Tuesday, August 1, 2017

It’s National Night Out – make sure we find you in an EMERGENCY!


National Night Out is a premier community-building event in the County. Do you know the police officers who work to keep your neighborhood and your family safe? Come out to the many National Night Out events being celebrated around the County and meet the first responders that serve your community and on your way home --- check your house numbers and make sure they are visible. 

In an emergency, police, fire and rescue workers depend on house numbers to find YOU as quickly as possible. Finding your home - especially at night - can be challenging if address numbers are unreadable, hidden, unlighted or have missing numbers and may delay emergency responders from getting to you as quickly as possible.
Are your house numbers visible from the street? Are they set on a background of contrasting color? If your house is hidden from the street, are your numbers attached to a visible fence, mailbox or gate? Is your mobile home identified with your house number? If you live on a corner, does your house number face the street named in your address?
If you've answered "no" to any of these questions, please follow the guidelines below to make sure your house number is easy to read:

1. Numbers must be visible from the street. Existing residential home numbering can be 3 1/2 inches high, however new residential homes must be at least 5 inches high and if you replace existing numbers they must be at least 5 inches high.

2. Numbers should be placed on a contrasting background, with a reflective coating on the numbers for easy visibility at night.

3. Repair or replace aging address number placards, especially on mailboxes that are a distance from the front of the residence.

4. Prune any bushes, tree limbs or other growth that has covered your house numbers.

5. Numbers should be placed on or beside the front door. If your door is not easily seen from the street, put the numbers on a post, fence or tree at the driveway entrance so they can be clearly seen from the street. In addition to numbers on the front door of your house, if you have a rural-style mailbox, reflective and contrasting numbers should be placed on both sides of the box so they can be seen by an emergency vehicle approaching from either direction.

Montgomery County Code on Addresses
a.The owner of any structure presently existing or constructed in the future must display Arabic numbers designating the address assigned to the structure by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, or by the municipality in which the structure is located. Numbers must be at least five (5) inches high for single-family detached and attached residences and at least six (6) inches high for commercial, industrial or multifamily structures. However, if the numbers designating the address of a single-family residence on April 5, 1988, were at least three (3) inches high, those numbers comply with the size requirement of this section as long as they remain in place. Address displays must be posted on a contrasting background displayed in a conspicuous place that is unobstructed and clearly readable from the street named in the official address of the structure. Where a structure has more than one (1) address or where more than one (1) structure shares a common entry or driveway, numbers must designate the addresses in sequence.

b. An agency of the county must not require a permit for a sign containing only the address of a residence if the sign is smaller than a maximum size set by the county executive by regulation.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Get Ready: High Heat in the Forecast

Be Careful and Check on Elderly Neighbors

The heat is ON. A Heat Advisory remains in effect from noon today until 9 p.m. Temperatures will be in the mid to upper 90s with heat index values around 105 degrees. Excessive heat is especially dangerous to the elderly, the young, those with existing medical conditions and those that work outdoors. Fire Chief Scott Goldstein is urging residents to stay cool, stay hydrated and to check on the welfare of elderly or at-risk neighbors as things "heat up" this week in the metropolitan area.
 

Staying hydrated is essential all year long but is particularly important when temperatures soar. During hot weather and extreme heat, keep informed by listening to local weather and news channels and take a minute to review the tips below.


1. Pre-hydrate, hydrate and re-hydrate.
During hot weather you will need to increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level. Drink plenty of fluids in advance, during and after activities and don’t wait until you're thirsty to hydrate.

2.  Dress for the heat.
Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect some of the sun’s energy. Limit your direct exposure to the sun and wear a hat for extra protection.

3.  Monitor those at high risk.
Extreme heat can be hazardous to your health and although anyone can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Those most at risk for heat-related illnesses include children, older adults, those that work or exercise outside and those with pre-existing medical conditions. Elderly or disabled residents in Montgomery County in need of a free fan can call 311 for information.

4. Children and cars - use common sense.
Never, ever leave infants, children, pets or the elderly in a parked car where temperatures can become life-threatening in minutes, even with the windows rolled down. Additionally, hot interior surfaces of a car can burn a child’s skin. Before you put your child in a car that has been parked in a warm/sunny spot, check the temperature of the car seat or upholstery first.

5. Avoid strenuous activity.
Take regular breaks when exercising or engaged in physical activity on warm days. If you recognize that you, or someone else, is showing signs of a heat-related illness, stop the activity immediately, find a cool place to rest, hydrate and seek medical attention if necessary.

6. Be a good neighbor.
Isolated, elderly adults are at a much higher risk of health-related issues. Be a good neighbor and take a minute to check in with your neighbors.

7. Remember your pets.
Hot weather can affect the well-being of pets making them susceptible to overheating which can lead to very dangerous heat stroke. Always provide a source of water and a cool, ventilated place for your pet. Leaving your pet inside a parked car, even for a few minutes, can be fatal. The inside of a car can reach 120 degrees in a matter of minutes.  

8. Stay indoors, if possible.
Stay indoors and, if possible, in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, consider going to the shopping mall, community center or public library. Even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you return to the heat.

Monday, July 3, 2017

What You Need to Know About Fireworks

With the Fourth of July quickly approaching, Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein is reminding residents that ALL fireworks are illegal in Montgomery County and that the County will be continuing its ‘zero tolerance’ policy regarding illegal fireworks.
  
In an effort to stress the seriousness posed by the use of dangerous and illegal fireworks, Fire Officials across the region launched a comprehensive effort several years ago to inform and educate the public about illegal fireworks. “The law in Montgomery County is clear and the safest, and smartest, way to enjoy fireworks is at one of the many public displays in the area,” said Fire Chief Goldstein. Here’s what you should know:

The Law: 
It is illegal for any person to manufacture, possess, store, offer for sale, sell, discharge, use, burn or explode any fireworks in Montgomery County, Maryland, except that an authorized display may be conducted by a licensed pyrotechnic professional with a permit. Penalties for violations of the law include a fine up to $1,000 and/or six months in jail. All fireworks are illegal in Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and the City of Baltimore. Montgomery County Fire Safety Code: Section 22-70: Fireworks.

What fireworks are legal?
In Montgomery County, ALL fireworks are illegal to possess or discharge including gold label sparklers. Snap-and-pop noise makers, snakes and party poppers are the only exception to this law.

Can I receive fireworks at my home through the mail?
No. Use of the mail for the transportation of fireworks for use in the State of Maryland is illegal.

Can I have a private fireworks display at my residence with proper permits?
No. You can not have a private display; however, you can apply to have a public display with proper permits and insurance.

Can I receive fireworks at my residence delivered by a public carrier?
No. It doesn't matter where the fireworks are purchased or how they are brought into Maryland.  Fireworks are still illegal in Montgomery County.

Where do I report violations involving fireworks?
Residents should call 301-279-8000. Do NOT call 911 unless you have a life-threatening emergency and need immediate help. Non-emergency 911 calls can delay getting assistance to people with actual emergencies.

Where can I go in Montgomery County to see the fireworks?
The Fire Chief and safety experts agree that the best way to celebrate is to enjoy one of the many free, public fireworks displays in the area on July 4th.  Public fireworks displays, conducted by trained professionals, are the smartest and safest way to view fireworks because they are established under controlled settings and safety regulations and monitored by public safety organizations.

Jason Pierre-Paul and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission teamed up to file a PSA on fireworks safety. Pierre-Paul suffered severe damage when a firework accidentally exploded in his hand in 2015. Think about what Pierre-Paul said: "I saw 12 people in the hospital and my hand was the best one. If there were that may fireworks-related injuries in one hospital last July, how many were there across the country?"

Please - leave the fireworks to the professionals.  

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

It’s Official! Summer. Is. Here.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service and Fire Chief Scott Goldstein are kicking off our annual “Summer of Safety” campaign designed to provide important safety information and tips designed to keep residents and visitors safe this summer. Stick with us all season as we highlight various safety topics ranging from A to Z!

Five words that save lives --- All Eyes On The Pool! MCFRS officials are urging residents to take proper precautions around the water and to diligently supervise children when they are around any water sources. Whether you’re a seasoned swimmer or just learning how to swim, many water-related injuries can be avoided by knowing what to do and how to stay safe. The Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service kicks off the 2017 Summer of Safety Campaign with Water Safety:  

Be attentive.  Research from the National Safe Kid Campaign shows that nearly 9 out of 10 children between the ages of 1 and 14 who drowned were under supervision when they died. How is this possible? Distractions – cell phones, ipads, reading materials, chores and socializing needs to be resisted when YOU are on “lifeguard duty” watching your child. Be engaged and committed to watching them constantly. The study defined supervision as being in someone’s care, not necessarily in direct line of sight.

Learn to swim and never swim alone. One of the best things you can do to stay safe around the water is to learn to swim and to always swim with a buddy. Make sure they know how to tread water, float on their backs and get to the edge of the pool and hang on. Even the most experienced swimmers can become tired or get muscle cramps which might make it difficult to get out of the water safely.  

Teaching your child how to swim does not mean that your child is “drown-proof.”If you have a pool or are visiting a pool, protect your children by supervising them at all times and being prepared in case of an emergency. Consider designating a adult “water watcher” when children are participating in water activities.

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

Learn life-saving skills. Know how to prevent, recognize and respond to emergencies. In the time it might take paramedics to arrive, your CPR skills could make a difference in saving someone’s life.

Avoid relying on inflatable swimming aids such as “floaties and “noodles” to keep your child safe. These toys are not designed to keep your child safe, can deflate or shift quickly and should never be used as a substitute for supervision. Use only Coast Guard approved flotation devices that your swimmer properly.

Lifeguards are an important safety feature but are NOT intended to replace the close supervision of parents or caregivers. Remember, lifeguards are not babysitters.

Maintain constant supervision of children around water (bathtubs, pools, ornamental backyard ponds, etc.). Never leave a child unattended in the water or pool area. Don't be distracted by phone calls, chores or conversations. If you leave the pool area, take the child with you. Remember: swim lessons are no substitute for the supervision of children. Formal swimming lessons can help protect young swimmers around the water however constant adult supervision is critical. 
Diving dangers. Diving injuries can cause permanent spinal damage, injuries and even death. Protect yourself by diving only in designated areas that are known to be safe, such as the deep end, of a supervised pool. 

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

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

Water and alcohol don’t mix.
 Each year, up to half of all adult drownings are linked to alcohol use. Never swim impaired. 




Friday, May 5, 2017

Arson Awareness Week

The theme for the 2017 Arson Awareness Week (May 7-13) is Preventing Arson at Houses of Worship. Each year for Arson Awareness Week, the U.S. Fire Administration gathers and shares information to raise awareness of arson or youth firesetting and provide strategies to combat these issues. The United States Fire Administration (USFA) is pleased to announce first-time partners: the Department of Justice’s Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’(ATF) Fire Investigation & Arson Enforcement Division. USFA will also partner with the International Association of Arson Investigators, National Volunteer Fire Council, National Fire Protection Association, Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, and the Insurance Committee for Arson Control.
The week’s focus is on the importance of collaboration among fire and emergency services, law enforcement, insurance companies, and the justice system to help reduce arson at houses of worship. The new partners will help expand the collaboration and provide opportunities for reaching into communities with information and suggested prevention actions.
In addition, a webinar will be held on Tuesday, May 9th, at 2 pm, hosted by the Insurance Committee for Arson Control. The webinar will provide information on the three factors included in an arson prevention program, the five required steps to establish a Community Arson Watch program, and the most common motives associated with arson. Learn more and register.
“When arson touches our houses of worship,” said Acting USFA Administrator Dr. Denis Onieal, “it attacks the very foundation of our freedoms.”
For more information regarding the 2017 Arson Awareness Week, including materials to implement awareness and prevention activities in your community, visit www.usfa.fema.gov/aaw.



Wednesday, April 26, 2017

MEDIA ADVISORY

Safe Kids Montgomery County Celebrates Safe Kids Day

Saturday, April 29, 2017
3:00 - 5:00 p.m.


New Hampshire Estates Elementary School
8720 Carroll Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20903


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 take action to protect kids on the road, at home and at play.  At the event there will be activities focused on nutrition and health, bike and pedestrian safety, fire safety, water safety and child passenger safety.

The event is made possible with support from Johnson & Johnson, FedEx, Nationwide, Chevrolet, Kidde and Tide. Safe Kids Worldwide’s national events have attracted the support of celebrity heroes including Drew Barrymore, Sharon Stone and many more to help bring awareness to child injury prevention. To learn more about Safe Kids Day, please visit: www.safekids.org/safekidsday

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 safekids.org or www.safekidsmoco.org



Sunday, April 9, 2017

Visitation and Memorial Details - Firefighter Charles 'Rick' Gentilcore


To:                               MCFRS Personnel

From:                           Fire Chief Scott E. Goldstein

Subject:                        Death Notification


Member Name:                        Fire Fighter Rescuer III Charles “Rick” Gentilcore (15D)

Relationship to Member:          Self


Rick’s arrangements have nearly been finalized.  Viewing and funeral services are as follow:

Viewing
Tuesday, April 11, 2017 – 1400-1600 hours and 1800-2200 hours
Hines-Rinaldi Funeral Home - 11800 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland 20904

Funeral
Wednesday, April 12, 2017 – 1300 hours
Covenant Life Church – 7501 Muncaster Mill Road, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877

Interment
Immediately following the post-funeral processional
Gate of Heaven Cemetery – 13801 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland 20906

Repast
Immediately following interment – details are being finalized and are forthcoming

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial contributions may be made to the Burtonsville Volunteer Fire Department:  http://www.bvfd.com/support/donate-online/


For the Funeral and Interment departments, honor units, and bands wishing to pay respect to Rick should email the contacts below for specific coordination.


Bands           pipemajor@mcffpipesanddrums.org

Update on Visitation for FF Gentilcore

The visitation has been finalized

11800 New Hampshire Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20904

Tuesday April 11th 2017 from 2pm to 4pm and 6pm to 8pm

Out of county departments are asked to utilize light duty/utility vehicles in lieu of large apparatus to facilitate ease of parking.

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday with interment at Gate of Heaven Cemetery. The memorial service location has not yet been finalized.


More detailed info on the memorial service will be pushed as it is finalized

Departments wishing to attend the viewing and/or memorial are asked to send an email to:  MCFRS.LODD@montgomerycountymd.gov


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service Mourning the Death of One of Our Own.

On Friday, April 7, 2017 Fire Fighter Rescuer III Charles R. Gentilcore was on duty around 3:30 p.m., at Burtonsville Fire Station 15, and was found unresponsive in the fire station by co-workers. Immediate medical treatment was initiated.

Picture during Recruit School Evolution's
"Rick," age 52, was transported in critical condition to Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Maryland. Despite the best efforts of paramedics and hospital staff, Rick succumbed a short time after arriving at the hospital. Rick lived in Bowie, Maryland - Prince George's County.  He was a twenty-three year member of the MCFRS:  first serving as a volunteer with the Burtonsville Volunteer Fire Department (eleven years) and, most recently, as a career fire fighter rescuer (twelve years).  His last duty assignment was Burtonsville Fire Station 15.  He leaves behind a wife, son, and extended family.

Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott E. Goldstein informed the MCFRS of the On-Duty Death and asked all to "Please keep the Gentilcore family and the entire MCFRS family in your thoughts and prayers as we work through this difficult time."

Jeffrey Buddle, President of the Montgomery County Career Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 1664, said "The members of IAFF Local 1664 are deeply saddened by the line of duty death of our fallen brother. Our thoughts and deepest sympathy are with the Gentilcore family during this extraordinarily difficult time."

Rick's picture during Recruit School
Tami Bulla, President of the Burtonsville Volunteer Fire Department, said in a written statement, "Rick joined the Burtonsville Volunteer Fire Department in 1994 because he knew he wanted to serve his community.  That lead him to pursue a career in Montgomery County Fire Rescue and we were pleased when he was assigned back at Burtonsville, because it felt like he was coming home."



As additional details, including funeral arrangements, become available, they will be released and posted.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Cabin John Park Volunteer Fire Department Bolsters Fire Prevention Efforts with FM Global Grant


BETHESDA, MD - The Cabin John Park Volunteer Fire Department was awarded a prestigious Fire Prevention Grant from FM Global, one of the world’s largest commercial property insurers.

FM Global representatives presented the award to Deputy Chief Corinne Piccardi at the Cabin John Park Volunteer Fire Department located at 8001 River Road in Bethesda. The award will be used to assist with fire prevention activities in the community to help educate the community and reduce the number of preventable fires. Fire continues to be the leading cause of property damage worldwide. For more than 40 years, FM Global has contributed millions of dollars in fire prevention grants to fire service organizations around the globe to educate and raise awareness about fire safety. Locally, the company has awarded grants to a number of Maryland-based organizations.

“At FM Global, we strongly believe the majority of property damage is preventable, not inevitable,” said Michael Spaziani, Manager of the Fire Prevention Grant Program. “Far too often, inadequate budgets prevent organizations working to prevent fires from being as proactive as they would like to be. With additional financial support, grant recipients are actively helping to improve property risk in the communities they serve.”

Through its Fire Prevention Grant Program, FM Global awards grants to fire departments - as well as national, state, regional, local and community organizations worldwide - that best demonstrate a need for funding where dollars can have the most demonstrable impact on preventing fire, or mitigating the damage it can quickly cause.

To learn more about FM Global’s Fire Prevention Grant Program, or to apply for a grant, please visit www.fmglobal.com/grants.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Sweating for a Great Cause!


You. Are. Invited.


Looking for something to do this weekend? Please join us Saturday, March 25th for a charity Cycle and Zumba Party event to celebrate the life and work of Emilie Crown.

All proceeds will benefit SafeKids Montgomery, the organization that Emilie dedicated herself to as the program manager and director of Montgomery County's Car Seat program.

Come out, meet some awesome people and get in a great work out! See you Saturday.


Sunday, March 5, 2017

It only takes ONE to save your life!

This simple task can be a potentially life-saving one. 
Daylight savings time begins March 12th and Fire Chief Scott Goldstein is urging all residents to test and check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are working and up-to-date when they change their clocks this weekend.

Did you know the peak time for home fire fatalities is between 11 pm and 6 am when most families are sleeping? A working smoke alarm dramatically increases the chance for survival and provides advance warning of a fire resulting in more time to react and put a home escape plan into action. Help keep your family safe by following these fire safety tips:

1. Install smoke alarms on all levels of your home, including the basement and in all sleeping areas.
2. Test smoke alarms each month to ensure they are working. Replace batteries annually, as needed or required by manufacturer.3. Plan and practice home fire drills regularly. Decide in advance who will help family members that may need assistance escaping (young children, older adults or people with disabilities).
4. Retire old smoke alarms and replace with new ones every 10 years, or as recommended by the manufacturer.
5. Make sure children recognize the sound of your smoke alarm and how to respond to its signal.
6. Know your battery type. Smoke alarms equipped with 10-year batteries are becoming more common. Check your smoke alarms to see what type of battery it has. The 10-year batteries don’t need to be replaced annually, but the entire smoke alarm does need to be replaced every ten years. Maryland’s new law (effective 1/1/2018) affects battery-operated smoke alarms and requires that alarms have SEALED IN, 10-year long life batteries which last for the life of the alarm. Do the math – that’s 10 years. 

Got questions? Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service is here to help! Call 311 or visit us on line to schedule your free home safety check. Be sure to bookmark our website for year-round safety information at www.mcfrs.org/mcsafe


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Loss of a Champion


It is with heartfelt sadness that Fire Chief Scott Goldstein announces the sudden passing of Emilie Crown on Monday, February 6, 2017.  For over 36 years Emilie has been a tireless advocate and champion for children’s safety, the architect of Montgomery County’s nationally acclaimed car seat program, instrumental at the legislative level to pass Maryland's Booster Seat Law and was considered one of the leading and foremost authorities on Child Passenger Safety across the Country.
A Memorial Service will take place on:


Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.
Damascus Activities Building
10211 Lewis Drive
Damascus, Maryland 20872

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that you consider a memorial contribution to Montgomery County Safe Kids or Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service’s Car Seat program to honor Emilie and continue her legacy.

Montgomery County Fire & Rescue CPS Program 

IMO Emilie Crown
100 Edison Park Drive, 2nd Floor
Gaithersburg, MD 20878 


Thank you for your outpouring of kindness, prayers and condolences for the Crown Family.
Any questions can be directed to 240-777-2463.  

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Smart Trends: Initiative Aims at Reducing Non-Emergency 911 Calls

Collaborative Approach is Changing the Future Landscape of Emergency Care - One Call at a Time 


There has been a growing focus on reducing the number of frequent users of the 911 Emergency System as a means of decreasing healthcare costs and reducing the strain on EMS resources. Frequent, repeat use EMS users are a diverse group of individuals with a wide range of medical, behavioral and social challenges and account for a disproportionate number of non-urgent EMS calls and transports.

The Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service (MCFRS) was invited to the National Academy of EMS Physicians Annual Conference to present a research abstract discussing the impacts of its collaborative partnership with the Montgomery County Health & Human Services, targeting high utilizers of the 911 system.  The partnership focuses on reducing 911 calls from frequent users of the system by aligning and connecting them with the appropriate support and resources they need within the community. Dr. Roger Stone, the Medical Director for the MCFRS presented the research abstract on January 26, 2017 at the National Academy of EMS Physicians Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Authors of the research included Lt. Jamie Baltrotsky, Lt. Ashley Robinson, Dr. Roger Stone and Battalion Chief Alan Butsch.

The abstract poster, one out of over 200 research posters submitted, was awarded “Best Abstract Poster Presentation.” Dr. Stone accepted the award at an awards luncheon that was held after the presentations.  MCFRS continues to find innovative ways to deliver the highest quality care to citizens and, while this program is still in the beginning stages, the data is yielding promising results.