
 
Firefighter Rescues Child from Burning House

Rockville - - Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service rescued a 10-year-old boy from a burning house in the 200 block of Elizabeth Avenue in Rockville this morning. Firefighters were dispatched at 0727 for the report of a house fire. First-arriving units encountered heavy smoke and fire from the structure. Firefighters rushed in and pulled an unconscious child from the burning house to safety. A waiting medic unit transported the 10-year-old to a local specialty center with critical, life-threatening injuries.

More than 45 firefighters responded to the fire at the height of operations.  Fire Investigators are on the scene and are conducting an origin and cause investigation.

Montgomery County Firefighters will be conducting an “After the Fire” door-to-door outreach  effort in the neighborhood to check smoke alarms and talk to residents about fire safety.


                                                                        # # # 

Outdoor Sport Coaches Play it Safe! If You Hear Thunder, You and Your Players Are in Danger!

During my off hours I happen to coach youth travel soccer for a soccer club in the metro area. Needless to say, the weather over the last couple of weeks has made practices and games difficult to get in.

What has really shocked me (no pun intended as you read on) is the wide spread lack of knowledge as it relates to thunderstorms and the inherent dangers associated with said storms by parents, coaches, and game officials.  This is especially true as it relates to the sound of thunder with no apparent sign of lightning in the sky.  Parents, coaches, and game officials do not seem to understand that if you can hear thunder, both the children and you are in harms way of a potential lightning strike.

This exact situation occurred yesterday in a U10 girl’s soccer game I was observing.  The sky was getting dark and then we heard what we thought was thunder.  We were not 100% sure but any doubt was erased maybe 30 seconds later when a very clear and loud crack of thunder was heard.  We began to evacuate our clubs U10 players and informed the referee and the other teams’ coaches that play needed to be suspended and all should seek immediate shelter until the threat passed.  Both the coaches, the referee, and the parents seemed upset at this and repeatedly pointed out they had not observed lightning.  At the end of the day, they reluctantly agreed if only because our girls were already on the way to shelter.

The storm passed, the teams waited the appropriate number of minutes and play resumed though the other coaches, parents, and referee were very annoyed with our clubs actions.

I have also observed similar types of situations and behavior over the last few weeks at various area soccer tournaments.  Which leads me to share the below information with all of you.  No matter the outdoor sport and whether you are a coach, parent, game or league official, I hope that you take time to review the below brochure from our friends at The National Weather Service.  I hope that all of you take heed and take appropriate steps to act appropriately if confronted with the sound of thunder or the sight of lightning and keep our kids (and you) safe!

Stay Safe,

Bill Delaney
Program Manager - Community Safety Education & Social Media
Office of the Fire Chief
Montgomery County Fire & Rescue
   

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Do Not Let The Sunny Skies Fool You! Potomac River/C & O Canal Still Dangerous This Weekend


Below is a statement from Assistant Chief Graham warning about the dangers of hiking, biking, or canoeing/kayaking along the Potomac River/C&O Canal this weekend.  Just because it is no longer raining does not mean the danger from flooding or hidden debris is still not present.  The river is expected to rise even further this weekend!  Do not let the sunny skies fool you!!!!

Please listen and heed the advice below.  Help us to prevent folks from having to make the 9-1-1 call.  Please spread this safety message to all you know.


Friday, September 9, 2011

September 11th Reminders - From Alert Montgomery


This weekend will mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the United States that occurred on September 11, 2001. Residents of Montgomery County may be aware of warnings issued by federal, state, and local agencies regarding potential attacks that may occur during this time. Police Chief J. Thomas Manger would like to assure residents that the Montgomery County Department of Police has plans in place to address needs as they occur. The police department would like to remind our residents of ways that they can assist in preventing future acts of terrorism.

“See Something Say Something”

The Montgomery County Department of Police joins our federal and local partners in the “See Something Say Something” campaign. The campaign is a simple and effective program developed to raise public awareness of indicators of terrorism, crime, and other threats and to emphasize the importance of reporting suspicious activity to the proper transportation and law enforcement authorities. Remember that the suspicious activity does not need to be criminal in nature to report it to the Montgomery County Police.

A video entitled The 7 Signs of Terrorism, regarding terrorism awareness can be viewed
at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/police. The seven signs are listed below:

1. Surveillance: Recording or monitoring activities. May include drawing diagrams, note taking, use of cameras, binoculars or other vision-enhancing devices, or possessing floor plans or blueprints of key facilities.

2. Elicitation: Attempts to obtain operation, security, and personnel-related information regarding a key facility. May be made by mail, fax, e-mail, telephone, or in person.

3. Tests of Security: Attempts to measure reaction times to security breaches or to penetrate physical security barriers or procedures in order to assess strengths and weaknesses.

4. Acquiring Supplies: Attempts to improperly acquire items that could be used in a terrorist act. May include the acquisition of explosives, weapons, harmful chemicals, flight manuals, law enforcement or military equipment, uniforms, identification badges, or the equipment to manufacture false identification.

5. Suspicious Persons: Someone who does not appear to belong in a workplace, neighborhood or business establishment due to his/her behavior, including unusual questions or statements he/she make.

6. Dry Runs/Trial Runs: Behavior that appears to be preparation for a terrorist act without actually committing the act. Activity could include mapping out routes and determining the timing of traffic lights and flow.

7. Deploying Assets: Placing people, equipment, and supplies into position to commit the act. This is the last opportunity to alert authorities before the terrorist act occurs.

Montgomery County residents are encouraged to contact the police if they observe suspicious situations by calling 9-1-1 or the non-emergency line at 301-279-8000.

Sent to All users (E-mail accounts) through Alert Montgomery
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Water Rescues And Photos


As I am sure many of you can imagine, MCFRS personnel responded to several water related incidents yesterday as the area was getting hammered by torrential rains. 

Below, we are providing some photos from a couple of these incidents.  One was for an inland water rescue at Mercy Hollow La & Bradley Blvd.  MCFRS units rescued an adult female after her auto was washed-off a flooded roadway. 

A short time later, units responded for an inland water rescue in the 9300 block of Kendale Rd.  There our personnel rescued an adult male from an auto stalled in a flooded roadway. 

Click on the photos below and it will take you to our Flickr site for more photos.

The danger of flooded roadways is NOT over!  Please remember, anytime you come across a flooded roadway: Turn Around - Don’t Drown and try an alternate route!
                                                                                                                                                                   
Bradley Blvd. Courtesy of MCFRS
Kendale Rd. Courtesy of MCFRS

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Road and Intersection Closures Due to Flooding

Roads Closed Due to Flooding
From Nat'l Weather Service/NOAA

1. Kensington Pkwy - Beach Dr. To 495 Bridge
2. Comus Rd. - Peach Tree Rd. To Frederick County line
3. Greentree Rd. - Fernwood Rd. To Friars Rd
4. Quince Orchard Rd. - Horse Center Dr. To Hidden Brook
5. Kendale Dr. - Kentsdale Rd. To Bradley Blvd.
6. Old Baltimore Rd - Clarksburg Rd To Ten Mile Creek Rd
7. 15000 - 15400 Block of W Willard Road
8. 13000 - 13600 Block of Rileys Lock Road
9. 14200 Block of Berryville Rd.

Intersection Closures due to Flooding
  1. Barnes Rd and Clarksburg Rd
  2. Barnesville Rd and Mt. Ephraim Rd.
  3. Bay Tree La and Bent Branch Rd.
  4. Bay Tree La and Mohican Rd.
  5. Bethesda Church Rd. and Clarksburg Rd.
  6. Blunt Rd. and Neelsville Church Rd.
  7. Blunt Rd. and Scenery Dr.
  8. Blunt Rd. and Watkins Mill Rd.
  9. Brandon Way Rd. and Riffle Ford Rd.
  10. Game Preserve Rd. and I-270
  11. Locbury Dr. and Waters Rd.
  12. Locbury Dr. and Wisteria Dr.
  13. Mohican Rd. and Bent Branch Rd.
  14. Neelsville Church Rd. and Watkins Mill Rd.  

Updated Road closure list


Beach Dr. – from Knowles Ave. and Stoneybrook Road

Beach Dr - from East-West Hwy. and Porter Street NW

Laytonsville Road Rd. before Roacky Road

25400 Block of Hundred Road (MD 109)

Bradley Blvd. – from seven locks road and kentsdale rd.

Game Preserve Road – from Kentsdale rd. and Bradley Blvd
Kensington Pkwy - from Beach Dr. to 495 bridge

Comus Rd. - from Peach Tree Rd. to Frederick county line

Greentree Rd. - from Fernwood Rd. to Friars Rd

Quince Orchard Rd. - from Horse Center Dr. to Hidden brook

Kendale Dr. - from Kentsdale Rd. to Bradley Blvd.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Flooding Possible - Are You Ready? Tips and List of Roads That Flood.

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 later today through early tomorrow as a storm system 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 cannot 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!

ROADS IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY SUBJECT TO PERIODIC FLOODING:
DOWN-COUNTY AREAS

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
UP-COUNTY AREAS

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

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hazardous Weather Outlook

National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather outlook that includes Montgomery County. This afternoon and tonight showers and thunderstorms will continue. Thunderstorms will have the potential to produce locally heavy rainfall and prolific lightening. Isolated thunderstorms may become severe producing large hail.

Showers and thunderstorms may produce very heavy rainfall Monday and Tuesday as tropical moisture interacts with a slow-moving cold front. Flash flooding may result. Heavy precipitation and potential flooding could last well into next week.

Sent to Montgomery County Severe Weather (E-mail accounts, Cell phones) through Alert Montgomery

Thursday, September 1, 2011

News Advisory: Back to School Safety Tips - Cell Phones and Driving DON’T Mix

Cell Phones and Driving DON’T Mix
Sign off before you drop off and hang up before you pick up

Rockville - - - Children across the region are heading back to school and Fire Chief Richie Bowers is asking drivers to exercise extra caution as the school year begins. “With schools back in session, drivers should take extra time to be on the look-out for kids at intersections and in roadways,”said Chief Bowers. “Additionally, as a matter of safety and compliance with laws, drivers are reminded to put their cell phones down and refrain from talking or texting while driving.”

For Drivers

• Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings. Put down your phone and don’t talk or text while driving.

• All passengers should wear a seat belt and/or an age and size-appropriate car safety seat or booster seat.

• All children younger than 13 years of age should ride in the back seat of vehicles. If you must drive more children than can fit in the back seat (i.e., for example, when carpooling) move the front-seat passenger’s seat as far back as possible.

• Be watchful for bus riders. For many children this may be the first time they have ridden a bus.

• Exercise extra caution as you head out to work and be on the watch for school buses. Many bus routes or schedules change each year, and you may encounter a school bus where you have never seen one before.

• School Zones: Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods and around schools.

• Slow down: Be alert to children as you back out of your driveway or exit your garage.

• Safety on the road is especially important for “new” drivers that may be driving to school for the first time.

Reminders for Parents and Children

• Be realistic about your child’s pedestrian skills. Children are not always aware of their surroundings and may dart into traffic assuming drivers will see and stop for them. Carefully consider whether your child is ready to walk to school or wait for the bus without adult supervision.

• Children should cross the street with an adult until they are at least 10 years old.

• Always cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.

• Bus riders need to make sure they always walk in front of the bus where the driver can see them.

• Always look both ways before crossing the street and never enter streets from between parked cars or from behind shrubbery.

• If traveling to school by bike, obey the rules of the road and wear a helmet! Not only is it the smart thing to do, it is also the law in Maryland.

• Be a good neighbor. Respect private property and always be on your best behavior while waiting for the bus.

School Bus Safety – What Motorists Should Know

All drivers need to stop when the lights on school buses are flashing. Drivers should be aware Maryland law states that vehicles must come to a complete stop on both sides of the street if there is no physical divider or barrier. Drivers who pass the bus before all lights have ceased flashing may face the following consequences:

- Drivers who pass school buses while the lights are flashing will receive a citation that carries a maximum fine of $570 and a 3-point penalty.

- Drivers who stop but then proceed while the lights are flashing will receive a citation that carries a maximum fine of $570 and a 2-point penalty.

Home Alone

Parents need to carefully consider the pros and cons of having a child stay home alone before/after school. Be familiar with laws and child protective policies in your jurisdiction and, because children mature at different rates, your decision should not be based on age alone. Children should master important safety skills before staying home alone. Be sure to make and practice a home fire escape plan that includes a designated “safe” area outside where everyone will meet if the smoke alarm sounds, ensure they know when and how to call 9-1-1 in an emergency and unattended cooking continues to be the leading cause of home fires in Montgomery County. Firefighters strongly recommend having after school snacks on hand that do not require cooking and that children only use kitchen appliances while under close adult supervision. Additional safety tips can be found on our website at mcfrs.org/mcsafe. For the law in Maryland:

Section 5-801 provides:

(a) A person who is charged with the care of a child under the age of 8 years may not allow the child to be locked or confirmed in a dwelling, building, enclosure or motor vehicle while the person charged is absent and the dwelling, building, enclosure or motor vehicle is out of the sight of the person charged unless the person charged provides a reliable person at least 13 years old to remain with the child to protect the child.

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