Sunday, September 30, 2012

Volunteer Firefighter Of The Year Award

By: Lieutenant Sam Villani

Every year the Montgomery County Volunteer Fire/ Rescue Association bestows the  George Hillard Award for Firefighter of the Year to the Volunteer Firefighter that exemplifies excellence and dedication. Master Firefighter Robert ‘RJ’ James from Rockville Volunteer Fire Department received this distinction for 2012. Master Firefighter James was recognized for his dedication to training, including his design and development of forcible entry props and drills.

Well done RJ!


Friday, September 28, 2012

The 2nd Annual High Point BBQ Battle To Benefit The Muscular Dystrophy Association

Please plan on coming out to High Point Farm on October 12 - 13 for the 2nd Annual High Point BBQ Battle to help raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

High Point Catering, in cooperation with the Montgomery County Career Firefighters Association, the Montgomery County Career Officers Association, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association, is sponsoring this fun filled two-day fundraising event. 

For more information, please go here: 2nd Annual High Point Farm BBQ Battle

High Point Farm Event Flyer

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

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).


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 25, 2012

Keeping the Community Safe One Home at a Time

As some of you are aware, each Saturday the women and men of Montgomery County Fire and Rescue go door to door in their various communities handing out fire safety tips as well as offering to check smoke alarms to ensure they are working. Having working smoke alarms in your home/apartment can help you and your loved ones escape a deadly home fire by providing a vital early warning.

If during the check we find a smoke alarm is not functioning, we take immediate steps to correct this life safety issue by installing a new battery and/or smoke alarm.

The door to door program was initiated by Fire Chief Richard Bowers three years ago after a tragic year in which we lost 13 of our fellow residents in home/apartment fires. That, sadly, was our largest one year loss of life in over 30 years! In many instances there were no working smoke alarms in the home/apartment.

Below, you will find the number of homes we have visited over the last three years. Pretty impressive!

Grand Totals since program implementation through August 2012:

Homes Visited:                       44,870
Smoke Alarms Installed:        1,469
Batteries Installed:                  1,630

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Happy First Day Of Fall And The Start Of Home Heating Fire Season!

Fall has been in the air this past week and today it is officially here!  With the cooler air also comes the start of home heating fire season!

Did you know that heating fires are the second leading cause of fires in the home?  Take a moment to learn more in the below report from the US Fire Administration.

The good news is that they are mostly preventable incidents!  Take steps now to get your home ready and to make it a bit safer!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Parents Still Making Five Common Mistakes When Using Car Seats

Note to Parents: Give Child Car Seats an Annual Checkup

Montgomery County, Maryland – Parents are making five critical, but fixable, mistakes when using car seats, according to new data announced today by Safe Kids Worldwide and the General Motors Foundation. With so many safety features now available in both cars and car seats, parents are urged to make sure their kids are getting every advantage by taking the time to do a 15-minute at-home annual checkup.

Seventy-three percent of car seats are not being used correctly. To find out why, Safe Kids analyzed data from more than 100,000 car seat inspections done by certified technicians conducted through its Buckle Up Program, a national initiative established in 1997 by Safe Kids and supported by General Motors and the General Motors Foundation to keep children and families safe in and around cars.

"Motor vehicle crashes remain a leading killer of children ages one to thirteen," said Fire Chief Richard Bowers. "Montgomery County, led by the fire and rescue service, has been committed for years to helping keep children safe from injury by making child safety seat inspections available. I would encourage everyone to take a couple of minutes today to review these important safety tips. Bottom line, lives are depending on it.”      

The data revealed that parents and caregivers have some work to do to ensure their children are restrained properly. Five safety steps every parent should take include keeping their children in rear-facing car seats for as long as possible, ideally until age two, selecting the correct seat for the weight, height or age of the child, tightening the harness enough and knowing when to let kids ride in the front seat.

“Correctly used child safety seats can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71 percent,” said Emilie Crown, Safe Kids Coalition for Montgomery County. “Engineers are working hard to ensure cars and car seats are designed to keep kids as safe as possible. But it’s up to every parent to take full advantage of these innovations by making sure car seats are used and installed correctly. Safe Kids and the General Motors Foundation are teaming up to show them how.”

In a nationwide effort to educate parents about the importance of car seat safety during Child Passenger Safety Week (September 16-22), Safe Kids and the General Motors Foundation are asking every parent to take 15 minutes for an at-home car seat checkup using the Safe Kids downloadable checklist.

Car Seat Checkup Checklist

ð       Right Seat. This is an easy one. Check the label on your car seat to make sure it’s appropriate for your child’s age, weight and height. Like milk, your car seat has an expiration date. Just double check the label on your car seat to make sure it is still safe. 

ð       Right Place. Kids are VIPs, just ask them. We know all VIPs ride in the back seat so keep all children in the back seat until they are 13. 

ð       Right Direction. You want to keep your child in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible, usually until around age 2. When he or she outgrows the seat, move your child to a forward-facing car seat. Make sure to attach the top tether after you tighten and lock the seat belt or lower anchors. Continue to use a booster seat until your child properly fits in the seat belt, usually when they are between the ages of 8 and 12.

ð       Inch Test. Once your car seat is installed, give it a good shake at the base. Can you move it more than an inch side to side or front to back? A properly installed seat will not move more than an inch.

ð       Pinch Test. Make sure the harness is tightly buckled and coming from the correct slots (check car seat manual). Now, with the chest clip placed at armpit level, pinch the strap at your child’s shoulder. If you are unable to pinch any excess webbing, you’re good to go.   

The at-home checklist is meant to be a first step. Parents are encouraged to read the vehicle and car seat instruction manuals to help with the checklist. Parents are also encouraged to bring their car, car seat and child to a Safe Kids Buckle Up event in their area. Safe Kids will host more than 500 car seat inspection events across the country throughout September. Montgomery County hosts five seat check events every week of the year. Visit our website at or for more information.

“There is nothing more important than the safety of our children, and we’re encouraged by the progress that is being made,” said Mike Robinson, Vice President, Sustainability and Global Regulatory Affairs for General Motors. “To ensure that our children – our most precious cargo – are safe in cars, we recommend parents take 15 minutes to check their child’s car seat annually. Our children visit the doctor every year for an annual check-up, we need to give their car seats an annual check-up, too. This quick checkup could save a life.”

For parents who want additional information, assistance or to schedule an appointment should  contact the Montgomery County Safe Kids coalition for opportunities to have your car seat checked by a certified technician. You can find information at

About the Safe Kids Montgomery Coalition
Safe Kids Montgomery works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the number one cause of death for children in the United States. Safe Kids Montgomery is composed of leaders of the community including representatives from fire and rescue, law enforcement, hospital partners, the Poison Control Center, nurses, the school system and other County government agencies. Safe Kids Montgomery is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids Montgomery is led by the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service. For more information, visit

About the General Motors Foundation
Since its inception in 1976, the GM Foundation has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to American charities, educational organizations and to disaster relief efforts worldwide. The GM Foundation focuses on supporting Education, Health and Human Services, Environment and Energy and Community Development initiatives, mainly in the communities where GM operates. Funding of the GM Foundation comes solely from GM. The last contribution to the GM Foundation was made in 2001. For more information, visit

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Are You Sure Your Child Is In The Right Car Seat?

As was posted here yesterday, this week is Child Passenger Safety Week! The theme: Is Your Child In The Right Car Seat? Please take a moment to watch the very brief video below from our friends at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  With the video in mind, do you feel you need to have a car seat installed/checked /inspected? Montgomery County residents may click here to schedule an appointment.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

It’s Child Passenger Safety Week! Is Your Child In The Right Car Seat?

Hopefully everyone is aware that this week is Child Passenger Safety Week!  Did you know that car crashes are the number ONE killer of children ages 1 - 12 in the U.S?  A sad fact!

We want to make sure that all of our kids are riding in the correct car/booster seat to ensure maximum safety and well being.  Our friends at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have some great information regarding kids and car seats on their web site: Child Passenger Safety

If you have a young child PLEASE take a moment to review this potential life saving information!

As well, please visit our MCFRS Child Passenger Safety web site to learn more and find out how you can have your child safety seat installed by one of our certified Child Passenger Safety Seat Technicians.

As always, have a SAFE day!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Potential Severe Weather Today! Are You Ready?

As many of you are no doubt aware, the weather forecast for today is calling for potential severe weather.  Ironically it also happens to be National Preparedness Month!

Ideally all of you are already prepared for any type of event!  In case you are not, I am providing some links below that you may find useful to help you through the rest of the day and into the evening. 

Please make sure you are tuned into the latest weather updates throughout the day!

Be Safe!


Friday, September 14, 2012

TGIF Tip: MCFRS Social Media Platforms

TGIF everyone!  Thanks to all of you who keep up with us via our various social media platforms.  I hope you find them interesting and informative.

We are always seeking ways to add to, and improve, our social media platforms.  As a matter of fact, look for a “Tweetchat” in the near future to solicit your input to help us improve.
In the interim, below, please see links to all of our social media platforms we currently utilize.  Hopefully you find at least some of them useful and utilize the sites to get much of your information as it relates to Montgomery County Fire & Rescue.

Hoping you have a Happy and SAFE weekend!

-Bill D

         MCFRS on FaceBook
         Chief’s Blog
         MCFRS on LinkedIn
         MCFRS on Screenr
         MCFRS on Twitter
         MCFRS Virtual TV
         MCFRS Digital News

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

EMS Appreciation

By: Captain Beth Sanford, MCFRS EMS Quality Assurance

Last week Montgomery County Fire & Rescue (MCFRS) personnel participated in an event, at the Germantown Emergency Center (GEC), in which staff from Shady Grove Adventist Hospital and the GEC gathered to say thanks to MCFRS personnel for their support of the GEC over the past five years. 

Those present were treated to a healthy assortment of breakfast treats and the opportunity for casual interaction amongst the administrative and medical staff from Adventist and personnel from MCFRS Fire Stations 22 and 34, as well as from the MCFRS EMS Section.  Thanks to Adventist for thinking of us!

Below are some photos from the gathering.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

Leggett to Join Fire Chief and Senior Advocates To Highlight Safety Initiatives for Seniors

Monday, September 10, 2012
12:30 p.m.
Executive Office Building
2nd floor Conference Room
101 Monroe Street, Rockville, MD

County Executive Isiah Leggett will be joined by Fire Chief Richard Bowers and Susan Wranik, President of GROWS (Grass Roots Organization for the Well-Being of Seniors) to highlight falls prevention activities and other initiatives aimed at seniors in Montgomery County. Also joining Leggett will be representatives from the Commission on Aging, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Recreation.

# # #

Sunday, September 9, 2012

County Firefighters Participate in IAFF Muscular Dystrophy National Softball Championship Tournament This Weekend

By: Captain Brett Livingston

Every year firefighters from all over the United States and Canada join together in brotherhood, tradition and competition to raise money and awareness for Muscular Dystrophy. These men and women, including many from Montgomery County Fire Rescue, use the weekend to come together and celebrate a long tradition of selflessly helping others in need.

The Annual IAFF Muscular Dystrophy National Championship Tournament draws players and spectators from across North America together for the cause. Firefighters of Montgomery County have participated since the tournament's beginning 39 years ago and are the only local team to win the championship in the open division. But it is more than the championship, it is about coming together with fellow firefighters to celebrate the job they love, remember those that have been lost doing the job and to raise money for a cure. It is about helping those stricken by a debilitating disease that often affects children the hardest.

Several of the firefighters in the group pictured below have been part of the tournament since its inception, having played in all 39 tournaments, and some where part of the championship team. This year Montgomery County entered one team in the Open Division and three teams in the Forty and Over Division.

Photo Courtesy of Captain Brett Livingston

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fire Chief Bowers Announces New Promotions

Fire Chief Richie Bowers is pleased to announce the following promotions.
The following person has been promoted to the rank of Battalion Chief:

Matt Carrigan

The following person has been promoted to the rank of Captain:

Jeffrey J. Ewart

Congratulations to both!  Be safe in your new assignements!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

National Preparedness Month – Sign Up For Alert Montgomery

As part of National Preparedness Month, I thought it was a good time to make all of you out there aware, or remind you, of a great FREE alerting tool that you can sign up for.  It is called Alert Montgomery and the system allows you to receive important emergency alerts, notifications and updates on any and all of your electronic devices.

You can receive notifications via the following platforms:

e-mail account (work, home, other)

  • cell phone
  • text pager
  • BlackBerry
  • wireless PDA
  • XM Radio Channel 214
  • Twitter: Add "Montgomery County MD" in find people
  • Facebook: Add "Montgomery County MD" in friends
  • Facebook: Add "Montgomery County MD Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security" in friends
  • Text MONTGOMERY to 411911
To learn more and sign up, please go here: ALERT MONTGOMERY

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

National Preparedness Month – Pledge to Prepare!

How many of you know that September is National Preparedness Month?  This year’s theme is “Pledge to Prepare - Awareness to Action.”  Fire safety should be an important part of preparedness planning for you and your loved ones as well!
Have you tested your smoke alarms lately?  Do you know how often you should check your alarms?

Do you have a home escape plan in case of fire?  Does it include knowing two ways out in case of fire?  Have you held a fire drill to practice the plan?

Are you aware that once smoke alarms are anywhere from eight to ten years old they should be replaced?

If you did not know even ONE of the above facts or answered NO to one of the others, I would encourage you to take a moment and visit our partners in safety at the US Fire Administration web site to learn more.

What you learn could save your life or that of a loved one! 

Stay Safe,

Bill Delaney