Wednesday, July 31, 2013

National Heatstroke Prevention Day: Don’t Leave Children Alone in Hot Cars!

Today is National Heatstroke Prevention Day!  Sadly there have been 24 deaths so far in the US this year--we are ahead of last year at this time!  Today our partners in safety, Safe Kids, will be posting on Facebook and tweet every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. various safety messages.  Safe Kids will be using the hash tag #heatstroke on all its social media posts and asks you to do the same.  We will be tweeting as well on our Twitter feed @mcfrs.

Below, please find some helpful tips from SafeKids as well as a video highlighting the danger.  Please spread the word!  BD

• July 31 is “National Heatstroke Prevention Day,” a day-long social media campaign created to raise awareness about the dangers of leaving children alone in hot cars. 
• So far in 2013 there have been at least 24 deaths of children unattended in vehicles.
• These tragedies happened in 15 different states from Texas and Florida to Idaho and Minnesota.
• They happened in temperatures as hot as 100 degrees and as mild as 76 degrees.
• Safe Kids is working with NHTSA and the GM Foundation to ask all our partners to help us raise awareness about the dangers of leaving children alone in cars.
From SafeKids.org
• Safe Kids is going to post on Facebook and tweet every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Safe Kids will be using the hash tag #heatstroke on all its social media posts and asks you to do the same. Our twitter handle is @safekidsusa if you want to retweet.
• We’re asking everyone to get involved by using your social media outlets and posting as many times as you can throughout the day to keep the conversation going.
• We have sample posts and tweets for you at Safekids.org.

The Issue
• Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths for children.
• It occurs when the body isn’t able to cool itself quickly enough and the body temperature rises to dangerous levels.
• Young children are particularly at risk as their body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s.
• When a child’s internal temperature gets to 104 degrees, major organs begin to shut down. And when that child’s temperature reaches 107 degrees, the child can die.
• Because of this, and because cars heat up so quickly – 19 degrees in 10 minutes – tragedies can happen faster than you think.
• Symptoms can quickly progress from flushed, dry skin and vomiting to seizures, organ failure and death.

Key Stats
• Since 1998, at least 585 children across the United States have died from heatstroke when unattended in a vehicle.
• That’s one child every 10 days.
• Happens in three ways:
            •52% - child “forgotten" by caregiver
            •29% - child playing in unattended vehicle
            •18% - child intentionally left in vehicle by adult
• In 2010, 49 children died from heatstroke. In 2012, one of the hottest years on record, 33 children died.  
• Heatstroke deaths have been recorded in 11 months of the year in nearly all 50 states.

Top Safety Tips
•          Heatstroke can happen anytime. Anywhere.
o          And it’s also completely preventable. 
•          We don’t want to see this happen to any family.


Safe Kids is working with great partners like NHTSA and the GM Foundation to remind parents and caregivers to ACT.

A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not in it so kids don’t get in on their own. 

C: Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.

T: Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations. One call could save a life.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

MCFRS Significant Incident Map

For the week of Sunday, July 21 – Saturday, July 27.  Just a reminder that the below events are only a snap shot of the number of emergencies we respond too.  These are the incidents that we feel are significant in nature.



View MCFRS Significant Incident Map in a larger map

Friday, July 26, 2013

Addition of an EMS Supervisor in the 1st Battalion


 By: Master Firefighter Tim Burns

On  Sunday July 14, 2013 Montgomery County Fire and Rescue expanded its Emergency Medical Services (EMS) supervision capabilities to include a 2nd EMS duty officer who will be quartered at Fire Station 19 on Seminary Road in the Montgomery Hills Section of Silver Spring.

While their responsibilities will encompass the entire lower county area as well as backing up the other duty officer county-wide, this addition brings much needed support to the paramedics and EMTs of the 1st Battalion.

The 1st Battalion is the home to a large number of EMS calls.  At the same time, the transport times are often short due to the relatively small geographic area and the
abundance of hospitals (including trauma centers).  When a responding duty officer is coming from Gaithersburg or Rockville they are ineffective simply because the entire patient interaction is over by the time they make it to the scene, let alone before the critical interventions that occur in the first few minutes of the event have taken place.

Along with on-scene support these EMS supervisors will provide enhanced quality improvement efforts and a more local liaison to the down county hospitals.

We in the 1st Battalion would like to welcome Captain Bill Phelps on A-Shift, Captain Jason Giza on B-Shift and Captain Stacy Jones on C-Shift.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Townhouse Fire

By: Battalion Chief Mark Davis


Several units from the 1st Battalion (E719, E724, E701, AT719, T716, BC701) responded to a townhouse fire in the lower end of Battalion 4 (Wheaton/Kensington) on Monday evening. Companies 18, 5 and Rescue 2 arrived quickly and found a working kitchen fire in a 2-story occupied townhouse. The 1st Battalion units provided support operations in terms getting to the rear of the structure and into adjacent structures to make sure fire did not spread into those properties.

Once again - a small, cooking-related fire quickly grew to a much larger proportion. Although damage to the home was significant, all occupants (including several children) were able to escape thanks to working smoke detectors.

Crews in this photo are getting ready to make the initial entry through the front door. Several ladders have been placed for rescue and building access. Fortunately - the fire was contained in little time due to the coordinated efforts of all companies. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

MCFRS Significant Incident Map

For the week of Sunday, July 14 – Saturday, July 20.  Just a reminder that the below events are only a snap shot of the number of emergencies we respond too.  These are the incidents that we feel are significant in nature.



View MCFRS Significant Incident Map in a larger map

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Stephen Jones, Sr Day Room Dedicated At Takoma Park Fire Station #2

Recently, the Women and Men of Takoma Park Fire Station #2 dedicated the station day-room to pay tribute to former Takoma Park Volunteer Fire Department (TPVFD) member Stephen Jones Sr. who was an active member until his death, from cancer, in 1984.

Assistant Chief Steve Jones and his youngest 
son at the dedication
Mr. Jones joined TPVFD in 1970 and held several administrative positions on the board of directors and was very active with fund raisers for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  He was an active Fire Fighter and driver on all units and received several awards such as Fire Fighter of the Year, training awards, and top responder awards.

In addition, he was co-chairman for the rehab of the fire station in the early 80's and spent countless hours with this project.   Mr. Jones was also a paramedic with the Bethesda Chevy Chase Rescue Squad since there were only a few medic units in the county at the time.  He was part of group that worked hard to get Advanced Life Support service in the lower part of the county.

His son, Stephen Jones Jr., followed in his Dad’s footsteps and is an Assistant Chief with Montgomery County Fire and Rescue.  He wishes to thank Dan, Tracey, Darrell, and all of the other Women and Men of Station #2 for the dedication of the day-room to his father.

“It truly means a lot and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about him” stated Assistant Chief Jones. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Why Does The FD Tear Apart So Much "Stuff" at a Building Fire?

By: Battalion Chief Mark Davis

One of the biggest concerns of an Incident Commander at the scene of a building fire is the spread of fire throughout the building via void (or concealed) spaces. While infrared camera technology certainly helps firefighters detect such fire spread, the definitive action is to "open up the area." 

Fires in kitchens and bathrooms are particularly notorious for fire spread because of the numerous void spaces such as pipe chases and exhaust fans. This is why firefighters need to poke holes in walls or pull cabinets off of walls or remove entire ceilings.

The easy way to prevent this type of damage? Residential sprinklers!

The attached photo shows the pipe chase for a bathroom. The photo is taken from below the bathroom - so you can see that a fire on the floor below can easily spread to the upper floor. Many thanks to Captain Barber (15-A) for sharing the photo. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

You’re Going To Do What!?

By: Master Firefighter Tim Burns

One of the new and helpful treatments brought to patients in Montgomery County is the EZ-IO intraosseous infusion system. This tool allows paramedics to place a needle directly into the marrow cavity of certain long bones of the legs or arms of critically ill or injured patients. This skill takes very little time to accomplish (often times significantly less time than traditional intravenous catheter placement) and speeds the delivery of necessary fluids and/or medications to the sickest patients we see.

As you can see from the photo, the EZ-IO device looks a lot like a drill, and it operates much the same. The needle sticks on the end of the gun and is “drilled” into the bone.

While the process may seem barbaric to a casual observer, actual patient testimony reveals that the pain associated with the placement of the needle is comparable to that of a normal IV placement. The infusion of fluid and medications through the device is what patients report to be most painful, and in Montgomery County we typically administer a numbing medication prior to the administration of anything through an EZ-IO.

The literature shows that successful placement of the EZ-IO can be accomplished with minimal training, with a high degree of reliability, and takes under 10 seconds.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

MCFRS Significant Incident Map

For the week of Sunday, July 7 – Saturday, July 13.

Understand these are only incidents we think have some significance and will not include, for example, a response to false or well intentioned fire alarms. Likewise, not every single medical call is on there either.




View MCFRS Significant Incident Map in a larger map

Monday, July 15, 2013

Heat Exhaustion and Heatstroke

Extreme heat brings with it the possibility of heat-induced illnesses. During the hot, humid summer weather, the body's internal temperature can rise and can result in heat exhaustion and heatstroke. If not treated quickly, heat exhaustion can progress into heatstroke, which requires immediate medical care and can be fatal.

Signs and Symptoms:

Heat Exhaustion

  • Severe thirst
  • Muscle weakness
  • Nausea, sometimes vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Headache
  • Increased sweating
  • Cool clammy skin
  • Elevation of body temperature to 105 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Weak, rapid pulse

Heatstroke

  • Severe, throbbing headache
  • Weakness, dizziness or confusion
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Decreased responsiveness or loss of consciousness
  • Little or no sweating
  • Flush, hot, dry skin
  • Elevation of body temperature to 105 degrees Fahrenheit

What to Do:

If the person has a temperature of 105 degrees Farenheit or more or shows signs and symptoms of heatstroke, seek emergency medical care immediately. In cases of heat exhaustion and while waiting for help:
  1. Move the person to a cool place indoors or under the shade of a tree.
  2. Loosen clothing.
  3. Have the person lie down. Elevate feet slightly.
  4. If the person is alert, place in cool (not cold) bath water.
  5. IF the person is alert, give frequent sips of cool, clear fluids (clear juice or sports drinks are best).
  6. If the person is vomiting, turn his or her body to the side to prevent choking.
  7. Monitor the person's temperatures.
Think Prevention! Be sensible about how much you exert yourself in hot weather.
  • Drink plenty of fluids- do not wait until you are thirsty.
  • Avoid exertion in the hottest weather.
  • Wear light-colored, loose clothing.
Heat Exhaustion is the result of excessive heat and dehydration. Heatstroke is a medical emergency!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

1st Battalion Donation to The Don't Panic Foundation



July 13, 2013 - Battalion Chief Mark Davis (BC701-A Shift) presents Captain Jason Giza with a $450.00 donation for The Don't Panic Foundation. Captain Giza is President of the foundation. The funds were raised through the sale of the 1st Battalion Leads The Way framed photographs as well as the sale of 1st Battalion patches and window decals. This is the second of such donations to The Don't Panic Foundation this year, bringing the total to $750.00.  Photo and story courtesy of BC Mark Davis. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Leggett Hails Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service’s Record Graduation; Recruit Class 37 is Largest Class in County Fire Service History

On July 11, 2013, the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service held its largest Recruit Class graduation ceremony in the County’s Fire Service history. Certificates for completion of the 26-week Firefighter and Rescuer training program were awarded to 70 graduates of Recruit Class 37 during the 1:00 p.m. ceremony held at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg. 

County Executive Isiah Leggett, Councilmember Phil Andrews, Fire Chief Steven Lohr and President of the Montgomery Career Firefighters Association, Local 1664, Jeffrey Buddle delivered remarks to the class, and an auditorium filled with their families and friends. 

“The dedication and sacrifice of firefighters really came to the forefront during the attacks of 9/11, and now again with the loss of the 19 elite ‘Hotshot’ firefighters in Arizona,’ said County Executive Leggett. “While this is a time to celebrate your achievements, this is also a time to remember how much will be demanded of you. On behalf of the County, we are all so grateful - in advance - for the extraordinary service you will provide to our citizens throughout your careers.” 

“You haven’t just joined a fire department, you’ve joined a family,” said Chief Lohr. “As a member of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, you will never be alone, there will always be someone with you during any challenge you may face. You’ve learned from the best and we will now expect the best from you.” 

This year, for the first time, the Chief Thomas Carr Leadership Award was presented to the member of the class who best represented the ideals and leadership of former Montgomery County Fire Chief Thomas Carr who recently lost his battle with MSA, a form of Parkinson’s disease. The winner, one of four recruits nominated by the training academy staff and voted on by class members, was Firefighter Andrew Tuzzio. 

There were over 1,000 candidates who applied to Recruit Class 37. Eighty-three were accepted into the training program. Seventy successfully graduated and have now joined the highly-respected ranks of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Promotions

Fire Chief Steve Lohr is pleased to announce the following promotions.

The following personnel have been promoted to the rank of Captain:
  • Anselmo A. Bencosme
  • James J. Carpenter
  • Joel A. Shackett
  • Kenneth R. O'leary
  • Paul E. Donaghue
  • Pedro J. Meneses
  • Richard C. Anthony
  • Sean P. Bryan
  • William Phelps
  • Jason Giza

The following personnel have been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant:
  • Anthony (Jake) E. Hoover
  • Ashley B. Robinson
  • Clinton D. Kraft
  • Michael F. Doyle

The following personnel have been promoted to the rank of Master Firefighter:
  • John J. Dunlavey
  • Nelson Ortiz-Cruz
  • Wayne A. Montano

Congratulations to all and be safe!



Thursday, July 11, 2013

Smoke Alarms Save Lives: New Maryland State Law Went Into Effect on July 1st

By: Battalion Chief Mark Davis

During the 2013 session of the Maryland General Assembly, the thirty-eight year old Maryland Smoke Alarm Law was completely rewritten and updated to take advantage of new technology. With the full support of the Maryland Fire Service, Senate Bill 969 and House Bill 1413 passed unanimously in both chambers and have been signed into law by Governor O'Malley. The Maryland Smoke Alarm Law will now be compatible with applicable national codes including, "NFPA 72 – National Fire Alarms and Signaling Code" and the "International Residential Code" for new construction. More importantly, the law will require over the course of the next few years an upgrade in smoke alarm coverage in existing homes. Under provisions of the new law, a single 9-volt battery operated smoke alarm in the second floor hallway will no longer be adequate in some existing older homes. The Maryland Smoke Alarm Law will require a minimum of one smoke alarm on every level of the home. Where battery operated smoke alarms are acceptable, sealed battery operated smoke alarms with long life batteries and hush button features will now be required.

Over the years, many fire and rescue departments in Maryland have been actively involved in very successful smoke alarm give away/installation programs to protect the residents of their communities. These programs have typically involved the use of smoke alarms with replaceable 9-volt batteries. In general, these devices have worked fine until the occupant activates the alarm due to burnt toast or frying bacon and quickly removes the battery to stop the alerting noise; or the annoying chirp of the low battery alarm at 3:00 a.m. results in removal of the smoke alarm battery. Dead or missing smoke alarm batteries have been an aspect in many loss of life fires and continue to be a factor in Maryland and across the United States.

The new smoke alarms will initially cost a few dollars more; however eliminating the need to purchase and replace the battery once or twice every year will actually save money over the ten year life of the new sealed battery smoke alarm.  In Montgomery County, fire/rescue personnel are actively involved in smoke alarm inspections and installations and will most likely be moving to the new style smoke alarm in the very near future.

Any one who resides in Montgomery County and who needs a smoke alarm or would like their smoke alarms checked should contact their local fire station.  For additional information, please review the Maryland Smoke Alarm Technology Task Force Report dated August 2012 online or contact the Office of the State Fire Marshal at 410-653-8980.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Residential Sprinklers Save Lives and Property

By: Battalion Chief Mark Davis
       Battalion One, A-Shift


The presence of automatic fire sprinklers in residential occupancies makes a huge impact on life safety and property conservation. While the 1st Battalion has many unsprinklered residential high rise buildings - it also has a number of newer residential structures outfitted with residential sprinklers.

On Monday, July 1st crews (Co 15, 24, 12, & 16) from the 1st Battalion responded to one of those sprinklered structures for a reported apartment fire. When they arrived on the scene they found a 5-story apartment building that is part of a huge, assisted living complex.  Upon investigation on the third floor, they found a small fire in a study area of one apartment. The fire had been extinguished by ONE residential sprinkler head. No one was home at the time of the fire, so had the apartment not been sprinklered, the fire would have grown quickly in size and would have resulted in a major fire.

The photos below show the limited damage that was done. 


This single, residential sprinkler head (below) flowing just a few gallons a minute did the job of several FD hose lines flowing over 150 gallons per minute each. Why was it so efficient and effective? Because the sprinkler head is a fast-acting head that senses the early development of a fire which allows water to be applied at a much lower rate yet still be effective in controlling or extinguishing the fire. More importantly, it allows the occupants to escape the area before a raging fire can develop. 


When evaluating where to reside - chose the place that provides the better life safety features - choose residential fire sprinklers!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Look Before You Lock! Heatwave Can Be Especially Dangerous For Children

When temperatures rise, so does the risk of an unimaginable tragedy – children accidentally left in hot cars. Nationally, the number of children who have died in cars as a result of the heat has already DOUBLED compared to the same time last year. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue is teaming up with Safe Kids Worldwide to prevent child deaths and injuries in hot cars.
 
When outside temperatures are in the low 80s, the temperature inside a vehicle can reach deadly levels in only minutes even with a window rolled down two inches. With sustained and record-breaking temperatures predicted in the region, families are reminded that one of the greatest dangers is leaving a child in a car unattended on a hot day. Children’s bodies do not acclimate to the heat as well as adults and can overheat easily. Infants and children under four years old are at the greatest risk for heat-related illness.

Hard Facts

Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths for children. On average, every 10 days a child dies from heatstroke in a vehicle. Children can also sustain injuries from hot cars that include permanent brain injury, blindness and loss of hearing. Heatstroke tragedies often occur when there has been a change in a family’s daily routine, a parent leaves a child in the car “for just a minute” unaware how quickly the temperature in a car can rise to dangerous levels or after a child gets into an unlocked vehicle to play unbeknownst to the parent or caregiver.

Top Tips
These tragedies are preventable. Avert and reduce the number of deaths from heatstroke by remembering to ACT:
A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child unattended in a car, not even for a minute. Make a habit of looking in the vehicle – front and back – and keep keys stored out of a child’s reach and car doors locked when the vehicle is not in use to prevent children from getting in on their own.  
C: Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine. 
T: Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations. One call could save a life.

Monday, July 8, 2013

MCFRS Significant Incident Map

Significant incidents responded to by MCFRS over the past week from Sunday, June 30 through Saturday, July 6.  



View MCFRS Significant Incident Map in a larger map

Lifeguards Honored with Everyday Hero Award For Saving Drowning Child

As summer temperatures rise and area pools see increased traffic, swimmers in distress are not always easily identifiable. Lifeguard Abigail Baruch Fry and Pool Manager Colleen Hamm were honored by officials from the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service this past Saturday for their quick, decisive and life-saving actions on May 29th
when a 12-year old guest at the swimming pool was rescued from the bottom of the pool. The lifeguards immediately initiated the rescue, revived the child with CPR and the child was transported to a local hospital where he was treated and has since been released.  

Lifeguard Abigail Fry is a rising junior at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School and Colleen Hamm is a pool manager with Bethesda Aquatics who is currently applying to medical schools when she’s not saving lives. The 12-year old recently returned to the pool to receive swimming lessons, courtesy of his rescuers. Lifeguards from Bethesda Aquatics and Little Falls Swim Club receive extensive training to ensure they’re ready should duty call.  Video below is from WJLA Channel 7 report.




Saturday, July 6, 2013

A-Shift Shares July 4th with the Local Community

A-Shift Shares July 4th with the Local CommunityA-Shift Shares July 4th with the Local Community

A-Shift Shares July 4th with the Local Community

By: Battalion Chief Mark Davis

Station 16 - Engine 716, Truck 716, and Ambulance 716 participated in the Woodmoor Community's July 4th parade. Woodmoor is one many neighborhoods in the 1st Battalion and they have a July 4th parade every year - of which the local fire station takes part in.

After the parade, the kids (and grown-up kids) get to look over the rigs. Led this year by Captain Dee Richards, the men and women of Station 16 A-Shift did another great job of community outreach - and had fun doing it!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Recruit Class 37 – Coming To A Fire Station Near You Soon!

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Recruit Class 37 – Coming To A Fire Station Near You Soon!Recruit Class 37 – Coming To A Fire Station Near You Soon!Recruit Class 37 – Coming To A Fire Station Near You Soon!Recruit Class 37 – Coming To A Fire Station Near You Soon!Recruit Class 37 – Coming To A Fire Station Near You Soon!Recruit Class 37 – Coming To A Fire Station Near You Soon!
Recruit Class 37 – Coming To A Fire Station Near You Soon!Recruit Class 37 – Coming To A Fire Station Near You Soon!

By: Captain Jason Blake

Recruit Class 37 is finishing their training at the academy and have received their station assignments. The "Grand Finale" of their fire/EMS training occurs over a long and physical demanding day that the recruit's family gets to see them in action. Recruits are assigned to riding positions on engines, trucks, ambulances and rescue squads with lieutenants and captains from the field. They are dispatched and respond to calls on the 56 acres of the academy. A wide variety of calls occur over an eleven hour time frame with everything from building and car fires, to sick people and assaults. Recruits even deliver a baby in a car. There are over 50 scenarios that occur and are very realistic with smoke, fire and moulage of victims that make the most seasoned firefighter to look twice.

Thank you to Chief Clemens, Captain Carter, Lt. McDonald, Academy Staff and Adjuncts for training the largest recruit class in the history of the department.

Monday, July 1, 2013

MCFRS Significant Incident Map

This map is for incidents last week Sunday, June 23 – Saturday, June 29.




View MCFRS Significant Incident Map in a larger map