Monday, December 31, 2012

Don’t Become a Statistic Tonight: SoberRide Offers New Year's Revelers FREE Ride Home!

MCFRS hopes all of you have a SAFE New Year’s Eve tonight! I want to make all of you aware of how you can get a free ride if you have had a bit too much to drink.  Drunk driving is a preventable incident – it is NOT an accident when one occurs!

So please take a moment to look at the information below to learn more. Pass along to any one you know who may be out and about celebrating tonight.  If even the slightest doubt please pick up a phone and call for a ride home. 

Stay Safe this evening!

2012 Holiday Poster

How to Recycle/Dispose of Christmas Trees & Light Strings

A question that always comes up this time of year is what to do with the family Christmas Tree. Well, thanks to our friends in the Department of Environmental Protection – Division of Solid Waste, we have an answer.

Please take some time to go to their web site to learn how to properly Recycle/Dispose of Christmas Trees

In addition, you can also find some great information here on:How to recycle/dispose of light strings (Christmas lights / holiday lights)
As always – Be Safe!

Friday, December 28, 2012


1-3" of snow possible over Montgomery County tonight and tomorrow.

The National Weather Service has issued a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for Montgomery County until 6pm Sat.

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY is issued when frozen precipitation is expected which may impact travel. Travel may become hazardous. Caution should be used during any travel.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

I Called for an Ambulance. Why is There a Fire Engine Outside?

By Lieutenant Robert Furst

Currently, in The 1st Battalion, there are six fire engines staffed 24 hours a day 7 days a week with four firefighters one of whom is a paramedic. These fire engines are housed at Downtown Silver Spring (1), Hillandale (12), Burtonsville (15), Four Corners (16), Montgomery Hills (19), and Colesville (24). Officially, they are named ALS First Response Apparatus (AFRA). On the radio, they are called Paramedic Engines.

As seen in this picture, the fire engines are equipped with a full complement of Advanced Life Support (ALS) equipment. This includes a cardiac monitor with 12-Lead capability with the ability to transmit said ECGs to the receiving hospitals. Also carried is a complete set of emergency medications and equipment with which to start IVs and place advanced airways in patients. For patients with trouble breathing, all of the paramedic engines carry a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device. The AFRA carries everything a medic unit carries and complies with the minimum requirements for ALS units in the State of Maryland.

These four person paramedic engines serve multiple purposes. They can respond as the first paramedics to arrive on the scene while awaiting a medic unit, thus providing emergency medical aid minutes sooner (every second does count), or they can respond to satisfy the assembly of one or two paramedics and a transport unit on the scene of a medical emergency. If the paramedic is required to upgrade the ambulance, and help render aid to the patient enroute to the hospital, the fire engine will remain in service with a staffing of three firefighters.

The four person staffing is also instrumental in significantly reducing the amount of time to place an attack line (fire hose) operational to start to extinguish a fire sooner. This was proven in a National Instituteof Standards and Technology (NIST) study and in the recent battalion drills.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Inclement Weather Driving

I thought I would pass along some great tips I found on the Triple A Mid-Atlantic web site. The tips are related to driving though they also go into other important areas such as having an emergency kit for your car as well as inclement weather driving vehicle maintenance checklist.

Go here to learn more: Inclement Weather Driving

So please take a moment to review and prepare. Let’s not have you or your loved ones meet our fire and rescue personnel by “accident” any time soon!

Stay Safe,


Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays from Our Family to Yours! Make it a safe one!

Happy Holidays from Our Family to Yours! Make it a safe one!

Fire Station 18 A Shift 2012 Photo Courtesy of Firefighter Pete Andreallo

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Master Firefighter Promotions Announced

Fire Chief Richard Bowers is pleased to announce the following promotions to Master Firefighter.  Best of luck to all in their new positions and be safe!

    • Amy N. Dant
    • Anthony P. Scott
    • Brian J. Luger
    • Craig S. Pyle
    • David J. Newman
    • Erin C. Wirth
    • Frank S. Turner
    • Gustavo E. Lavin
    • Jamie K. Baltrotsky
    • John W. Horrell
    • Kelly A. Mullendore
    • Ojibwa D. Miller
    • Robert A. Veronesi
    • Shantell L. Brown
    • William D. Shadle
    • Sarah J. Baker

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Fire Safe Home For The Holidays!

The Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service wants to help make your holidays joyful and safe. By taking the simple safety precautions listed below, you can help ensure that you and your loved ones will have a Fire Safe Home For The Holidays!

Lights and Candles

Holiday Safety
  • Decorate your tree using only UL (Underwriters' Lab Inc.) approved lights and cords. Inspect lights for exposed or frayed wires, loose connections or broken sockets. Do not overload extension cords. Use no more than three strings of lights on one extension cord, and never run an electrical cord under a carpet. Be sure to secure electrical cords so that children cannot pull them and topple the tree.
  • Turn off the tree lights when you go to bed, depart from home or leave the tree in an unattended room.
  • Keep burning candles out of the reach of children and pets; keep matches and lighters out of sight and locked away. Make sure they are in stable holders. Do not leave candles unattended - especially around children or pets.
  • Do not place candles near draperies or anything that might easily catch fire. Make sure you put out candles when you go to bed or leave the home.
  • Never Put Lit Candles on a Tree! Do not go near a holiday tree with an open flame - candles, lighters or matches.


  • Never leave cooking food unattended - it is the number one cause of house fires.
  • Make sure you wear close-fitting clothing when cooking.
  • Put pans on back burners and turn all pot handles toward the back of the stove.
  • Never leave a child unattended in the kitchen. Close supervision is essential, whether children are helping an adult cook or simply watching.


Holiday Safety
  • When selecting a tree for the Holiday, needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and the needle should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the touch. Old trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground. If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut too long, has probably dried out, and is a fire hazard. A safer option is to buy a fire-resistant artificial tree.
  • Use a wide-based stand to make sure the tree is secure and will not fall over. Keep your tree in a container full of water, and check it daily.
  • Keep the tree away from heat sources such as fireplaces, radiators and heating vents. Decorate your tree with children in mind. Do not put ornaments that are breakable, have small detachable parts, metal hooks or look like food or candy on the lower branches where small children can reach them. Make sure tree lights are hung out of reach of young children. Also, cut back the lower branches to avoid eye injuries to small children.
  • Never burn Christmas tree branches, treated wood or wrapping paper in your fireplace. Dispose of your tree promptly after the holidays.

Other Related Tips

  • Have your furnace and chimney professionally inspected and cleaned.
  • Space heaters need space. Keep materials that burn easily at least three feet away from each heater.
  • Working smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your home, especially near sleeping areas. Test alarms once a month and replace the batteries at least twice a year.
  • Plan and practice at least two fire escape routes from each room of your home and identify an outside meeting place.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Montgomery County Firefighters Pipes & Drums Honor Wounded Warrior

By: Captain Rick Blandford

This past Saturday the Montgomery County Firefighters Pipes and Drums band, along with members of our brother bands in the area, escorted Lance Corporal Michael Martinez to the site of his new modified home. We were proud to play the ceremony that honored a returning warrior who so proudly served his country.

Photo Courtesy of Capt. Rick Blandford
The home was presented to LCpl Martinez at the key ceremony on Saturday and was built by "Home for our Troops", a non-profit organization that provides specially adapted homes for severely wounded veterans at no cost to those veterans.

Courtesy of Firefighter Peter Leong
Photo Courtesy of Capt. Rick Blandford

Friday, December 14, 2012

Deck the Halls Safely This Holiday Season

Please take a moment to read the below safety information and to also put it in to practice!  Most home fires are preventable!

Also take a moment to pass along via email, your favorite social media platform, or even just download, print out and hand out!

Deck the Halls Flyer

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Happy 9th Birthday to Frankie!

Happy 9th Birthday to Frankie, one of our Urban Search and Rescue Team dogs. The photos below are of Frankie, including one with Mommy/Handler Lt. Laura Murdock of MCFRS, when they deployed to NYC for superstorm Sandy. 



Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tips for Safe Disposal of Ash from Fireplaces and Woodstoves From County’s Division of Solid Waste Services, Fire and Rescue Service

As the winter season officially arrives, residents are reminded that fireplace and woodstove ashes retain enough heat to ignite other combustible materials for several days after a fire. The rule to remember is: never put ashes in a paper or plastic bag, cardboard box or plastic bucket.

“Embers often concealed in what appears to be cold ashes, can remain hot enough to rekindle a fire for several days,” said Fire Chief Richard Bowers. “We want residents to enjoy their fireplaces, wood stoves and grills but to always take care to dispose of the ashes wisely.”

FireplaceThe Division of Solid Waste Services (Dept. of Environmental Protection) joins the Montgomery County Fire Rescue Service in reminding residents never to put out ashes from fireplaces for collection with their regular household trash unless they have been thoroughly soaked with water in a metal ash bucket with a tight fitting metal lid and designed for that purpose, or held in place for at least a week to ensure there are no residual embers.

Store any container holding ash outside, away from structures, decks, fences, wood piles or other combustible materials. Ashes retain enough heat to ignite other combustible materials for several days after a fire.

Cooled ashes may be brought to the Shady Grove Road Processing Facility and Transfer Station for disposal in specifically-designated ash containers. The Transfer Station is located at 16101 Frederick Rd., Derwood (off Rt. 355 at Shady Grove Rd.).

When delivering ash, residents are asked to use the Frederick Rd. (Rt. 355) entrance just south of Shady Grove Rd. The Transfer Station's Public Unloading Facility (PUF) -- also called the "Car Ramp" -- has several steel drums marked specifically for ash disposal. The drums are located between trash drop-off bays. Contractor staff verifies that the ash has cooled off before taking it to the rubble drop-off area for disposal.

“Hot ashes that are not properly cooled and disposed are significant fire hazards, capable of starting fires when mixed in loads of waste in refuse collection trucks, on rail cars on their way to waste disposal facilities or while waste is actually being processed at the County’s Transfer Station,” said Dan Locke, chief of the Division of Solid Waste Services.

MCFRS and DSWS both want residents to be aware that the risk of fire becomes even greater when it is windy. The wind can reignite embers and potentially send them toward nearby combustibles, such as homes.

Two other helpful ash safety hints from MCFRS are: never use a vacuum cleaner to pick up ashes and always have working smoke alarms on every level of the home and test them monthly.

For more information, including photos of the Transfer Station disposal site, visit the DSWS website

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Educational Senior Safety Presentation Today!

Several County departments are teaming up to promote senior citizen safety. The Senior Safety Summit is a collaborative effort between the Fire Department, Police Department, Health and Human Services and the Office of Consumer Affairs aimed at informing, protecting and keeping seniors in the County safe and aware of resources and services available to them.  

What:           Senior Safety SummitFree
When:       Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Time:            1:00 – 4:00 p.m.                     
Where:      White Oak Community Center
                        1700 April Lane, Silver Spring, MD 20904
                        Free Parking

Who:          Montgomery County Fire and Rescue
                        Montgomery County Police
                        Montgomery County Office of Consumer Affairs

More Info:  Visit for additional information

Monday, December 10, 2012

Driving in Fog - Safety Tips

The below is from and I thought it appropriate for this mornings commute. Stay Safe - Bill

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

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

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

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

* Use wipers and defrosters as necessary for maximum visibility.

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

* Be patient. Do not pass lines of traffic.

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

Sources: National Weather Service, Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Arrests Made in Playground Fire in Rockville

                                       Four juveniles charged with arson

Montgomery County, MD - - - Fire and Explosive Investigators from the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service have arrested four juveniles in connection with setting a fire that destroyed a playground located at the Rockville Civic Center on November 21, 2012. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue personnel were dispatched shortly after 8:00 p.m. to the 600 block of Edmonston Drive for the report of a playground on fire. Units arrived and found the playground fully engulfed and quickly extinguished the fire.  

Montgomery County Fire and Explosive Investigators, assisted by Rockville City Police, located and arrested four juveniles and filed charges. Because the suspects are juveniles, their names are not being released and the case has been referred to the Department of Juvenile Services. Investigators estimate that the fire caused $160,000 in damages.

Authorities remind residents that they are often the eyes and ears of the community and can expand police and fire presence simply by being alert and reporting suspicious or potentially dangerous activities to authorities. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Poster Contest On Carbon Monoxide Safety

Correction 11:47 AM December 6: The CPSC Contest actually does not start until early 2013.  The below information is not accurate.  We will post the new contest information as soon as it comes out in 2013.

Sorry for any confusion this has caused!

Stay Safe,

Bill D

Recently (read yesterday) I was made aware of a wonderful poster contest for middle school children being sponsored by our friends at the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

It is related to Carbon Monoxide (CO) and the dangers of CO in the home.  Because you can not see or smell CO, it is often referred too as the invisible killer.

So if you have a middle school student in your household, or are a middle school teacher, please pass along the below flyer with the contest parameters.  The deadline is already fast approaching but there is still time!

My hope is that the contest will also help spread the word of safety and prevention.  It would be wonderful to see a Montgomery County student win the contest and, indirectly, assist us here at MCFRS to prevent these terrible events from occurring.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Toys for the Holidays …Help Us Help Others

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service and local fire and rescue departments will again be collecting toys for needy families and underprivileged children during the 2012 holiday season starting on December 5, 2012. For many years various Montgomery County volunteer fire and rescue stations have worked with local community groups, civic organizations and government agencies to make the holiday season a little better for area families.

All Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Stations will serve as drop off sites for new unwrapped toys, including those toys to be used for existing annual local volunteer fire department initiatives supporting neighborhood and local community holiday programs, as well as, the regional 2012 Toys for Tots Campaign in conjunction with the United States Marines.
Fire Departments throughout the metro region, including those in Montgomery County will be collecting toys for children during the 2012 holiday season. Toys may be dropped off until December 18, 2012

Monday, December 3, 2012

No Twitter? No Problem! You Can Still Get MCFRS Updates!

Do not have a Twitter account but want to receive Montgomery County Fire and Rescue’s tweets via text? No problem.
A Twitter feature called Fast Follow make it possible for those with a cell phone and a text messaging plan to receive tweet’s on their phone.  Understand that Text messaging rates apply.
Here is how you do it:
Text “follow @mcfrs” to 40404.  You will get a text message back indicating you are now following @MCFRS.  The text will also provide guidance on how to stop the text messages if you no longer wish to receive them.
If you follow, you can expect to receive all of the latest news, updates, and safety tips from Montgomery County Fire and Rescue.