Friday, March 29, 2013

MCFRS Announces Promotions

Fire Chief Richard Bowers is pleased to announce the following promotions within MCFRS:

The following person has been promoted to the rank of Captain:
    • Rhonda B. Weaver
The following person has been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant:

    • David J. Kennedy
The following person has been promoted to the rank of Master Firefighter:
    • Brett J. Carter
Congratulations to all and be safe!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Inspiring The Next Generation While Keeping The Community Safe

Master Firefighter Damian Langston walks some
children around Paramedic Engine 724

By: Lieutenant Robert Furst

Every Saturday afternoon, firefighters and EMTs in the 1st Battalion canvas the community to hand out informational materials and check residences for working smoke alarms. Occasionally, this leads to one of the most enjoyable moments of our work days: showing children the fire truck.

Children marvel over the size of the apparatus along with the shiny and clean condition of the equipment. To be frank with you, most of the personnel of The 1st were the same way when we were kids, and we like to reminisce about those times. It is our hope that we can brighten the day of the children and maybe lead some of them down the path to becoming the next generation of 1st Battalion Firefighters.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Real Life Experience Minus The Real Life Risk – Every 15 Minutes Program

By: Bill Delaney

As those of you with a high school aged child know, the prom season is upon us.  With that also come many concerns as it relates to the safety and well being of your child.  Paramount among those concerns are impaired driving whether it be related to drugs, alcohol, or even texting.

In an effort to help educate students to make good choices many Montgomery County High Schools, partnering with the local volunteer fire department and MCFRS, put on the Every 15 Minutes program.  The program is an event designed to dramatically instill teenagers with the potentially dangerous consequences of impaired driving in a real life setting minus the real life risk.

A great example of this program was conducted at Rockville High School a couple of weeks ago.  Below, please find a tremendous student produced video that documents the program.  It is roughly 16 minutes in length and well worth the watch.  

MCFRS will be participating in a few Every 15 Minutes programs over the coming weeks.  Hope that everyone experiences a happy and SAFE prom season!

Monday, March 25, 2013

MCFRS Significant Incident Map Sunday, March 17 – Saturday, March 23

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.

Please look for the incidents that also have a camera icon.  When you click on those you will find at least one photo with a potential link to more photos from that particular incident.

View MCFRS Significant Incident Map in a larger map

Townhouse Fire 19300 Block Elderberry Terrace

19300 Block Elderberry Terrace19300 Block Elderberry Terrace219300 Block Elderberry Terrace319300 Block Elderberry Terrace419300 Block Elderberry Terrace5

On Saturday, March 23, MCFRS personnel responded to a report of a townhouse fire in the 19300 block of Elderberry Terrace. A second alarm was called and the fire was extinguished. Total damages of approximately $200K. The fire is under investigation. There were no injuries to the occupants though the family sadly lost two dogs. Red Cross assisting.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Friday Apartment Fire 8600 Block Carroll Ave.

8600 block Carroll Ave8600 block Carroll Ave28600 block Carroll Ave38600 block Carroll Ave48600 block Carroll Ave5

On Friday, March 22, MCFRS personnel responded to a report of an apartment fire in the 8600 block of Carroll Ave in Takoma Park. Firefighters rescued a 59 year old male from the apartment and transported him to a local trauma center. Fire began in an unattended pot on the stove. Damage was estimated at $500K with additional damage to six neighboring apartments. Ten people were displaced.

Photos Courtesy of Firefighter Dan Rothermel

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Retired Accountant Trades Office for Saving Lives

Silver Spring Volunteer EMT Jerry Leener joins respected and legendary journalist Jane Pauley on the NBC TODAY show in a featured segment, “Life Reimagined TODAY” which is produced and sponsored by AARP and showcases unique, encore careers. 

Jerry Leener, volunteer EMT with the Silver Spring Volunteer Fire Department had a long and successful career as a CPA at Price Waterhouse but wanted more. After retirement he decided to move on and give back to the community by helping people when they need it most, during emergency situations and became a volunteer EMT three years ago. “Life Reimagined TODAY” will air Wednesday, March 27th between 8:30-9 a.m. in most U.S. time zones.
Preview clip included below: 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Fire Officer Promotions Announced

Fire Chief Richard Bowers is pleased to announce the following fire officer promotions within MCFRS:

The following person has been promoted to the rank of Battalion Chief:
    • Francis W. Doyle
The following personnel have been promoted to the rank of Captain:
    • Christopher S. Whitehead
    • Donald L. Yingling  
    • Paul C. Gross
Best wishes to all of those promoted and, as always, stay safe!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) Program To Hold Basic Training Class

By: Greg St. James
CERT Program Manager

The next CERT class is scheduled to begin April 11, 2013. The class runs Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons. April 11 through May 11 at:

Montgomery County Public Safety Headquarters
100 Edison Park Drive Gaithersburg, MD 20878

Please note that the final practical will be on Saturday May 11th to avoid Mother's Day.

The initial CERT Training equals 30 hours of instruction and hands on exercises. Each session is unique so please confirm the hours and your availability before committing to participate.

The topics currently covered within the 30 hours are: Disaster Preparedness, Damage Assessment, First Aid, CPR /AED, Triage, FRS Radio Use, Fire Safety / Fire Extinguisher Usage, Light Search and Rescue, Hazardous Materials Awareness, Incident Command System (NIMS), Pet Safety, Terrorism Awareness, and Mass Casualty Response. The final class is a practical hand’s on culmination of the training you’ve received.

All applicants are requested to make a good faith effort to attend every class; missed units must be made up before the Official FEMA Certificate of Completion is given.

Go here to Learn More About CERT Training

Please click here to complete this application and forward it to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Learn more at: Montgomery County CERT

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

MCFRS Significant Incident Map Sunday, March 10 – Saturday, March 16

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.

Hope all of you find this useful. Please comment below or send an email  letting us know what you think.

View MCFRS Significant Incident Map in a larger map

Monday, March 18, 2013

Photos of Fire and Rescue in 11900 block of Old Columbia Pike Sunday

11900 Old Columbia Pk211900 Old Columbia Pk311900 Old Columbia Pk411900 Old Columbia Pk511900 Old Columbia Pk611900 Old Columbia Pk

Montgomery County Fire/Rescue units responded to the 11900 block of Old Columbia Pike for the house fire with a report of people trapped. Battalion Chief 701 arrived on scene and confirmed a working house fire with a person hanging from a second floor window. A male occupant jumped from the window prior to the fire departments arrival. A female occupant remained on the window sill and was rescued via ladder by the fire department (see photos below).

The fire was brought under control in about 15 minutes and was contained to the first floor of the townhouse. Damages were roughly $125,000 to the structure and $75,000 to the contents. There were 5 persons total displaced (two adults and three children). The two adults were transported to a local hospital with minor injuries.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Hear Us, See Us, Clear for Us!

“Please Abide – Pull Aside”

Do you know what to do when approached by an emergency vehicle? The metropolitan area is often crowded and congested with traffic conditions caused by commuters, collisions, work zones and sometimes just “normal” traffic.

Emergency vehicles are impacted by these conditions, as well. When somebody calls 911 for help – the men and women of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service respond. How can everyday drivers help us to help you? – Normally drivers will HEAR usfirst, next they will SEE us, and then we need drivers to CLEAR for us.


C – L – E – A – R for emergency vehicles.

– Calmly pull to and as close to the edge of the roadway as possible and stop.

– Leave room. Keep intersections clear and never try to follow emergency vehicles.

E – Enter into traffic with caution after the emergency vehicle has passed. Remember to use signals.

A – Aware (be). Be aware of your surroundings. Keep radio volume low and check rear view mirrors frequently.

R – Remain stopped until the emergency vehicle has passed. Be mindful that there may be additional emergency vehicles approaching.

When approached by an emergency vehicle – the law says to pull over to the closest parallel edge of the roadway and yield the right of way to the emergency vehicle. An emergency vehicle is one with an audible siren and/or siren and emergency flashing lights. When driving and approaching an emergency scene – slow down and move over. In other words - “Give us a brake!”

Reduce the risk of an accident near an emergency scene and around emergency equipment.

Stay alert – expect anything to occur when approaching emergency vehicles.

Pay close attention – watch for police or fire direction.

Turn on your headlights – let on scene workers and other motorists see you.
Don’t tailgate – unexpected stops frequently occur near emergency scenes.

Don’t speed – slow down.

Keep up with the traffic flow – dedicate your full attention to the roadway and those traveling around you.

Minimize distractions – avoid changing radio stations and using mobile cell phones while approaching these areas.

Expect the unexpected – keep an eye out for emergency workers and their equipment.

Be patient – remember, firefighters and EMT’s have been called to the scene and are working to help someone.

In Montgomery County pedestrian and traffic safety issues are front and center. If you travel by car or are a pedestrian, please place extra emphasis on safety. Simply looking both ways before crossing a street, crossing in a crosswalk, spending a few extra seconds to cinch the belt on your child's safety seat, or delaying departure to ensure you get enough rest before a long trip can make all the difference. Preventative safety, while measured in seconds or minutes, can save you from months or years of anguish, grief, and "what if". Be smart. Be safe.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Clothes Dryer Cleaning Day – Preventing A Potential Fire In Your Home!

Recently, MCFRS personnel have responded to several house fires involving clothes dryers.  One way to prevent these fires is to clean in and around your clothes dryer at least once a year.

Last year I cleaned my clothes dryer and, as you can see by the pictures below, there was a ton of lint build up in, on, and around my clothes dryer. These pictures show why it is very important you take time to clean both inside and outside the clothes dryer.

A couple of pictures show what happens to the inside of your pipe that runs in and just outside your dryer (Fig 1) that carries the hot air, and lint, out. The next photo (Fig 2) shows the inside of the flexible duct that connects to your dryer pipe and then connects to another pipe that usually runs to the outside of your house.

In the next photo (Fig 3) you can see the cleaning device I used to run up into the pipe and dryer and the large amount of lint I pulled out of the dryer. These photos clearly show the large amount of lint that builds up and can, when heated up by the hot air of the dryer, actually ignite and catch fire! The more the build up, the better chance for ignition and then – a fire in your home!

A couple of the photos (Fig 4 & 5) clearly show just how dusty and dirty the back of your dryer and the floor behind and underneath it can become. This also can create problems and hazards and you need to make sure you clean these spots as well!

For more tips please go here: 
Clothes Dryer Fire Safety Tips

As always Be Safe! 

dryer pipe
Fig 1
flexible duct
Fig 2

cleaning device and lint removed
Fig 3
back of dryer
Fig 4

Floor under dryer
Fig 5

Monday, March 11, 2013

MCFRS Significant Incident Map Sunday, March 3 – Saturday, March 9

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.

Hope all of you find this useful. Please comment below or send an email letting us know what you think. 

View MCFRS Significant Incident Map in a larger map

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Fire Chief Reminds Residents: When You Change Your Clocks This Weekend, Don’t Forget to Check Your Smoke Alarm Batteries!

Daylight savings time begins March 10th and the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS) is urging all residents to take time to check the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors when they change their clocks this weekend to ensure they are working.

“Home fires injure and kill thousands every year,” said Fire Chief Richard Bowers. “Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. I encourage everyone to test their smoke alarms, replace any alarms that are 10 years or older and conduct a home fire drill this weekend.”

The peak time for home fire fatalities is between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. 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.

2. Test smoke alarms each month to ensure they are working. Replace batteries annually, as needed.

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.

The Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service will provide and install smoke alarm batteries at no cost to residents and will provide and install smoke alarms for residents that cannot afford them. Please call 311 for information and be sure to bookmark our website for year-round safety information at and sign up to follow us on twitter @mcfrs.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Receives Federal Grant to Update Critical Equipment

New equipment may be one of the most vital life-saving pieces on County ambulances

The Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service was awarded a $1,192,800 Federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant to replace dated cardiac defibrillators with the most advanced generation of cardiac monitor/defibrillator equipment on the market. The County will provide a matching amount of $298,200 towards the purchase of the equipment.

Cardiac monitors/defibrillators are indispensable and vital to first responders. The equipment is utilized in conjunction with State and County protocols to deliver advanced cardiac support and to obtain electrocardiograph assessments in order to determine the most appropriate course of treatment. The equipment may be used as an initial diagnostic tool or as a source of continuous information to evaluate a patient’s response to treatment. It will allow first responders to quickly diagnose a patient in the field, provide quick access to clinical information and faster treatment while simultaneously transmitting critical patient information directly to the hospital’s emergency department prior to and during patient transport. The equipment (known as Lifepak 15s) also has additional life-saving technology that features integrated carbon monoxide (CO) monitoring that measures vital blood gases and CO levels in the blood resulting in quicker diagnosis and patient stabilization. 

Early defibrillation is a critical component in treating cardiac patients and the Cardiac Monitors/Defibrillators are essential in cardiac arrest emergencies and other potentially lethal cardiac rhythms which require an electrical intervention. With an EMS call volume of over 80,000 incidents each year, protecting and saving lives is Montgomery County Fire and Rescue’s core mission and the ability to upgrade our inventory of cardiac monitor defibrillators through the grant award will be instrumental in continuing to offer the best and most advanced emergency medical care to the residents of Montgomery County and its visitors.

The equipment (known as Lifepak 15s) has capabilities that are superior to the current model and will allow first responders to detect and treat cardiac events, monitor heart rhythms, blood pressure and oxygen saturation, diagnose heart attacks, shock hearts back into normal rhythms, provides external pacing and defibrillation for difficult-to-defibrillate patients. The units also have additional life-saving technology integrated that features a carbon monoxide (CO) monitoring feature that measures vital blood gases and CO levels in the blood which facilitates a quicker diagnosis and patient stabilization.   

“I know how important this funding is to Maryland communities – often it’s the difference between life and death.  First responders protect our homes and communities, and the federal government has a responsibility to protect them by providing them with the tools they need to do their jobs safer and smarter,” said Senator Barbara Mikulski. “Every day when our first responders report for duty, they don’t know what they will face. That’s why I fight every year for the equipment, training and staffing our protectors and communities deserve.”

“When a natural disaster occurs or we are faced with a terrorist attack, it is our first responders who provide the first line of defense for our citizens,” said Senator Ben Cardin. “This federal funding is an important investment in keeping Maryland families and businesses safe if, and when, a disaster strikes. It ensures that our first responders have the resources they need to protect us and the equipment and training they need to do their jobs.”  

“I am pleased that this grant will enable us to do more to support the critical missions of our firefighters in Montgomery County by providing them with funding for 40 new cardiac monitors/defibrillators,” said Congressman Chris Van Hollen. “This new equipment will help ensure that our community’s emergency responders have the full array of tools that they need to do their jobs and keep our fellow citizens safe.” 

The units cost over $37,000 each and, with daily opportunities to put the new equipment with its expanded capabilities and technology to work, the average cost per use is less than $8.00 over the course of the equipment’s life span. By upgrading the department’s cardiac monitors, first responders will have a very dynamic and advanced tool to provide the assessment and treatment of the most critically ill and injured patients which, ultimately, will translate into lives saved.

I want to thank Senators Mikulski and Cardin and Congressman Van Hollen for their efforts to provide this grant to Montgomery County for more advanced cardiac defibrillators,” said County Executive Isiah Leggett. “This new equipment will help our first responders save even more lives, and for that we are grateful.” 

“Over half of the department’s cardiac defibrillators have been in use since 2002 and exceed the recommended replacement schedule. These new monitors are state-of-the-art and will allow us to provide the highest level of service and to achieve our most important job - - saving lives,” said Fire Chief Richard Bowers. “Every day, our first responders put their lives on the line to protect our residents and it’s crucial that they are equipped to handle any emergency. This is a great investment to better serve the residents of Montgomery County and those in the region.”

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Tree Into Car 2900 block of New Castle Avenue

2900 block of New Castle Avenue 2900 block of New Castle Avenue 2900 block of New Castle Avenue 2900 block of New Castle Avenue 2900 block of New Castle Avenue 2900 block of New Castle Avenue
2900 block of New Castle Avenue

A woman sustained minor injuries after a tree fell on the vehicle she was a passenger in around 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6. The incident occurred in the 2900 block of New Castle Avenue in Silver Spring. The driver of the vehicle was uninjured while the person injured was transported to a local hospital.

Photos Courtesy of MCFRS

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sledding Safety

Many kids, and adults, are going to seek opportunities to go sledding today and over the next few days.  MCFRS wants to remind parents and caregivers of the following safety tips:
Be Safe While Sledding
  • Make sure terrain is free of obstacles and far from traffic. Children should sled on packed snow (not ice) that is free of debris. Check carefully for snow-covered hazards such as rocks, tree limbs and stumps that could endanger sledders or skiers.
  • Use equipment that is sturdy and safely constructed. Avoid equipment with sharp and jagged edges.
  • Look for energy-absorbing pads on sled seats.
  • Examine handholds on sleds to be sure they are secure.
  • Ensure sleds and toboggans have steering devices that work easily and don't jam.
Parents should remind children to:
  • Sled only on terrain that is free of obstacles.
  • Make sure the bottom of the slope is far from streets, traffic and frozen or partially frozen ponds, lakes or creeks.
  • Always use a sled with a steering mechanism. Avoid makeshift sleds.
  • Avoid lying flat on the sled while riding down hill. Always sit up with feet forward - lying flat increases the chance of head and abdominal injuries.
  • Never ride in a sled pulled by a motorized vehicle.
  • Make sure the number of children riding on the sled does not exceed the manufacturer's recommendations.

Fire and Rescue Crews Storm Ready


         Fire and Rescue Crews Storm Ready
Montgomery County, MD - - -  Fire and Rescue crews have been preparing since Monday and are ready as a strong winter storm system predicted for the region arrives. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue officials have been coordinating closely with utility and road crews, have increased staffing to meet expected demand and have all available equipment and resources strategically positioned around the County. The department has a team of personnel closely monitoring the storm as projected high winds and heavy, wet snow begins to arrive in the area.

Montgomery County fire officials provide the following tip and are asking residents to plan ahead, be ready and be safe:

- Stay informed by monitoring TV news, radio, the National Weather Service and the internet as storm information is updated throughout the day that may affect you and your family. Sign up for Alert Montgomery at to receive text alerts and emergency information. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue social media platforms will be operating at various points throughout the storm however will not be a 24-hour source of timely EMERGENCY information. For this weather event on Twitter, use the hashtag
#mocosnow and the  primary platforms used will be:

- Ensure your cell phones, laptops, ipads, tablets and other important devices are fully charged BEFORE the storm.

- If possible, stay off the roads and heed the advice of local officials. Overall, most winter storm deaths result from vehicle or other transportation accidents caused by ice and snow. Residents should avoid driving when conditions include sleet, freezing rain, snow, dense fog and high winds. These are serious conditions that are often underestimated and can make driving, and even walking, very hazardous.

- Stay prepared by getting your emergency preparedness kit out and having a ready supply of essential items (food, water, batteries, flashlights, battery-operated radio, blankets, etc.). 

Use extreme caution around downed or damaged power lines. Do not remove fallen tree limbs or other debris from power lines, never drive over down lines and treat all wires – even those that are hanging or down – as if they are “live” (energized) and call 911 to report them.

- 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 and make sure you have a battery-operated radio to keep up-to-date.

- Fire and Rescue response times may be affected by the extreme weather. It’s a great time to make sure the batteries in your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm are fresh. Test all smoke alarms to ensure they are working. Reach out to your neighbors who may need help, especially those that are elderly, disabled or infirmed. 

- Please only call 911 for emergencies. Crews will be in high demand throughout the storm. If you do not have a life-threatening emergency, call 311 for assistance.

Pedestrians should wear brightly colored clothing so drivers can see them, especially in times of poor visibility. Use reflective clothing or stickers for maximum visibility
- Shoveling snow can be dangerous to your health. Some winter storms produce enough snow that will make it difficult to shovel, especially for those that have an existing heart condition or anyone over the age of 50. Limit shoveling to only a few minutes at a time, shovel smaller amounts and take frequent breaks. Listen to your body and STOP if you feel pain or experience any warning signs of a heart attack. Symptoms of a heart attack may include dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, fainting, nausea as well as shoulder, neck and arm pain. Always seek medical attention immediately if you believe you are having a medical emergency. 

Fire Chief Richard Bowers is asking residents to help firefighters and clear snow away from fire hydrants. The expected snow accumulations combined with the after-effects of plowing roads may result in many fire hydrants partially or completely buried in snow. By keeping fire hydrants clear of snow, residents can help firefighters to easily locate hydrants and access water quickly, preserving valuable time to potentially save lives and structures.

                                                                     #  #  #

Snow Related Home Safety Tips

To stay safe during today’s snow/winter weather event, the women and men of Montgomery County Fire and Rescue encourages residents to:

v  Make certain all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working properly.

v  Keep space heaters at least three feet from other objects and never leave space heaters

v  During a power outage, use flashlights as lighting sources and avoid using lit candles.

v  Never use generators or gas grills inside the garage or residence as they produce
deadly carbon monoxide gas.

v  Place fireplace ashes outside in a metal container with a secure lid that is at least 15 feet from a structure.

v  Keep fire hydrants on your property clear of snow, ensure that you have at least two
     clear exits out of your house and make sure your address is visible. A few minutes of
your time to help clear the snow will help emergency responders to better assist you in
the event of an emergency.

v  Make sure you have at least two clear exits out of your house. Keep an eye on snow
build up. When the snow melts and refreezes, it could prevent you from being able to
open the door and exit from your house.

v  Businesses are also reminded to clear the areas around emergency exits to ensure their customers can exit safely in an emergency.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Winter Storm Update via Alert Montgomery

Weather Update
A winter-storm warning is in effect starting at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, March 6th and lasting until 3:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 7th. This storm is expected to start as rain on Tuesday evening, March 5th, but change over to snow late evening.

Snow totals will vary. Accumulations of 2 – 4 inches Tuesday night and an additional 4 – 6 inches Wednesday are possible. Winds on Wednesday will be out of the NE at 20 – 25 miles per hour (mph) with gusts up to 35 mph.

With heavy snow and gusty winds come the potential of tree limbs to come down on power lines. Make sure you have a battery-operated radio and flashlight; extra prescription medication; and charge cell phones or other critical battery-operated equipment.

As a reminder, please stay off the roads during dangerous driving conditions. If you must drive, make sure you have a full tank of gas. Include an emergency kit in your car with extra blankets, some food and water, and a first-aid kit.

Montgomery County Update
Montgomery County will send out periodic updates on the status of county government, school, and transportation via Alert Montgomery. To find information between updates, visit the following:
• Monitor street plow status:
• Montgomery County Government Status Updates (including RideOn Bus status, trash and recycling collection, and library and recreation center closures):
• MCPS School Closure Information:

Important Contact Information
• For non-emergencies, contact Montgomery County Government at 311 or (240)-777-0311
• For emergencies, call 911
• To report power or other utility outages:
PEPCO: 1-877-737-2662
Baltimore Gas and Electric: 1-877-778-2222 or 1-800-685-0123
Potomac Edison (Allegheny Power): 1-800-255-3443
Washington Gas: 1-800-752-7520
WSSC: 1-800-828-4002

Sent to All users (E-mail accounts, Pagers, Cell phones) through Alert Montgomery

MCFRS Social Media and Hashtag For The Snow Storm

Hopefully all of you are preparing properly for the snow storm.  Keep informed and up to date as snow totals and storm information can change rapidly.

Check out the latest best and worse case scenario totals to the right.

Montgomery County Fire & Rescue social media platforms will be functioning at various points throughout the storm.  The primary platforms to be used will be

Please understand that due to various circumstances and resource needs, this will not be a total 24 hour source of timely EMERGENCY information.  For that we highly recommend that you Sign up for Alert Montgomery emails and texts.

For this event on Twitter, we will be using the hashtag #mocosnow I will try and answer questions as I can but, again, understand it may take a bit to get back with you.  

I will try and do a TweetChat at various points during the event as well.  Please note that this is not the way to contact us for any emergencies!!!  You are to call 911 if you need emergency assistance!

Stay Safe!


SNOW - Stay off the Roads, Not Out in the Weather

Overall, most winter storm deaths result from vehicle or other transportation accidents caused by ice and snow. Residents should avoid driving when conditions include sleet, freezing rain or drizzle, snow, or dense fog. These are serious conditions that are often underestimated, and they make driving – and even walking outside – very hazardous.
It is safer for everyone if you stay put – and not travel during inclement weather – whether you are at home, work or school.

By staying off the roads during the worst of the weather, local departments of transportation are more easily able to access roads that need treatment, snow plows can more freely clear roads and get to areas needing plowing and public safety officials can respond more quickly to residents in need of emergency services.

It may require employees to take a couple of hours of personal leave during the winter, but leaving early enough to avoid bad weather and traffic gridlock caused by slippery road conditions is worth the investment. Thinking strategically about your travel and where you really need to be will require some planning and thought. 

“Get Where You Need to be Before the Weather Gets Bad”

Do NOT Travel During Winter Storms

    SNOW - Stay off the roads Not Out in the Weather
  • Curtail “elective” travel; avoid unnecessary travel. If it is not a life safety issue, stay off the roads.
  • If you don’t have to travel… don’t! The safest place during a winter storm is indoors. About 70 percent of deaths related to ice and snow occur in automobiles.
  • Stay at the office an extra hour, or leave early, to avoid travel during a winter storm.
  • If residents stay off the roads during a storm, transportation workers and public safety officials are better able to clear roadways and respond to emergency needs quicker.
Weather Changes Quickly 
  • Be prepared for the worst. Be ready to spend an extra hour at the office, or leave an hour or two early, to avoid a more time consuming commute home during the height of a storm.
  • Have an emergency supply kit in your office and car.
Listen to Local Officials 
  • If local officials advise residents to stay off the roads – then stay off the roads.
  • Public safety and emergency management officials, along with National Weather Service meteorologists, base travel advisories and guidance on weather forecasts. Heed their advice!
  • Businesses that follow closing/delay policies from local jurisdictions or the federal Office of Personnel Management need to monitor those sources and release employees when advised.
Monitor the Weather 
  • Listen to local Radio/TV weather forecasts; monitor social media.
  • Sign up for text alerts from your local government.
  • Sign up for weather alerts from NOAA/National Weather Service, including RSS feeds of your forecast and weather watches/warnings.
  • Purchase a NOAA weather radio for your home and office. NOAA Weather Radio is the prime alerting and critical information delivery system of the National Weather Service (NWS). NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts warnings, watches, forecasts, and other hazard information 24 hours a day.
Know the Emergency Plans for your Children’s School 
  • If your child is safe at school, why risk a traffic accident during the worst weather to reach him/her, and then put all of you in danger? Let the school system implement their emergency plan, stay off the road and let transportation crews clear the roadways.

About the National Capital Region (NCR)

The National Capital Region (NCR) is not an operational entity because emergency response is a local function. Because the NCR is a collection of sovereign jurisdictions, including cities, counties, states and the District of Columbia, this website and the efforts of the region's communicators and public information officers will focus on regional collaboration between the region’s homeland security partners to achieve a “safe and secure National Capital Region.”