Thursday, June 30, 2016

Heads Up in Parking Lots

yellow bag with safety message to look out for each other on it
Look for this bag at a parking lot near you soon!
Did You Know: 30% of pedestrian collisions in Montgomery County occurred in parking lots last year – and many of them resulted in severe injuries.

Today's MCFRS 101 Days of Summer Safety focus is on pedestrian safety in parking lots. County Executive Leggett held a press event today highlighting additional efforts in the County’s ongoing campaign to improve pedestrian safety in parking lots.

Please take a moment to view the short video below to increase your awareness. As well, please also go to the Department of Transportation's Pedestrian Safety web site to find educational resources that you can share with friends and family.

Help us to spread this important safety message to friends and family! Help us help you to prevent having to make the 911 call.

New Training Academy Nearing Completion

The new Public Safety Training Academy (PSTA) is nearing completion. As you can see in the photo album below, carpet is going down for administrative suites, painting is being done, bathrooms are getting finalized, ceiling tiles are going up and safety rails and staircase rails are installed.

Especially impressive when you take a peek back at our earlier updates with photos:

New Public Safety Training Academy Campus Progress

More Progress At The New Public Safety Training Academy Campus

Progress Continues At The New Public Safety Training Academy Campus

Move in is tentatively scheduled for sometime late August or early September. Fall Semester training will be conducted at the new PSTA along with our new recruit class that is expected to start in December.

Photos provided by Assistant Chief (ret) Mike Clemens.

photos of various buildings at various stages of completion

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Fight The Bite

Another day and another 101 Days of Summer Safety tip. Learn everything you need to know about the Zika virus and the County’s Plan for fighting it by clicking on the graphic below.

Be aware that there is a Zika Town Hall meeting tonight Wednesday, June 29, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at the Sidney Kramer Upcounty Regional Services Center.

graphic providing link to more information about zika virus

Helicopter Training

By: Lieutenant Rob Tobin
      Fire Station 10 B-Shift

Throughout the year, the United States Park Police (USPP) and Montgomery County Fire and Rescue work very closely together all along the Potomac River. As a result, each year, the personnel from Fire Station's 10 and 30 have to recertify in helicopter tactics and safety with the USPP.

Yesterday, personnel reported to the Headquarters of USPP in Washington DC. to recertify. The training varies from 4-6 hours depending on the size of the group.

All personnel were provided a review of the different pieces of equipment that we may utilize throughout the year. The equipment is not just for injured residents visiting Great Falls Park, but also distressed individuals who may have fallen into the Potomac River. Also we, as rescuers, can be placed in dangerous situations that may require immediate removal from the river.

That's why it is important that we recertify with this equipment each year. It's also an excellent opportunity to get know one another from each agency. As the relationships strengthens, the safety for both the residents and rescuers grows.

photos of Helicopter Training

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Everything You Wanted To Know About Fireworks And Show Locations In Montgomery County

The Fourth of July is right around the corner and Montgomery County Fire and Rescue wants to remind residents that ALL fireworks are illegal in Montgomery County. 

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?
MCFRS 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.

Show Locations:

Mid-County Sparkles at Albert Einstein High School

Germantown Glory at South Germantown Recreation Park

Gaithersburg Independence Day Celebration

Rockville Independence Day fireworks

Takoma Park’s 127th Annual Independence Day Parade and Fireworks

Poolesville 4th of July Fireworks

Monday, June 27, 2016

One Of The Most Dangerous “Blind Spots” Is Right In Your Driveway!

Every year, thousands of children are killed or seriously injured because a driver backing up didn’t see them. With school out for the summer, kids are everywhere and playing in driveways, cul-de-sacs, sidewalks and even apartment complex parking lots. With it being light outside later, play time is extended well into evening and MCFRS is sending an important reminder to anyone behind the wheel:
photo of child sitting behind car in driveway

  • Make it a habit to walk all the way around your parked vehicle before getting in it to ensure there are no children behind it. Do this every time and do not rely on your mirrors.
  • When possible, park your car so that you can pull forward instead of having to back out.
  • Don’t use driveways as play areas. Instead, identify a safe play area with your child that's far from parked or moving vehicles and supervise at all times.

  • If a child goes missing, immediately check the inside passenger compartments and trunks of all vehicles in the area very carefully, even if they are locked. A child may lock the car doors after entering a vehicle on their own, but may not be able to unlock them.

  • Keep keys, fobs, smartphones and remote openers out of the reach of children.

  • LOCK it! Keeps cars locked at all times, even in garages. This can prevent curious children from getting into a car and then unable to get out or getting locked inside a vehicle. It only takes a few minutes for a parked car to heat up and become deadly. Take a minute and remind neighbors, guests and baby sitters to always lock up.

  • If you see a child alone in a vehicle, get involved. Call 911 immediately.

Fact Sheet
·         In the U.S. at least fifty children are being backed over by vehicles EVERY week.
·         The predominant age of victims is one year olds. (12-23 months)
·         Over 60% of backing up incidents involved a larger size vehicle. (truck, van, SUV)
·         Tragically, in over 70% of these incidents, a parent or close relative is behind the wheel.

Learn more at

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Stay Focused and Stay Safe - Important Info For Your Baby Sitters

message: Babysitter, responsible, reliable, lots of referencesWhether it's date night, a late night at the office or you have hired a baby sitter for the summer, when someone else cares for your children, follow these important safety tips:

Talk to your baby sitter about your family's fire escape plan.
Show your baby sitter where your smoke alarms are located.
Remind baby sitters to stay IN the kitchen when anything is cooking.
Remind baby sitters sitters that you do not allow smoking in or around your home or the use of candles.
If baby sitters will be responsible for watching your children at the pool or giving them a bath, make it clear that all eyes are on your children and not a phone, IPAD or any other distractions. While it is recommended to have a cell phone at the pool in the event of an emergency, be sure to turn it on "silent" so it won't be a distraction when kids are swimming.
Remind baby sitters never to leave the children unattended -- at the pool, at home or outside.

Always leave emergency information near the phone and include your full home address and phone number in the event your sitter needs to call 911 and also a trusted neighbor's name and phone number.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Oh Baby!

You have a new baby in the house and there’s no better time to make fire safety a top priority. Kids under the age of five are at twice the risk of dying in a residential fire than those in other age groups, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.

Click on the graphic below to find a check list to help get you started:

graphic showing mom holding baby in smoke

Friday, June 24, 2016

Installation Begins On New Fire Station Alerting System

By: Battalion Chief Stacey Daniel

January of 2016 MCFRS began installation of a new fire station alerting system.
The new alerting system will be a modern heart healthy system with many advanced features allowing station personnel to be alerted in a variety of ways all while meeting NFPA and OSHA/MOSH standards. The system will include multi-zoned audio and visual alerts as well as automated voice technology. The system will have many new features that will enhance the alerting experience getting our firefighters on the street faster.

This system is being installed in all 38 existing county fire stations, 5 federal stations and all future stations.

The system is manufactured by PURVIS Systems Inc. PURVIS is based out of Rhode Island who have installed fire station alerting systems in New York City, Boston, Plano, Texas and Charleston, South Carolina to name a few.

The new system will offer new features such as:
Display monitors throughout the station to provide fire fighters dispatch information
Colored light towers to provide a visual cue as to which units are being dispatched
Red night vision lighting for bunk rooms to allow firefighters to gradually adjust to the light               after waking up to an alarm
Red strobe lights in noise heavy areas to provide a visual cue of an alert
Ramped up audio alarms to provide heart healthy NFPA recommended alarms
Multiple speaker feeds allowing fire fighters to maintain situational awareness
A camera doorbell to allow ECC tom communicate and see a citizen at the front door in the                 event the fire station is empty

The new fire station alerting project is a CIP project under the Public Safety Systems Modernization Project. The FSA project is a full infrastructure and hardware replacement allowing us to decommission the aging system we have today. The FSA project has a 5.3 million dollar budget, currently we are under budget and on schedule. The new FSA will tie directly to the new Motorola Premier 1 CAD system which is currently being implemented to replace our existing CAD.

On June 1 we performed the first of many acceptance tests. This acceptance test included the software configuration testing and a demonstration of the hardware at Fire Stations 31 and 8 both of which are the Architectural Proof of Concept stations. Fire Chief Scott Goldstein, Chief Alan Hinde and Chief Steve Jones were given a demonstration of the system showing off the features that will benefit all field personnel, career and volunteer.

Click on the photo album below to learn more. Double click on each photo to see description.

photos showing new components

Seat Belts Save Lives

sign saying buckle up next million milesA 101 Days of Summer Safety message that never gets old - especially since our firefighters and paramedics still respond to vehicle crashes in which people are seriously injured, or worse, because they are not wearing their seat belts.

Seat Belts Save Lives. No brainer, right? Not to one in every seven drivers who still don't wear their seat belts. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), automotive accidents are the number one cause of death in the U.S. among people aged 5 to 34. Furthermore, the CDC says that drivers who buckle their seat belts cut their chances in half of being seriously injured or killed in a crash.

Buckle up, Montgomery! Follow us on Twitter and Facebook using the #mcfrsSOS as we will be posting tips on how to buckle up if you, or a loved one, are pregnant.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

More Gold And More Records Set

photo of Captain Penny Ingles and fellow competitor with medals
Captain Ingles (L) with two Gold medals
As you may have read on Monday, Captain Penny Ingles is competing in the United States Police and Fire Championships that are being held in San Diego, California. She had already won several medals and even set a record. You can learn more here: Captain Earns Gold Medals At The United States Police And Fire Championships

We are happy to report that Captain Ingles set two more records and earned two more Gold Medals.

Penny competed in Indoor Rowing and records were set in the Women's 40+ 2000m Individual and in the Women’s 40+ 1000m Doubles. Her partner for the 1000m Doubles was Georgiana Browning from Disneyland Fire.

Penny has completed all her events and will be returning home with Five Gold Medals, Two Silver Medals and Three Records set for her age group.

Well done and congratulations Captain Ingles! Safe travels home!

All About Derechos

The past several weeks have seen a good number of significant storms that have produced high winds along with associated damage. Today's forecast includes the potential for significant storms that may be severe and could bring damaging winds, hail and the possibility of flooding.
graphic showing family of downburst clusters
From NOAA vis

Usually when the potential for damaging winds are brought up, residents across the metro area think back to almost four years ago when the region was hit by the Ohio Valley/Mid-Atlantic Derecho. This storm brought widespread damage and disruption that took several days to recover from.

With all of the above in mind, we thought a good topic for today's 101 Days of Summer Safety would be to learn more about Derechos. Also timely as Derechos in the United States are most common in the late spring and summer (May through August), with more than 60% occurring May through July.

Since we are no experts in the field, we highly recommend that you go to the experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Go here to learn All About Derechos.

The safety tips and preparation are the same as for any significant weather event. Be prepared and be aware. Please take a moment to review some important related tips below.

It’s Hurricane And Summer Storm Season! Are You Ready?

Don’t Get Blown Away By Wind Related Issues

Get Emergency Alerts. Get Alert Montgomery

TURN AROUND - DON’T DROWN and Try an Alternate Route! List of Roads That Flood

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Renovation Of Kensington/Aspen Hill Fire Station 25

Plans are in the works for the renovation and expansion of existing Fire Station 25 located in the Aspen Hill section of the county.

Growth in the Aspen Hill Area has increased demands on the existing fire station, which was constructed in 1988. The current facility lacks space for the number of firefighters assigned to this location, and needs additional space for the larger amount of fire apparatus needed at this station.

Planning calls for work to begin in 12 months and to last for up to 24 months. Check out the plans below. You can also learn more about the project by going to the Montgomery County DGS Division of Building Design and Construction.

photo of what new building will look like

graphic showing design of renovation

Check Your Deck

Summer is here and your deck is the perfect place to entertain! Your deck is exposed to the elements 365 days a year and over time wood may begin to crack, splinter and rot increasing the risk of injury or structural failure. To ensure the safety of your guests and family, please keep these tips in mind:
  • Avoid grilling on the deck.
  • Know the Code. Codes are established to ensure your safety. 
  • Light it up! Prevent trips and falls by incorporating lighting on your deck.
  • Take time each year to check your deck. 
  • Check not only the stairs/steps of your deck, but also all railings. Repair any area that is unstable. Also look for any trip hazards, such as loose wood. Lean from side to side on each stair to see if the stair wobbles. Look carefully at the points of connection between the stairs and the deck and replace anything that looks old or compromised.
Proper deck maintenance will help keep your deck strong. However, it can’t protect against a fire caused by grilling on your deck. Take a few minutes and ensure your deck is ready for summer gatherings. For more information:

Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services provided deck safety info for a segment on WRC TV 4.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Derwood House Fire

On June 20 at approximately 7:22 p.m., MCFRS units responded for a reported house fire in the 7300 block of Blanchard Drive in the Derwood area of the county. Firefighters arrived on the scene and reported smoke showing from the two-story single family home.

Crews quickly located and began extinguishment of a fire around the electric panel. The fire was discovered by an occupant of the home who then called 9-1-1.

The cause of the fire has been determined to be electrical in nature. Two occupants of the home have been displaced as a result of the fire.

There were no firefighter or civilian injuries. Damages were estimated to be $200,000.00 to the structure and $75,000.00 to the contents.

several photos from Blanchard Drive House Fire

When is My Child Old Enough to Stay Home Alone?

photo of child using chair to get into a cabinetParents often ask, "When is my child old enough to stay home alone?" Decisions involving child safety go far beyond the law and require careful, realistic evaluation of each individual child's readiness.

Maryland State Law:

·         Maryland Child Protective Services Procedures (SSA95-13) define an "unattended child" as:
o    A child under eight left alone or in the care of a person who is not reliable or who is under 13.
o    A child aged eight through 12 left alone for longer than brief periods without support systems which should include phone numbers of parents, other family members or neighbors, information about personal safety, and what to do in an emergency. Children in this age group may not be left to care for children under the age of eight.
o    A child 12 or over who is left alone for long hours or overnight or with responsibilities beyond capabilities or where there is some special risk factor such as mental retardation or physical handicap that would indicate that the child may be in jeopardy.
o    A child who has been abandoned.
o    A child of any age who is handicapped and left alone, if the handicapping condition constitutes a special risk factor which indicates that the child is in jeopardy.
·         Maryland Family Law, 5-701(p) states that NEGLECT is "the leaving of a child unattended or other failure to give proper care and attention to a child by any parent or other person who has permanent or temporary care or custody or responsibility for supervision under circumstances that indicate: that the child's health or welfare is harmed or placed at substantial risk of harm."
·         The Montgomery County Child Protective Services defines neglect as "the chronic failure of a parent, caretaker, household or family member to provide a child under 18 basic needs of life, such as: food, clothing, shelter, medical care, attention to hygiene, educational opportunity, protection and supervision. Cultural standards which differ from those of most of the community are not necessarily neglect." To make a report call 240-777-4417.

Deciding if Your Child is Ready to Stay Home Alone When the Law Permits:

You know your child and can best determine when she or he is ready to be alone. Factors such as emotional maturity, common sense and self-confidence must be considered. Ask yourself these questions to help you reach your decision:
·         Does your child want to stay alone?
·         Can your child use the telephone?
·         Can your child lock and unlock the door properly?
·         Can your child follow directions?
·         Does your child know what to do in an emergency?

Prepare Your Child:

Help your child to be ready to stay home alone gradually, beginning with very short periods of time. Make certain that your home is safe. These guidelines will help prepare your child for this important step:
·         Post important phone numbers and make sure your child understands when and how to contact parents, reliable neighbors, and emergency aid
·         Have your child call a parent at work or a responsible adult to report safe arrival home from school.
·         Practice situations that may occur when your child is alone - (What will you do if someone comes to the door? How will you answer the phone if someone calls for your parents? When should you call your parents at work? Etc.)
·         Plan time after you return home to listen to your child's account of day's events and deal with problems and questions.
·         Be sure you have a Family Emergency Plan in place. See, click on disaster services, click on prepared, click on family disaster planning.

Other Situations to Consider When Deciding Your Child's Needs

·         It's not okay to leave children alone at the library or other public facilities. Staff members have many duties. They are not responsible for child care and your child may not be safe.
·         Is your home location safe? Do you know neighbors who can be trusted to provide good advice if called upon by your child?

More information and resources can be found HERE.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Captain Earns Gold Medals At The United States Police And Fire Championships

photo of Captain Penny Ingles wearing 4 medals - 2 gold and 2 silver
Captain Penny Ingles 
The United States Police and Fire Championships are held every year in California. This event brings together Fire/Rescue and Law Enforcement agencies from around the United States. 2016 marks the 50th Anniversary of these games.

There are 41 sporting disciplines’ offered from archery to wrestling, track and field to golf. There are a few non-traditional events like surfing and fitness throw down.

Our own Captain Penny Ingles is in San Diego competing in this prestigious event and has already earned some hardware! Penny’s results thus far:

GOLD MEDAL - Javelin Throw

GOLD MEDAL and NEW MEET RECORD - Women's Triple Jump

Silver Medal - Shot Put

Silver Medal - Hammer Throw

Congratulations Penny! This is especially amazing as, until just a few weeks ago, Penny was on crutches not knowing if she was going to be well enough to even compete.

School’s Out – Safety’s IN!

As the end of the school year approaches, Montgomery County Fire & Rescue is reminding drivers to be especially cautious, pay attention and be on the look-out for pedestrians during the summer months. Kids traveling new routes to summer camps, swim practices or just playing outside may not be thinking about their personal safety. We’re asking drivers to be alert and slow down and look out for child pedestrians.
photo of child at crosswalk

Tips for Parents
 •Teach your children to cross at intersections that have a marked crosswalk or a pedestrian crossing light.
•Focus on the basics: teach your children to make eye contact with the driver before they cross, even if the walk signal is “on.”
•Remind your children to stop, look and listen before crossing the street and look left, right, left as they cross.
•Teach your children to avoid unnecessary shortcuts like walking through parking lots. Drivers may not see children between parked cars and children may not see cars moving.

Tips for Drivers
•The last week of school is an exciting time for children and they may forget the rules of the road. Use extra caution when driving through school zones.
•Take extra time when making a right turn on a red light. This can be a dangerous situation for pedestrians.
•During those last few days of school, be aware that kids may be arriving or leaving school at different times throughout the day.
•Remember that school speed limits remain in effect year round. Observe carefully when driving around playgrounds and parks. Small children are less predictable and hard to see.
•Always watch for small children as you’re backing up. Walk around your vehicle to make sure there are no kids or pets are behind it.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Disaster Supply Kits: Budget-Friendly and Fun

Happy Father's Day!

Looking for a low budget yet potentially life saving gift for your favorite Father? How about a disaster supply kit! Today's 101 Days of Summer Safety continues most of this past week's theme of emergency preparedness with a little gift for that special Dad or Father figure in your life. Overall emergency preparedness is a must for every individual and family. Part of being prepared is having a disaster supply kit.

via website
Remember, the "disaster" can be as "simple" as a significant thunderstorm that knocks out your power for several hours or a day or two. If you have an adequate kit, and emergency preparedness plan, you will be ready for a situation like that or, worse, something a little more significant.

The below article is from our friends at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Some great tips on creating a budget friendly supply kit. We encourage you to take a look and take action once you are done!

Have a SAFE weekend!

Disaster Supply Kits: Budget-Friendly and Fun

Do you think preparing for disasters is too expensive and boring? Think again!  Being prepared doesn't have to break the bank. You can create a budget-friendly basic disaster supply kit using items you may already have at home.  You can also make preparedness enjoyable for the entire family! 
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Preparedness on a Shoestring activity guide suggests organizing a family scavenger hunt to locate items around your home such as first aid supplies and food. After you’ve built your kit, there are several ways to maintain its low-cost quality. For example:
  • Purchase items from your local dollar store or discount retailer;
  • Take advantage of  “Buy One, Get One” deals at your local supermarket; and
  • Trade extra supplies with family and friends.
FEMA advises to prepare your disaster supply kit with enough items to survive for at least three days. If you are packing a kit for more than just yourself, be sure to make necessary accommodations to fit each person’s needs. Also, remember to check your kit for expired items every six months.

Injured Hiker Flown To Safety

From this past Friday (6/17/16) around 4 p.m.: MCFRS rescue crews assist injured hiker from Billy Goat Trail. The patient was hoisted via US Park Police Helicopter and transported to an area hospital. MCFRS crews had arrived by boat and by foot.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Best. Gift. Ever.

He’s protected you and kept you safe.

Now it’s your turn.

Nothing says “I love you, dad” on Father’s Day like a new smoke alarm.

It’s cheaper than most ties and is a gift that — if properly maintained — keeps on giving.

And the best part? MCFRS will even help install it! Visit or call 311 for information. And remember – all smoke alarms only last 10 years and then need to be replaced with new ones.

photo of person holding a smoke alarm

Ready For Anything

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

With all the major roadways that run through Montgomery County it is almost inevitable that someone, somewhere, will be involved in a vehicle collision. Every vehicle is different, every collision is different and so every incident we run is different.

As we arrive on the scene of a collision a vehicle may be on its wheels, turned over on its side or roof, and the occupants may be trapped inside. Because of this, we must be prepared for any situation.

Laytonsville Fire Station 17 has one of six Rescue Squads in the county that carry the appropriate equipment for the most serious types of these situations. Pictured below are photos from a recent training where we prepare ourselves for the real thing when our best work is requested. We performed a “tie-back” system to prevent a car from rolling over after it was found flipped onto the passenger side. Once the vehicle is secured we can use hydraulic tools to remove pieces from the car to gain access to any occupants still inside.

Our job is not always as easy as opening the door. Sometimes we may need to force or cut a door/roof to be able to get the occupants out of danger and treated for injuries.

photos of firefighters stabilizing an overturned vehicle

Friday, June 17, 2016

The “FAST” Track to Saving Lives

graphic of an ambulance that lists signs of stroke. List is also below in wording in article

A stroke is always a medical emergency. Recognize the signs of stroke and call 911!

A stroke happens when the supply of blood to the brain is suddenly interrupted. Some strokes are fatal while others cause permanent or temporary disability. The longer a stroke remains untreated, the greater the chance of stroke related brain damage. Emergency medical treatment soon after symptoms begin improves the chance of survival and successful rehabilitation.

A blood clot blocks an artery (a blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the body) or a blood vessel (a tube through which the blood moves through the body) breaks, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain. When either of these occur, brain cells begin to die and brain damage occurs. When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain are lost. These abilities include speech, movement and memory. How a stroke patient is affected depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much the brain is damaged.
Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in America and the Number One cause of adult disability.
Stroke Warning Signs
The American Stroke Association says these are the warning signs of stroke:
  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.
Stroke Symptoms
If you or someone with you has one or more of these signs, don't delay! Immediately call 9-1-1. Also, check the time so you'll know when the first symptoms appeared. It is very important to take immediate action. If given within three hours of the start of symptoms, a clot-busting drug can reduce long-term disability for the most common type of stroke.
If you have experienced any of these symptoms, you may have had a TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) or mini-stroke, consult your doctor immediately. If you think someone may be having a stroke, act F.A.S.T. and do this simple test:
Act F.A.S.T.
FACE - Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
ARMS - Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
SPEECH - Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred? Can he/she repeat the sentence correctly?
TIME - If the person shows any of these symptoms, time is important.

Call 911 and get to the hospital immediately. 

Battalion Chief Graduates From Prestigious FBI Academy

On June 10, 2016 Battalion Chief (BC) Kevin Frazier graduated from the prestigious FBI National Academy Program at Quantico, Virginia. BC Frazier attended the intense ten week program along with two hundred and twelve other law enforcement officers from across the country as well as internationally. FBI Director James Comey was on hand at the ceremony as the principal speaker.

The renowned program offers selected law enforcement officers advanced leadership, communication and fitness training. According to the FBI, those selected for the program average 19 years of law enforcement experience and have proven track records as professionals within their agencies.

BC Frazier is a 28 year veteran of MCFRS who currently leads the Fire and Explosive Investigations Section, whose members have law enforcement training and powers, within the department.

Congratulations BC Kevin Frazier on this incredible achievement!

FBI Director James Comey congratulations BC Kevin Frazier
FBI Director James Comey (L) congratulations BC Kevin Frazier

Thursday, June 16, 2016

TURN AROUND - DON’T DROWN and Try an Alternate Route! List of Roads That Flood

Turn Around and Don't Drown! A very timely 101 Days of Summer Safety topic as a Flash Flood Watch is in effect for Montgomery County beginning at 5:00 p.m. tonight through tomorrow morning. Residents can expect heavy rains that may cause flooding within the next 24 hours.

Flash flood watch map for 6/16/16 shows areas in region under watchFlash floods more often occur in mountain streams, hilly areas or low-lying areas. But they do happen in urban and suburban areas like Montgomery County as well. Flash floods can occur even though it's not raining where you are. It may be raining hard farther upstream and raining so hard that the water can not be absorbed into the ground.

Safety Tips:

If a flash flood warning is issued, act immediately. Don't wait for high water to dictate your course of action.

Know your location when you are driving. If you needed rescue, would you be able to direct emergency crews to your location? Distracted driving can lead to a situation where you are stranded and unable to direct emergency crews to you. Be alert!

Never drive through a flooded road or bridge. Turn Around - Don’t Drown and try an alternate route! In many cases, it takes far less than a foot of water to incapacitate a vehicle. It may stall, leaving you stranded, and depending on the level of water, you may not be able to open a vehicle door. Do not underestimate the power of moving water.

Watch for flooding at bridges and dips in the road. Never drive where water is over bridges or roads. Turn around - Don’t Drown! The bridges or the road could suddenly be washed out. If you're driving at night be especially careful. Often visibility is limited due to wind and rain.

Often what you can't see below the surface of the water is far more dangerous than the high levels of that water. Remember that rocks, tree limbs and other debris can be caught in moving water and can be dangerous if you are forced to walk, wade or swim through flood waters.

If you have to walk or wade through flood water, use a stick to poke the ground in front of you with each step. It can help you determine water levels, the bottom surface and the safest possible way to get to higher ground.

Remember that flash floods can come without warning, and sometimes without weather. Be alert and heed all warnings and recommendations from officials. From FEMA's website, some further information about driving through flooded roadways:

Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.

A foot of water will float many vehicles.

Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUV's) and pick-ups

TURN AROUND - DON’T DROWN and try an alternate route!


Quick List of some roads that flood often.

MD 29 (Columbia Pike) at Paint Branch - N. of White Oak
MD 185 (Conn. Ave) at Rock Creek - S. of Kensington
MD 190 (River Road) at Cabin John Creek - Potomac
MD 193 (Univ. Blvd) at Sligo Creek - Wheaton
MD 586 (Viers Mill Rd) at Rock Creek - S. of Twinbrook Pkwy.
Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park - Kensington-Chevy Chase
Sligo Creek Pkwy - Silver Spring-Takoma Park

MD 97 (Georgia Ave) at Reddy Branch - N. of Brookeville
MD 124 (Woodfield Rd) at Goshen Branch and at Gr. Seneca Creek - N. of Brink Rd.
MD 117 (Clopper Rd) at Gr. Seneca Creek - W. of Gaithersburg
MD 117 (Clopper Rd) at Little Seneca Creek - E. of Boyds
MD 355 (Frederick Rd) at Little Seneca Creek - W. of Brink
MD 121 (Clarksburg Rd) near Little Seneca Lake - N. of Boyds
MD 118 (Germantown Rd) at Great Seneca Creek - S. of Germantown
River Rd and Berryville Rd at Seneca Creek - Seneca
Blunt Road at Great Seneca Creek - S. of Brink Rd.
Davis Mill Rd at Great Seneca Creek - N. of Gaithersburg
Brighton Dam Rd at Hawlings River - NE of Brookeville
Goldmine Rd at Hawlings River - E of Olney
Zion Rd at Hawlings River - E. of Laytonsville
Hoyles Mill Rd at ford of Little Seneca Creek - Germantown, west of soccer complex
Loghouse Rd at Magruder Branch - S. of Damascus
Elton Farm Rd at Haights Branch - N. of Sunshine
Howard Chapel Rd at Haights Branch - N. of Sunshine
White’s Ferry Road and River Road - White’s Ferry

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Get Emergency Alerts. Get Alert Montgomery

One obvious goal of our 101 Days of Summer Safety is to provide our residents with information in the hopes of helping you to prevent having to make a 911 call.

Another is to equip you with information that will help to prepare you in case of  an emergency whether natural or man-made. Today MCFRS would like to encourage all residents to become aware of, and sign up for, Alert Montgomery.
graphic stating Are you emergency ready?

The Alert Montgomery System provides accurate, immediate emergency notifications from Montgomery County to your cell, work or home phone, via text, email or voice message. Receive notifications about emergencies that may affect your home, workplace, child's school, parents' home, or any other locations within Montgomery County, Maryland.

Government and School Closures for county government or public school closures, cancellations or delays due to inclement weather or other emergencies

Weather Advisories for you or your families home, business, school, child care, or more

Infrastructure Issues including Water and Power Outages

Up-To-The-Minute Traffic Issues including accidents, closed roads, alternative routes and more

So please take a moment and SIGN UP FOR ALERT MONTGOMERY today!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Potomac House Fire Displaces Family Of Four

At approximately 2:02 p.m. on Monday, June 13 MCFRS units were dispatched for a house fire initially reported to be in the 12700 block of Maidens Bower Drive in Potomac.

Battalion Chief 703 arrived on the scene, with a corrected address of 14001 Gorky Drive, and reported a large two story single family house with heavy fire showing in an attached two car garage that was rapidly spreading to the rest of the home.

It was quickly determined that none of the occupants were home thus there was no life safety issue. Due to the large volume of fire, firefighters initiated an aggressive exterior attack to extinguish the fire. Large amounts of water were required for firefighting operations which necessitated several nearby hydrants being utilized. While the fire was brought under control quickly, the extensive damage resulted in most of the house collapsing.

Fire Investigators were called to the scene and have initially determined the fire appears to have started in the garage and appears accidental in nature. Due to the extensive damage, Fire Investigators will need to bring in heavy equipment to remove debris to assist in making a final determination as to the origin and cause of the fire.

Approximately 65 firefighters were on the scene with no injuries to personnel reported. The family of four was unharmed though, sadly, two family dogs perished in the fire. As a result of the extensive damage, the family has been displaced.

Damages were estimated to be approximately $1.1 Million.

variety of photos showing fire and damage while firefighters fight house fire in Potomac, MD

Keep Medications Cool this Summer

A 101 Days of Summer Safety topic most people do not think about.

photo of pills spilling out of tipped over pill bottleStoring medications in high temperatures can decrease effectiveness and some medications can cause increased sensitivity to the sun. Some prescriptions, over-the-counter medications and supplements can be less effective and lose potency if they are exposed to higher temperatures if left out in the sun or in a hot place for too long. Take time to look over your medications and talk to your doctor about any concerns or questions you have. Your medications help keep you healthy; keeping them out of the heat is a smart way to stay safe all summer.


  • Do not put medications in an area of direct sunlight (avoid storing medications on windowsills or taking with you for a day at the pool or beach). 
  • Do not store medications in areas of high humidity (avoid storing medications in a bathroom which has a shower or bathtub or in the kitchen near the dishwasher or oven)
  • Look at your medications before you take them. If they are stuck together in the bottle, if they have any changes in the shape or to the coating of pills — the integrity of the medication may have been compromised. (Important: you cannot always tell there is a problem just by looking. If you can visually see a change, the integrity is likely to be compromised, but the opposite isn’t true. There can still be a decrease in potency/effectiveness even if you can’t see any difference to the medication).
  • And remember: never store medications in your car. Car interiors can rise to over 160°, which can be especially harmful to your medications.