Saturday, April 30, 2016

Ladies Night Out Event At The PSTA Today

A great start to the day at the Public Safety Training Academy. It all started at 8 a.m. this morning with our first group. The first session will run until Noon and we have a second session starting at 1 p.m. and running until 5 p.m.

Walk ins are welcome to join us this afternoon.

Below, Battalion Chief Beth Sanford and Fire Chief Scott Goldstein welcome the group as they start their day.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Progress Continues At The New Public Safety Training Academy Campus

Last week, we provided a little pictorial update of progress at the new Public Safety Training Academy. As you can imagine, since then, more progress has been made.

Below you will find a few photos with updates via our point person on the project Assistant Chief (ret) Mike Clemens.

Concrete apron to Apparatus bays today on the Charlie side.

Concrete apron to Apparatus bays today on the Charlie side.

Command Development Training Center getting window glass.

Command Development Training Center getting window glass.

Retaining wall at the fuel depot.

Retaining wall at the fuel depot.

Skid pan.

Skid pan

Gable roof on the High Bay townhouse. Concrete and wood.

Gable roof on the HighBay town house. Concrete and wood.

Asphalt road to the fuel depot.

Asphalt road to the fuel depot.

Curbing at cityscape.

Curbing at city scape.

Roof area of the city scape in the high-bay.

Roof area of the city scape in the high- bay.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Is Saturday

Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Have any unused, unwanted or expired prescription drugs laying around that you want to get rid of to prevent abuse or theft?

Well this Saturday is a good day to do it! Our partners in safety at Montgomery County Police will be offering a free and anonymous opportunity take back prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications at six drop off points. Go here to learn more: Montgomery County Police Participate in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

As well, and below, please find some tips from the US Food and Drug Administration on how to dispose of unused medications.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

"Ladies Night Out" For Potential Female Firefighter Candidates Friday & Saturday

Our "Ladies Night Out" for potential female firefighter candidates is Friday, April 29, 4 - 8 p.m., and Saturday, April 30, morning and afternoon. The times for Saturday are 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. and 1p.m.- 5p.m.

Please feel free to come by anytime between those hours on one of those days!

As well, please go here to RSVP.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Safe Kids Montgomery County Celebrates Safe Kids Day

To Protect Kids from Preventable Injuries, the Number One Cause of Death for Children in the U.S. 

Safe Kids Montgomery County
YMCA Youth and Family Services

WHERE: JoAnn Leleck at Broad Acres Elementary School
          710 Beacon Road
          Silver Spring, MD 20903

WHEN: Saturday, April 30th 2016, 10:00am-12:30pm

WHAT:  In partnership with YMCA Youth and Family Services and their Healthy Kids Day, Safe Kids Montgomery County, is hosting a fun family event to celebrate kids and help families learn simple things they can do to keep kids safe. At the event there will be activities focused on nutrition and health, bike safety, pedestrian safety, home safety, fire safety, water safety and child passenger safety.

The event is presented by Nationwide,® with support from Johnson & Johnson, FedEx, Chevrolet, Kidde, Safety 1st and Tide. Safe Kids Worldwide’s national events have attracted the support of celebrity heroes including Mark Wahlberg, Sir Elton John, Gwen Stefani, Piers Morgan, and more. To learn more about Safe Kids Day, please visit:

WHY: Around the world, a million children die each year from preventable injuries. Millions more are injured in ways that can affect them for a lifetime. In fact, preventable injuries are the number one cause of death for children in the United States. Safe Kids Day is an opportunity to raise awareness and resources to celebrate kids, prevent injuries and save lives.

About Safe Kids Montgomery County
Safe Kids Montgomery County works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the number one cause of death for children in the United States. Our coalition members include police officers, nurses, firefighters, paramedics, school staff members, product safety specialist, transportation experts and other safety advocates.  Safe Kids Montgomery County is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids Montgomery County was created in 1989 and is led by the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service. For more information, visit or

Working Smoke Alarm Alerts Germantown Family To Fire

At approximately 3:23 a.m. this morning, MCFRS units responded for a reported house fire in the 13400 block of Tilford Court in Germantown. Units arrived on scene with fire showing from the rear of a two-story single family home.

Six occupants of the home, two adults and four children, were awakened by a working smoke alarm and observed the deck on fire. The family then exited the structure and called 911 once safely outside.

Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire which appeared to have started on the deck and then extended inside the house.

Fire Investigators arrived on scene and conducted an origin and cause investigation. Family members indicated that a charcoal cooker on the deck was used earlier in the day. Upon further examination, investigators determined that the cause of the fire was accidental, the result of a charcoal cooker.

A total of approximately 75 firefighters were on the scene. There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters. As a result of the damage, the family of six was displaced. Total fire loss was determined to be $100,000 to the structure and $50,000 for contents.

MCFRS would like to remind everyone that working smoke alarms save lives! Please make sure the alarms in your home work and ensure that you have a home fire escape plan. MCFRS offers free home safety evaluations and smoke alarms for those in need.

We would also like to remind all residents about Outdoor Grilling Safety.

photos from Tilford Court House Fire showing damage to home

Sunday, April 24, 2016

White Oak House Fire

At approximately 4:30 a.m. this morning, MCFRS units were dispatched for a report of a house on fire in the 11700 block of Sherbrooke Woods Lane in the White Oak area of the county.

First arriving units found heavy fire showing on the first and second floors with extension into the attic space. The single occupant of the home had self-rescued though was suffering the after effects of smoke inhalation. It was not until a short time that neighbors noticed the fire and called 911.
Firefighters quickly initiated an interior attack to extinguish the fire. Deteriorating conditions led command to evacuate the structure and switch to a defensive (outside) mode. Shortly thereafter, a partial collapse (roof, floors, and walls) occurred. The fire was brought under control though crews continued to mop up “hot spots” for a few hours after.

Fire investigators are currently on scene conducting a cause and origin investigation. The home is a total loss with damages estimated at $500,000 to the structure and $250,000 to the contents. There was also some heat damage to a neighboring home.

The one civilian occupant of the home was transported to a local hospital for a checkup due to smoke inhalation. There were no injuries sustained by the approximately 85 MCFRS personnel who responded to the scene.

several photos from Sherbrooke Woods Lane house fire

Saturday Morning Rockville House Fire

On Saturday, April 23 at approximately 4:24 a.m. MCFRS units were dispatched to the 300 block of Carl Street in Rockville for a report of a house on fire. Units arrived on scene to find a two-story single family home with fire on the exterior of the home that had extended to the interior.

A smoke alarm had alerted six occupants of the home and all escaped uninjured. Firefighters quickly brought the fire under control and extinguished. Command on scene requested an additional two engine companies and one truck company to assist.

Fire Investigators responded to the scene to conduct a cause and origin investigation. The cause is currently under investigation.

Damages were estimated at $10,000 to the structure and $5,000 to the contents. Six people have been displaced as a result of the fire and Red Cross is assisting. There were no injuries to civilian or fire and rescue personnel.

MCFRS would like to remind all residents that smoke alarms save lives! Check yours today and make sure you have a home escape plan in case of fire.

3 photos from house fire on Carl Street

Friday, April 22, 2016

Passover Fire Safety

Passover is fast approaching! The Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service would like to share some important fire safety tips with you. There are many things families can do to reduce the chance of a fire starting in their homes. Please make sure your smoke alarms are working and that you have practiced a home escape plan. Remember, the very best safety plan is prevention.

Ensuring Operational Readiness

By: Firefighter/Paramedic Joe Crum
       Fire Station 17, A-Shift

The northern part of Montgomery County can be considered very rural. Large farming areas exist in towns such as: Poolesville, Hyattstown, Damascus, and Laytonsville. A fire in an old farm houses or large barns create different challenges for a fire department compared to what we will see in an urban/city environment.

The biggest challenge we face in these areas is water supply. In these areas, municipal water services may not be available and with that, no hydrants to supply the fire engine to attack a fire if it occurs. Because fire does not go out without water, we need to find water somewhere else.

Throughout the county, we can find dry hydrants or cisterns to get the water we need. A dry hydrant is usually a piece of pipe that extends from a body of water, typically a lake or pond, and allows one Engine Company to pull water from it so it can fill Tankers that then take water to the scene of a fire. Cisterns are large underground tanks that hold thousands of gallons of water. These may have a pipe sticking out of the ground, similar to a dry hydrant, or could just be a removal cover that we can place suction hose directly into the water and pull the water into the fire engine.

Every firehouse in the county keeps record of where a dry hydrant or cistern is located within their coverage area. These sites are inspected and tested on a quarterly basis by station crews. We make sure that they are accessible and functional. The property owner is still responsible for maintenance. As a resident it is very important to keep these clear and not block access by any vehicles. Easy access for us could mean a big difference at a fire.

Below is a picture of Engine 717 from Laytonsville testing a cistern in their area.

a picture of Engine 717 from Laytonsville testing a cistern in their area

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Duplex Fire In Wheaton

On Wednesday, April 20 at approximately 4 p.m., MCFRS units were dispatched for a reported house fire in the 12000 block of Berry Street in Wheaton. Multiple 911 calls were received indicating a working fire with possible explosions.

First arriving units reported heavy fire involving both units of a two-story duplex type home and a second alarm was quickly dispatched. All occupants escaped uninjured prior to arrival and were accounted for.

Firefighters initiated a transitional fire attack and the bulk of fire was knocked down. Crews spent a few hours mopping up hot spots in and around the duplex to include homes on both sides and the rear of the duplex.

Fire Investigators were called to the scene and conducted an origin and cause investigation. The origin and cause investigation determined the fire originated on the rear porch of 12028 Berry Street. At this time the cause of the fire is listed as undetermined.

A total of five residences, two sheds and fencing were damaged by flame and/or radiant heat. The two homes, 12028 and 12030, suffered significant charring and damage while three other residences suffered mostly radiant heat damage to vinyl siding on their exteriors.

Approximately 95 firefighters were on the scene of this two alarm fire. Damages are estimated at
$500,000.00 to the structures and $200,000.00 to contents. There were no injuries sustained by the residents or firefighters. A total of three adults have been displaced as a result of the fire.

Crews will be returning to the Berry Street neighborhood this evening at approximately 6:30 p.m. offering to check smoke alarms, provide safety tips and answer any questions residents might have.

Duplex Fire 12000 Block of Berry Street

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Open the Window to Safety This Spring

Unfortunately young children falling out of open windows occurs every year, locally and nationally, and usually starts right around this time as the weather begins to turn nice.

child with hands on closed window
Photo via Nat'l Safety Council web site
According to our partners in safety, Safe Kids, approximately eight children under age five die each year from falling out of a window. In addition, more than 3,300 are injured seriously enough to go to the hospital.

Windows play a vital role in home safety, serving as a secondary escape route in the event of a fire or other emergency, but they also pose a risk for a fall if safety measures are not followed. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue are providing the following safety tips to help prevent window-related injuries in the home:
  • Never rely on window screens to keep children from falling out of windows. A screen is not a safety device - - it is designed to keep insects out, not to keep children in.

  • Keep furniture such as sofas, beds and dressers away from windows. This will discourage children from climbing near any windows.

  • Keep windows closed and locked when they are not being used.

  • When windows are open for ventilation, take advantage of all safety features. If possible, open windows from the top and not the bottom if you have double-hung windows – the kind that can open down from the top as well as up from the bottom.

  • Install safety devices such as window guards or window stops which prevent children from falling open windows that children cannot reach.

Window falls can happen quickly and, in some cases, can be deadly. When keeping your kids safe, MCFRS reminds parents that no device can replace active supervision. For more safety tips, visit our website at

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Heroes Benefit

Join the citizens and friends of the Montgomery County community to honor the memory of Montgomery County Police Officer Noah Leotta, who was only 24 when he was struck and killed by a drunk driver while on duty with MCPD.

Burtonsville House Fire

On Monday, April 18 at approximately 12:27 p.m., MCFRS units responded to 1900 block of Mayflower Drive for a report of a house on fire. Units arrived on scene to find a two-story single family home with heavy fire in the rear of the home.

All occupants of the home had exited safely and were standing in front of the home when firefighters arrived. Firefighters went to work and were able to initially knock down the exterior fire and extinguish the bulk of the fire quickly which prevented further extension into the inside of the home. The fire had already extended into the attic area upon arrival.

At the time of the fire two occupants were in the basement of the home when they heard someone knocking on the front door. Upon going upstairs and opening the door, a passerby indicated that the back of the house was on fire. Both occupants quickly exited through the front door with the family dog. The passerby, a neighbor, had already notified 911. More than 65 firefighters responded on the call which included a RID and Task Force. 

Fire Investigators were called to the scene to conduct and origin and cause investigation. One of the occupants stated he was a smoker and only smoked outside in back of the house and used a container for the discarded cigarettes.  Investigators determined that the fire started in the container next to the box bay window from a discarded cigarette. The cause of the fire is listed as ACCIDENTAL.  

There were no injuries to civilian or fire and rescue personnel. Damages were estimated to be $200,000.00 to the structure and $100,000.00 to the contents. Four adults and one dog were displaced as a result. Six chickens perished in the fire.

When smoking outside MCFRS, along with its partners in safety at NFPA and the US Fire Administration, recommend the following:

Do not discard cigarettes in vegetation such as mulch, potted plants or landscaping, peat moss, dried grass, leaves and other things that could easily ignite.

Put your cigarette out in an ashtray or bucket with sand. Use ashtrays with a wide base so they won’t tip over and start a fire.

1909 Mayflower Dr

Monday, April 18, 2016

More Progress At The New Public Safety Training Academy Campus

Last month, we provided a little pictorial update of progress at the new Public Safety Training Academy. As you can imagine, since then, more progress has been made.

Below you will find a few photos with updates via our point person on the project Assistant Chief (ret) Mike Clemens.

More Progress At The New Public Safety Training Academy Campus

Photo #1: steel shutters being installed in the single family burn building.
Photo #2: high-temp tile work being installed in the burn rooms of the single family burn building.
Photo #3: green roof being installed on the gym. Academic building will be next.
Photo #4: elevator installed in the parking garage.
Photo #5: painting of the high-bay walls and windows.

Bethesda House Fire

At approximately 8:07 p.m. on Sunday, April 17, MCFRS units were dispatched for a report of a house fire at 5817 Sonoma Road in Bethesda.
photo showing fire damage to a two story house in Bethesda

Units arrived to find fire coming from one side of a two-story single family home on the second floor. Firefighters quickly initiated an attack and extinguished the fire. All occupants were safely out of the home.

The occupants of the home, three adults, indicated they had been at the park down the street 15 minutes earlier. As they returned home, they noticed fire coming from a window on the side of the home and called 911.

Fire Investigators conducted an Origin and Cause examination and have listed the cause currently as undetermined.

As a result of the fire, three adults and four pets have been displaced. There were no injuries to civilian or fire and rescue personnel. Damages were estimated at $125,000.00 to the structure and $75,000.00 to the contents.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

No Fire Hydrant? No Problem!

By: Captain Vicki Fowler
       Hyattstown Fire Station #9

Not all of Montgomery County has fire hydrants in their neighborhood.  As a matter of fact, in Hyattstown Fire Station 9's first due area, there are zero fire hydrants. That is okay as we can bring our own water or get water from one of the local creeks, ponds, lakes or even pools.

In order to ensure we are ready to handle fires in which we must bring, or “draft,” our own water supply, we train regularly to stay proficient in this critical skill set. The photos below are from a training we held the other day to practice getting water to a variety of our units for a variety of fires.

One of the pictures show Tanker 709 that holds 3,500 gallons of water.  The water is being dumped into a portable folding tank so that an engine can draft the water out of the tank and into its own tank so that it can flow water through the fire hose on the unit. 

The reason we dump the water into a portable tank, and not directly into the engine, is so the Tanker can go and get a refill of water from a designated location.

At Fire Station 9 we also have brush trucks for fighting brush fires.  They are smaller and more agile and can go across fields much easier than our engines.  In several of the photos below, Brush 709B is drafting water from the creek.  Our firefighters are pulling the water out of the creek, into its own water tank, and then using it. 

All personnel performed well on a beautiful day to train and ensure our operational readiness. 

photos of various fire units drafting water from a portable tank and creek

Friday, April 15, 2016

Every 15 Minutes Program At Bethesda Chevy Chase High School

Units from Bethesda Chevy Chase Rescue Squad and MCFRS Chevy Chase Fire Station #7 participated in an Every 15 Minutes Program today at Bethesda Chevy Chase High School.

Below are videos and photos from the morning activities. The top video is from our live Periscope of the event which provides a great demonstration of how we cut up a vehicle and extricate people trapped.

BCC-HS Every 15 Minutes

Thursday, April 14, 2016

EMS Provider Of The Month Ceremony

Today we honored several members of the department, along with a Montgomery County resident, for actions over the last several months that resulted in lives being saved.

The video below was from our live Periscope feed this morning.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service Will Be Accepting Applications for Firefighter/Rescuer I (Recruit)

mcfrs logoOpening Date: May 9, 2016

Closing Date: May 23, 2016

On May 9, 2016, the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS) will begin accepting applications for the position of Firefighter/Rescuer I (Recruit).  Applications will be accepted until May 23, 2016 at midnight.  MCFRS Firefighter/Rescuers receive outstanding benefits, including a 20-year retirement with no age limit, group health and life insurance, paid holidays, paid vacation and paid sick leave. This recruitment will be used to establish eligibility for a Recruit Class that will begin in December, 2016.  Applications will only be accepted on-line.

The Firefighter/Rescuer I position is an entry level position. Applicants must:

1. Be 17 ½ years of age to apply and 18 years of age at time of appointment
2. Possess a high school diploma or GED within two months from time of application
3. Be a U.S. citizen or resident alien
4. Possess a valid motor vehicle driver’s license (non-provisional at the time of appointment)

Based upon service needs, hiring preferences may be given to those applicants who possess one or more of the following at the time of application (subject to verification):

Veterans and veterans with disabilities
Paramedic (National Registry Paramedic)
Residency in Montgomery County
Multi-lingual skills (Spanish, Amharic, Chinese; French, Korean, Vietnamese, American-Sign             Language)
Two years employment in a customer service related field
Bachelor’s degree
Thirty or more college credits (from an accredited college or university)

The hiring process includes a written exam, oral interview, background screening, medical exam, and the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT).  Applicants who meet the minimum requirements will be invited to take the written examination, which is tentatively scheduled for June 16, 17 and 18, 2016.

For important information regarding the hiring process, critical dates and information, prospective applicants can visit

We strongly encourage all applicants to create an AccessMCG Extranet Account prior to the application period.  Please use the following link

Montgomery County is an equal opportunity employer committed to workforce diversity. It is the policy of Montgomery County to conduct all employment activities in a manner that will ensure equal employment opportunity for all persons without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, genetic status, or political affiliation. 

Take Action To Prevent Heatstroke In Cars

Today we are joining our partners in safety, SafeKids, as they kick off their  Heatstroke Awareness

Did you know that even on a mild 70-degree day, the temperature inside of a car can rise 19 degrees in just 10 minutes?

As well, did you know that Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths for children? On average, every ten days a child dies from heatstroke in a vehicle.

Learn more by going here: HEATSTROKE

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

27 Pinneberg Volunteer Fire Brigade Members Arrive in Rockville

Burtonsville Volunteer Fire Department EMS Update

By: Tami Bulla
       President, BVFD

The brand new Ambulance 715 was placed in-service on Thursday, April 7, 2016.

A matching new Medic Unit will soon be placed in-service as well.  The new units are Freightliner M2 PL Custom Ambulances with all of the latest safety features.  All EMS Unit drivers are completing a brief familiarization check-off prior to operating the new units.  The BVFD has placed Ambulance 715 in-service 67 nights, so far, this year. Our EMS Team continues to grow and currently has over 17 active Aides and Drivers.

Unit Specs:

Engine - Cummins ISB 240 HP
Transmission - Allison 3000 EVS
Wheelbase - 168"
Module Length - 170"
Interior Height - 72"
Warning Lights - (4) Whelen 700 Series Super-LED grille lights, Whelen 700 Series Super-LED front and rear intersection lights, Whelen 900 Series Super-LED body warning lights, Whelen 4500 LED lighbar on rear of body
Audible Warning - Federal Signal PA300 electronic siren, Whelen Alpha SL electronic siren, (2) Cast Products 5403 100-watt siren speakers, (2) Hadley E-Tone air horns
Electrical System - PL Custom 12-volt electrical system w/Lifetime Warranty, Vanner 1050CUL-DC 1,050-watt inverter w/55-amp battery charger
Lighting - (10) Whelen LED dome lights, (4) Whelen 900 Series Opti-Scene LED scene lights, Whelen Fluorent LED strip lights in exterior compartments, LED rope lights in interior cabinets
Stretcher - Ferno Washington 35A - Soon to be replaced with BVFD purchased Hydralic Stryker coots.
Additional - Double wide 36" CPR seat, Slide-out tool board w/(2) Zico SCBA brackets, Glove box holders over side and rear entry doors, PL Custom oxygen monitoring system, Zico electronic oxygen tank lift, Pro Air Germicidial air purification system, turn signal indicators in ceiling above rear doors, multiple USB charging outlets, backup camera w/7" LCD monitor, Sigtronics US-12S vehicle intercom system, Plymovent exhaust adapter.

Monday, April 11, 2016

National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week April 10 - 16

It’s National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. We love and appreciate our 911 and dispatch staff who are vital links in times of crisis.

The below video comes from inside our section at the Public Safety Communications Center. If you ever have to call 911, and let us hope you never do, this is where you call would go. This is also where our fire trucks and ambulances are dispatched from to get you help as soon as possible.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

New Ambulance 715 In Service

By: Lt. Rob Furst

New Ambulance 715 (A715) was placed in service on Thursday, April 7. Firefighters Dan Fields (left) and Juan Rodriguez (right) took the unit on its first call - a medical emergency on Gracefield Road.

The ambulance is a 2016 PL Custom box mounted on a Freightliner Chassis. A715 is one of 29 EMS units that will replace a significant portion of the frontline fleet and many reserve units that are 12-16 years old and will be leaving the fleet.

New Ambulance 715 was placed in service on Thursday, April 7. Firefighters Dan Fields (left) and Juan Rodriguez (right) driving

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Firing Up The Fireplace This Weekend? Remember To Cool Your Ashes!

Winter weather has decided to stay for a little visit this weekend. No doubt many of you will be looking for a variety of ways to keep warm. One popular way is having a nice warm fire in your fireplace or wood stove.

Unfortunately, MCFRS has responded to several home fires this winter season due to improperly discarded fire place ashes. Many people do not realize that these ashes can actually remain hot enough to reignite and start a fire several days AFTER the fire is out!

Please, cool your fireplace ashes and take a moment to review the info graphic below to learn how to SAFELY dispose of them.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Bam! One Text Or Call Could Wreck It All!

As mentioned in yesterday's blog post, April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Today, we continue with a short, yet powerful, video that we hope you take a moment to view.

Remember, the vast majority of car crashes are preventable incidents and NOT accidents.

Make the right call as one text or call could wreck it all!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

National Distracted Driving Awareness Month - One Text Or Call Could Wreck It All!

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Why would MCFRS become involved in an awareness campaign like this? Because, sadly, our fire and rescue personnel respond to car crashes each and every day to assist those who have been injured -- or worse. This includes pedestrians who have been struck as well.

The vast majority of these crashes are preventable and our goal is to prevent folks from having to make that 9-1-1 call. Distracted driving is definitely preventable.

Remember, one text or call could wreck it all! Visit our partners in safety to learn more:

gif showing driver texting and person on bike crossing road

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

MCFRS Significant Incident Map - March 2016

A new feature here at MCFRS. Click on the icons and learn more about a significant incident that occurred in March. You may even find videos and photos embedded within the icon. You will also find links to more information in many as well.

Let us know what you think!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Fire and Explosive Investigators Arrest Hyattsville Man For Arson

On Monday, April 4 at approximately 7:09 a.m. MCFRS units responded to 9910 Walker House Road in Gaithersburg for a report of fire in the trash room. First arriving units found the fire had already been extinguished by an occupant of the apartment building.

An eyewitness reported an individual leaving the trash room around the time the fire was discovered. Montgomery County Police were contacted, quickly issued a lookout alert, and were able to locate a suspect matching the witness description a short time later at the Gaithersburg Public Library.

While still on scene of the trash room fire at 9910 Walker House Road, occupants from 9904 and 9902 Walker House Road alerted fire and rescue personnel to small fires that had occurred in the trash rooms in those buildings as well. MCFRS Fire Investigators were called to the scene and confirmed the fires had been intentionally set in all three buildings.  

As a result of the investigation, Montgomery County Fire Investigators have arrested Theophilus Robinson, age 21, of Hyattsville, Maryland.  He has been charged with three (3) counts of Arson in the first-degree and three (3) counts of Reckless Endangerment. He is currently being processed and held at the Central Processing Unit on Seven Locks Road in Rockville.

The investigation is ongoing. Fire Investigators indicate there have been multiple, and similar, fires in close proximity to Walker House Road in recent months, as well as in the greater Silver Spring area. Anyone with information regarding Mr. Robinson, or any suspicious fires in the area, are asked to contact the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Arson Tip Line at 240.777.2263.

Winter Is Not Over Yet! How To Keep Warm Safely

Just when we thought we were clear of winter - a stark reminder we are not there as yet. Tonight the National Weather Service has issued a Freeze Warning for Montgomery County. Temperatures are expected in the upper 20's to the lower 30's!

As of right now (12:30 p.m. Monday) there is a Freeze Watch for Tuesday night that may morph into a Warning at some point tonight or tomorrow. Again, temps are expected in the 20's and 30's.

With this in mind, we know many of you will be looking to turn up the heat both tonight and tomorrow night. Please take a moment to review the short video below from our partners in safety at the NFPA on home heating. As well, please find more tips on our web site: Winter Safety Fire Safety Tips for the Home

For those who may be hearing impaired, please find below this video a similar video in sign language.

Hoping everyone stays warm and SAFE over the next couple of nights!

Poll Result: Does Your Child Know Home Address And How To Call 911

Last Wednesday, we honored a wonderful seven year old girl who was able to call 911 to help her dad, who was experiencing a medical emergency, out. A great story you can learn more about here: Seven Year Old Everyday Hero Honored For Making The Right Call.

As a result we decided to take a poll, via our @MCFS Twitter page, and ask the below question re kids and calling 911. We are happy to see that 70% know their address and how to call 911.

Three percent indicate their child does not know either but will teach them right away. We will assume that the seven percent who know how to call 911 but do not know their address will be taught their address. Very nice to think that, as a result of the poll, some kids will be taught a valuable safety lesson that could save a life; much like seven year old Jenna did!

Of course, we here at MCFRS hope that no one ever has to call 911 as it means someone may be hurt and/or experiencing a fire.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Rescue Squad Basics

By: Lt. Rob Furst

Fire Station 15 A-Shift took advantage of the warmer weather this past week to refine their rescue squad basics.

There are currently four rescue squad driver candidates on the A-Shift at Burtonsville, so there will be plenty of training coming up this spring and summer.

firefighters gathered around over turned training vehicle

firefighters training on an over turned car

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Don’t Get Blown Away By Wind Related Issues

Starting at 11 p.m this evening until approximately noon tomorrow, Montgomery County is under a Wind Advisory. Winds are expected to be 30 – 40 mph with wind gusts as strong as 60 mph! In addition, a Freeze Warning is in effect (see second photo below and right)

With winds like that you can potentially expect to see scattered tree damage along with downed power lines. Of course with downed power lines you can also expect power outages.

MCFRS would like to provide the following tips and are asking residents to plan ahead, be ready and be safe during this wind event:
  • Make sure you secure, or bring inside, any loose items that could become dangerous projectiles in high winds.

  • Ensure your cell phones, laptops, tablets and other important devices are fully charged.

  • Do NOT use candles for lighting. Using candles during a power outage poses an extreme risk of fire. Use flashlights or battery-powered lighting options. 

  • As a reminder, treat ALL intersections without a working stoplight as a four-way stop.  

  • Turn off any heat-producing appliances (toaster oven, range, irons, etc.) that were running when the power went out to prevent them from starting unexpectedly when power is restored.  If left on, they can pose a serious fire hazard.  

  • If you are using a generator, make sure it is in a well-ventilated area to reduce the risk of breathing harmful fumes. Never place a generator under an open window and follow all manufacturer instructions.

  • Make sure the batteries in your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm are fresh. Test alarms to ensure they are working.  

  • Take care driving high profile vehicles such as semi-trailer trucks, buses, and sport utility vehicles. 

  • If live wires are involved, the tree is blocking a roadway, the tree is on a structure or if anyone is trapped under a fallen tree, call 911.

  • Keep children and pets away from areas where power lines may have fallen.

  • Use extreme caution when cleaning up storm damage on your property. Downed or damaged power lines can send electrical currents through tree branches and metal fences, so survey the area carefully - especially if you'll be using a pruning pole, ax or chainsaw. 

  • Do not remove fallen tree limbs or other debris from power lines. Tree limbs and other objects can conduct electricity and carry a current strong enough to cause serious injury or death.

  • Use extreme caution around downed or damaged power lines. Do not remove fallen tree limbs or other debris from power lines, never drive over downed lines and treat all wires – even those that are hanging or down – as if they are “live” (energized).

  • For downed trees on public property, Montgomery County residents should call -311 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays (or 240-777-0311 from outside the county or from a cell phone), or file a report at

  • Reach out to your neighbors who may need help, especially those that are elderly, disabled or infirmed.

Every Second Counts!

In the event of a home fire, every second counts. Have a home escape plan? If not make one! #SpringIntoSafety

info graphic saying to make a home fire escape plan

Friday, April 1, 2016

Final Results - What Is Your Favorite Fire Truck Color?

Last Friday we asked a survey question: What Is Your Favorite Fire Truck Color?

We had 480 views with 245 actually completing the survey. Well, the results are in and you will find them below.

Looks like the color MCFRS Red wins in a runaway!

In the future, look for more surveys as well as a few quizzes to test your knowledge!

photo of results of fire truck color survey