Friday, October 31, 2014

Videos, Photo and Sound Bite From Thursday's Press Event

Yesterday, representatives from MCFRS, Prince Georges County Fire & EMS (PGFD) and PEPCO announced the generous donation of One-Thousand Smoke Alarms each to both MCFRS and PGFD. The alarms are used by both departments to assist in their effort to make sure every home in each jurisdiction has working smoke alarms.

The alarms will be provided for those who are in need and can not likewise afford one.

As well, MCFRS uses many of the alarms for our senior outreach partnerships and programs.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

MCFRS Thanks Councilman Phil Andrews

Earlier today, Chief Lohr presented Councilman Phil Andrews a farewell gift from Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service for his 15 years of outstanding service and commitment to MCFRS as Chair of the Council Public Safety Committee.

Thank You Councilman Andrews!

Halloween Safety Tips for Children

From our partners in safety at the NFPA.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Countdown to Halloween - Tips for a Safe and Fun Night

With Halloween quickly approaching, the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service offers some important tips for a safe Halloween.  “Recent research shows that children are four times more likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than any other night of the year, said Fire Chief Steve Lohr.  “It’s a dangerous night because so many kids are on the streets, many without their parents or an adult, and in their excitement often forget important pedestrian safety rules.”

Plan a safe route.

1. Accompany children and remind them to stop at all street corners, cross only at intersections and crosswalks. Teach them to look left, right and left before crossing the street and to continue looking both ways as they cross. If you’re a motorist, please slow down and be prepared to give trick or treaters a brake.

2. Stay in familiar neighborhoods and have a parent or responsible adult accompany trick or treaters. Visit only those houses where the lights are on. Accept treats only in the doorway and NEVER go inside a house or apartment.

3. Secure emergency identification (name, address, phone number) discreetly within Halloween attire or on a bracelet.

4. Safety in numbers. If they’re old enough to trick-or-treat without an adult, designate a route before the kids go trick or treating, tell your kids to stay in a group, avoid taking short cuts through backyards and alleys and ask them to check in regularly.

5. Ensure trick-or-treaters stay away from open flames or jack-o-lanterns with candles burning.

6. Children should avoid busy streets, always use sidewalks, and follow all traffic rules and regulations. Motorists should drive slowly and be alert to small children crossing streets. Many accidents occur when motorists are backing vehicles out of driveways, unaware of the presence of small children.

Be a good neighbor.

1. Keep your porch lights on and eliminate tripping hazards on your porch and walkway.  Remove outdoor safety hazards such as toys, bicycles, garden hoses and lawn ornaments. Make sure the driveway and steps are cleared of leaves, which can be a slipping and falling hazard. Make sure that the driveway and walks are well lit for incoming trick-or-treaters. Replace burned-out or broken light bulbs.

2. Pets get frightened on Halloween. Confine your pets for their safety and for that of trick or treaters.

Be Safe – Be Seen.

 1. Don’t assume the right-of-way. Motorists may have trouble seeing trick-or-treaters in the dark.  Just because one car stops doesn't mean others will.

2. Encourage kids to follow all the rules for pedestrian safety. That includes obeying all traffic laws, looking both ways before crossing, using crosswalks, crossing at intersections and corners and never darting between parked cars.

All Dressed Up.

1. Plan costumes that are bright and have reflective qualities. Consider adding reflective tape or decals to costumes and trick or treat bags. Be sure kids carry a flashlight and use glow sticks for extra visibility.

2. When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories purchase only those with a label indicating they are flame resistant.

3. Have an adult inspect treats BEFORE eating anything. Do not eat any unwrapped, partially wrapped, or homemade-looking treats.

4. Shorter IS safer. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.

5. Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup as a safer alternative.

6. If a sword, cane or stick is part of your child’s costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if they trip or fall.

Decorate Safely.

1. Illuminate your jack-o’-lanterns with flashlights or battery-operated candles instead of real ones. You won’t have the worries of an open flame coming in contact with anything . . .or anyone.

2. If you do use candles, keep them well away from where trick or treaters will be walking or standing. Review with your children the principle of “stop, drop and roll” should their clothing catch fire.

Lastly, teach children how to call 9-1-1 if they have an emergency or become lost.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Blood Drive In Memory of Father And Son Firefighters

Please consider supporting this important cause in memory of two of our own. Thanks to NewsChannel 8 and ABC7 for the coverage:

In Memory of Fire Fighters Carlos Alfaro, Sr. and Carlos Alfaro, Jr.
Sunday, November 2nd 8AM – 2PM
Fire Station 16 111 University Blvd. E.Silver Spring, MD

Save Lives,Donate Blood… 

We appreciate a call to confirm an appointment with:Steve Mann, 240-438-2461

Monday, October 27, 2014

MCFRS Holds Promotional Ceremony

Last Thursday, October 23, a special ceremony was held by MCFRS to honor department members who were competitively promoted over the last several months. 

The process to get promoted typically is a long and draining one with several months of intense study, a written test and, for those who score high, an assessment center (practical).  Once completed personnel are placed on an eligibility list and are selected, for some positions after an interview, when openings arise. 

A lot of hard work and dedication, along with the support of family and friends, go into the process and it is certainly appropriate to recognize and celebrate all involved!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Rookie Firefighter/EMT Delivers Baby Boy

By: Captain Ivan Browning

On Wednesday morning, October 22, at 8:52 AM Paramedic Engine 717 and Ambulance 728 were dispatched to the intersection of Woodfield Road and Brink Road in Company 17's area.  Montgomery County PD was on the scene with a husband and wife in which the wife was in active labor.  PE717 arrived first to find a female with contractions in a very short timeframe apart from each other and began initial patient assessment and care.

FF1 Jared Morris and FF2 James Taylor arrived on the ambulance, gained the pertinent information and quickly loaded the patient in A728 where they initiated transport to a local hospital.  FF1 Morris took assumed patient care and initiated all the necessary steps per department protocol.  At approximately two minutes prior to arriving at the emergency room, FF1 Morris noticed crowning and continued with the delivery protocol.  As FF2 Taylor was backing into the ER bay, the newborn baby boy began to cry and Mother and Son were transferred to an awaiting ER staff.

A job well done for a Firefighter/EMT with less than two months in the field!  The shift at Fire Station 28 celebrating by presenting Firefighter Morris with a celebratory balloon suitable for the occasion.

Photo Courtesy of Capt. Ivan Browning

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Firefighter Completes Community Obstacle Course

By: Lieutenant Matt Sutton

After completing our Safety In the Neighborhood activities (offering to check home smoke alarms) we were heading to pick up dinner while I was riding AT735 (ladder truck). On our way, we came across the Clarksburg Village Community Association's Fall Festival. All of us on the truck wanted to stop and visit with the children. So, we stopped and set up an impromptu public education visit.

The chair for the Home Owners Association was excited for us to stop by unannounced. We passed out smoke detector flyers, answered questions, and gave tours of the ladder truck. There was a local gym that had an obstacle course set up for kids to complete. I asked them if they would mind if I put our newest firefighter to the test. They were excited to have him complete it for everyone.

Firefighter McCombs is our newest firefighter who is completing his probationary skills evaluations. He was up for the challenge to don his gear and complete the course. For those who are unaware, a firefighter's gear can weigh an additional 65 pounds or more depending on what they carry in their pockets. As you can see in the video below, Firefighter McCombs did a fantastic job in the obstacle course. Cheers could be heard by many kids and adults.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Help Needed - Arson Fire at St. Paul's Park

Information needed regarding Monday nights fire in Town of Kensington at St Paul's Park on Plyers Mill Rd. Call MCFRS Arson Tipline 240.777.2263

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Car Into House

MCFRS Units were dispatched to the 19600 block of Clubhouse Rd., near Ridgeline Dr., in Gaithersburg for a report of a car into a house with entrapment.

Units arrived to find two occupants in a car that had crashed into a townhouse.  The striking vehicle crossed Club House Road and hit a fire hydrant before crashing into the townhouse.  The driver was trapped but was quickly extricated.  Both patients were evaluated with one adult male transported to an area hospital with serious injuries and one adult female transported with non life threatening injuries.

There was one adult female occupant at home who was on a couch when the car crashed into house.  She was not injured though the structural damage was significant which has resulted in her having been displaced.  The address was corrected to the 9900 block of Ridgeline Drive.

Click on photo below for more: 

Smoke Alarms – Don’t Stay Home Without Them!

MCFRS has had several significant fires this year, including some in which people died, where there were no working smoke alarms present. 

After many of these fires, MCFRS personnel have gone door to door in the impacted neighborhood offering to check smoke alarms and provide safety information.  During the door to door effort our Firefighters are finding an “alarming” number of non-working smoke alarms.  To ensure the safety of those residents, we immediately install a new smoke alarm and/or battery.   

Please make sure your home has working smoke alarms!  Test yours today!  Your life may depend on it!

Below please find Ten Tips on smoke alarms, from our friends at the US Fire Administration, you will find useful.

Follow these 10 easy tips on smoke alarms:

  1. One of the best ways to protect yourself and your family is to have a working smoke alarm that can sound fast for both a fire that has flames, and a smoky fire that has fumes without flames. It is called a "Dual Sensor Smoke Alarm."
  2. Place a smoke alarm on the ceiling of every level of your home and both inside and outside bedrooms. Children and older people can sleep though the loud sound of a smoke alarm. Make sure your escape plan includes someone that can help children and others wake up immediately to escape from the home.
  3. If you keep your bedroom doors closed, place a smoke alarm on the ceiling of each bedroom.
  4. Check smoke alarms monthly by pressing the test button.
  5. Never take smoke alarm batteries out to put into other items like games or remote controls.
  6. Teach children what the smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when they hear the alarm sound.
  7. If there is a fire, leave the home right away by crawling low under the smoke and never go back inside.
  8. If smoke from cooking makes the alarm sound, press the "hush" button, if your alarm has one. You can also turn on the kitchen fan, open a window or wave a towel near the alarm until it stops making the sound. Never take the battery out of the alarm.
  9. Most alarms need a new battery at least once a year. Some smoke alarms have batteries that last for up to 10 years. If your smoke alarm is over 10 years old, replace it with a new alarm and a new battery.
  10. If you rent, talk to your landlord about placing a working smoke alarm in your home. You still need to buy a new battery at least once a year for the alarm.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Blood Drive In Memory of Father And Son Firefighters

Please consider supporting this important cause in memory of two of our own:

In Memory of Fire Fighters Carlos Alfaro, Sr. and Carlos Alfaro, Jr.

Sunday, November 2nd
8AM – 2PM
Fire Station 16
111 University Blvd. E.Silver Spring, MD

Save Lives,Donate Blood…

We appreciate a call to confirm an appointment with:Steve Mann, 240-438-2461

Friday, October 10, 2014

Captain Rick Triplett Receives Recognition From Firefighter Cancer Support Network

Yesterday at Fire Station #23 in Rockville, Captain Rick Triplett was honored by the Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FCSN) and Honeywell First Responder Products for his innovative firefighter cancer prevention concept.

Understanding the significant cancer risks that all firefighters face, Captain Triplett came up with a concept of having firefighters wash their protective hoods once a week to help reduce their exposure to dangerous carcinogens. Captain Triplett’s concept led to FCSN’s national Wash-Your-Hood-Sunday (WYHS) initiative, with support from Honeywell First Responder Products, that launched last month.

Cancer is a very real and growing threat to every firefighter across the country as multiple studies, including the US Fire Administration and NIOSH cancer study released in 2013, have shown higher rates of multiple types of cancers in firefighters compared to the general American population.

Congratulations to Captain Triplett for receiving this recognition as well as "Thanks" for making a significant contribution to firefighter health and safety here in Montgomery County and across our great Country!

Press Release from FCSN: MCFRS Capt. Rick Triplett accepts leadership award

Photos from the event

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Smoke Alarm Facts

How effective are smoke alarms?
Residential fire deaths have decreased steadily as the number of homes with smoke alarms increased. Reports from the National Fire Protection Association indicate that working smoke alarms double the chance of surviving a fire in homes equipped with the recommended number of smoke alarms.
When do I need to replace my smoke alarm?
Smoke alarms do not last forever and units that are 10 years old are near the end of their service life and should be replaced.  Just like any electrical appliance, the circuitry and components of smoke alarms wear out over time. When a smoke alarm reaches 10 years of use, the potential of failing to detect a fire increases substantially and replacing units after 10 years reduces the likelihood of failure.

My smoke alarm units are wired into my electrical system. Do I need to replace them as often as battery-operated alarms?
Yes. Both hard-wired and battery-operated alarms are equally affected by age.
Notethe legislation signed into law on July 1, 2013 applies to battery-only powered alarms.   

How many smoke alarms should I have?
Under the provisions of the law for all new residential units constructed after July 1, 2013, at least one smoke alarm must be installed in each sleeping room, in the hallway or common area outside of sleeping rooms, and in the hallway or common area on each level within a residential dwelling unit, including basements and excluding specified unoccupied spaces such as attics.  Various requirements for smoke alarm type and placement exist for different time periods in Montgomery County. For specific requirements, please see Residential Smoke Alarm Requirements.

Is there anything new I need to know if I am selling my house?
The residential property disclosure form provided to the purchaser of specified single-family residential real property must include whether the smoke alarms (1) are over 10 years old and (2) if battery-operated, are sealed, tamper-resistant units incorporating a silence/hush button and use long-life batteries as required in all Maryland homes by 2018.

Why is the “hush” feature important?
Smoke alarms are available with a “hush” button that can be used to temporarily silence the alarm. This is a convenient way to deal with nuisance alarms, such as those caused by burning toast or opening smoky ovens, without disabling the alarm. The hush button will silence the alarm for several minutes and then automatically reset itself. Smoke alarms with this feature discourage the dangerous practice of removing the battery or disconnecting the power source as a method of dealing with frequent nuisance alarms. If smoke continues to build from an actual fire while the alarm is in hush mode, the smoke will override the silence feature and the smoke alarm will reactivate.

How can I test my alarm?
Every smoke alarm comes with a test button. MCFRS recommends that people test their alarms at least once a month.

I want to know more!
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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Home Smoke Alarm Basics

As part of Fire Prevention Week, please take a moment to watch this two minute video on Home Smoke Alarm Basics from our partners in safety at the National Fire Protection Association

Monday, October 6, 2014

It's Fire Prevention Week!

It's Fire Prevention Week!  Please help us to spread the safety message and share this page with friends and family!

Click on the photo below for more information.