Sunday, December 9, 2018

Smoke Alarm Alerts Residents of Independent Senior Living Facility & Sprinkler Activates to Control Fire

Occupants Safely Escape & Credit Fire Sprinkler System

On December 5, 2018 tragedy was averted because of working smoke alarms and a residential sprinkler in an independent senior living facility in the Fairland/Calverton area.  Around 6:45 p.m., units from the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service responded to 12801 Old Columbia Pike, Arbor Crest, a two-story, senior independent living facility, for an 'automatic' medical alarm for an unknown emergency.  Paramedic Engine 724 responded to the scene and encountered moderate smoke on the second floor, at which additional fire and rescue units were dispatched. upon further investigation, moments later Firefighters located a small fire in a bedroom. The fire which involved a mattress and some other nearby combustibles was controlled by a residential sprinkler system.  The fire was mostly out. In the meantime, some of the building had been evacuated and other portions were shelter and protect in place. Firefighters located and rescued/relocated a feline (cat) from the apartment of origin.

Fire and Explosive Investigators believe one of the residents of the apartment of origin had been consumed alcohol and was smoking cigarettes in the bedroom and at some point fell asleep. Another resident was in another room and heard the smoke alarm activate. Upon investigation and in an effort to check on his wife, he discovered a fire on the mattress by the pillows with his wife still on the bed. He was able to rouse her and then attempted to extinguish the fire, to no avail.  After numerous attempts of trying to put out the fire, both occupants evacuated the apartment. In the commotion of those efforts a medical alarm was somehow activated, automatically alerting 911 for an unknown medical emergency. An ambulance and Paramedic Engine were dispatched. The residential sprinkler activated after the occupants had left the area & prior to arrival of emergency personnel.  The sprinkler essentially controlled and extinguished the fire. There were no injuries associated with the fire.  Damage was estimated to $30,000.

It should be noted, none of the occupants called 911 to report the fire.

The Community Outreach Senior Program Manager and crews from the area fire/rescue crews (First Battalion) are scheduled to revisit the facility to meet with residents, review best practices and talk about fire safety and reminding residents of the importance of calling 911 in an emergency. 

Tragic November Fire in Bethesda Underscores the Importance of Working Smoke Alarms

Victims identified in November 21st Fatal Fire

In the early morning of November 21, 2018, units from the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service were dispatched to the report of a house on fire in the 4800 block of Western Avenue in Bethesda. Shortly after 1 am several 911 calls were received by Montgomery County & District of Columbia 911 Emergency Communications Centers reporting 'flames coming from house.' Prior to the arrival of fire/rescue units, at least one caller indicated there was a high likelihood that people were still inside.  First arriving Montgomery County Fire and Rescue crews encountered heavy fire conditions and immediately attacked the fire, initially from the exterior and within minutes entered the burning house and located two occupants. Tragically, the two occupants succumbed to their injuries and did not survive. The victims were identified as John Ashton Randolph, age 61, and Inga Randolph, age 94, mother and son, both long-time residents of the Western Avenue home.

John Randolph and Inga Randolph are the first and second residential fire fatalities of the year in Montgomery County, MD.  Last year (2017) there were a total of three (3) residential fire fatalities. Montgomery County Fire and Explosive Investigators believe the fire's origin was on the first floor. There was evidence that the victims were mobile during the fire and may have attempted to fight the fire and then were unable to escape. Fire Investigators located several competent sources of ignition in the area of the fire’s origin, including the possibility of discarded smoking materials, a halogen light fixture -- none of which could initially be eliminated as a
cause. Maryland's Medical Examiner's Office determined the cause of death to be smoke inhalation and thermal injuries.

Fire Investigators reported that there was no evidence of working smoke alarms in the house.  At least one alarm in the basement had a battery that was several years old, while others had no batteries.  Several smoke alarms were found in a box on a shelf just inside the front door --- still in the packaging. Those alarms were dated/manufactured in 2013. 
Damage is estimated to be over $500,000.  

Teams of firefighters from Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services and the District of Columbia Fire & EMS Department joined forces returned to the scene and conducted an 'After-the-Fire' activity.  Dozens of firefighters canvassed the area, both in Maryland and nearby D.C., checking and installing smoke alarms where needed, talking to residents about fire safety and leaving fire safety information on the door for neighbors to review later.

Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries from fire. Every year people across the country are saved from deadly fire situations after being alerted by their smoke alarms. Montgomery County residents are urged to call 311 for information on the department’s FREE Home Safety Check program. Residents who cannot afford smoke alarms or would like to schedule a visit by firefighters to check smoke alarms and ensure they are working and up-to-date are urged to take advantage of the department’s free and popular program.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

News Advisory

News Briefing - Potomac River Safety

Thursday, May 10, 2018
10 am

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park at Great Falls
A/F Old Angler's Inn - 10800 block MacArthur Blvd, Potomac, MD 

In an effort to focus attention on the dangers of the Potomac River Gorge & surrounding areas, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, Special Operations, Swift Water Rescue will renew seasonal efforts at focusing the public attention on the serious and potentially deadly perils of the 14-mile stretch of the Potomac River, especially from Great Falls to the Key Bridge. 

Representatives of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, Swift Water Rescue Team will describe and illustrate some of the inherent dangers in the Potomac River Gorge and address the increase in hiking incidents along the various trails of the C&O Canal, including the Billy Goat Trails(s). 

Reporters and news photographers will be provided a photo opportunity with the Montgomery County Fire & rescue swift water rescue boats providing access onto the River to show some of the hazards of the Potomac River and the Billy Goat Trail, part of the C&O Canal Historical Park.

NOTE: News Reporters and Photographers are strongly advised to wear appropriate footwear, clothing & gear for wet and muddy conditions.

Contact Pete Piringer, Cell 240.372.3749 if you have questions or need additional information 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Hear Us, See Us, Clear for Us!

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 us first, 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. Be smart. Be safe.

Many Roads in Montgomery County Susceptible to Flooding. Consider Alternate Routes Beforehand!

We have had a lot of rain and  continued showers expected throughout the day. County residents are urged to be alert to changing weather conditions and should be prepared for possible flash flooding over the next twenty four hours as a storm system moves out of the area. 
Flash 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 a 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!


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 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

"This is Just a Test" -- Wireless Emergency Alerts System Test Scheduled for April 5th - What You Need to Know

As Chief of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, I am joining the County’s effort to make certain that all our community members and visitors know that a test of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system will be taking place on Thursday, April 5 from 10 to 11 a.m. The test will take place in 20 jurisdictions throughout the National Capital Region, which includes all of Montgomery County.

For anyone who has not previously received a WEA message, it is important to know that your WEA-enabled cell phone and other mobile devices will vibrate and produce loud warning audio signals, prior to the receipt of a text-like message. You don’t sign up for WEA alerts, they come automatically. This one is just a test, not a cause for alarm.

The WEA system was developed by the Federal Communications Commission in 2012 to send out geographically-targeted, text-like messages about threats to safety in specific areas. The state of Maryland uses the WEA system for Amber Alerts and the National Weather Service uses it for extreme weather information. It is also designed so that the President of the United States can send out nation-wide alerts during a national emergency.

Wherever you are on April 5 between 10 and 11 a.m., driving, at a store, in school, at work, in the gym, please know that this test will be taking place. And please help us spread the word by letting others know about it.

You can learn more at: WEA Test

Thursday, March 22, 2018

IMPORTANT: Kidde Recalls Dual-Sensor Smoke Alarms

Kidde is recalling almost 500,000 dual-sensor smoke alarms due to a manufacturing malfunction that can compromise the alarm's ability to detect smoke. Specifically, a yellow cap that was left on during manufacturing can cover one of the two smoke sensors, posing a risk of people not being alerted to a fire in their home. These dual-sensor types of alarms are not used in any of the department's smoke alarm installation programs.

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commision:

"Consumers should remove the alarm from the wall/ceiling and visually inspect it through the opening on the side of the alarm for the presence of a yellow cap. Consumers should not attempt to take apart the alarm, open the casing, or otherwise remove the yellow cap themselves. If a yellow cap is present, the consumer should immediately contact Kidde to receive instructions and request a free replacement smoke alarm. They should remove and discard the recalled smoke alarm only after they receive and install the replacement alarm. If no yellow cap is present, consumers should reinstall the smoke alarm and no further action is needed."

The recalled models: Kidde PI2010 and Kidde PI9010
Dates affected: September 10, 2016 - October 13, 2017

How to check your smoke alarms to see if it is affected:

    Step 1:

   Step 2:

If a yellow cap is present, owners should immediately contact Kidde to receive a free replacement. They should only remove and discard the recalled smoke alarm after they receive and install their replacement. 

Consumer Contact:

You can reach Kidde at 833-551-7739 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or from 9 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For more information visit the "Product Safety" section of

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Need Help With Your MCFRS Firefighter Application?

The Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service (MCFRS) is hiring and accepting applications for the position of Firefighter/Rescuer I (Recruit) through January 6, 2018 at midnight. 

This recruitment will be used to establish eligibility for a Recruit Class that will tentatively begin in September or October, 2018. Applications will only be accepted on-line. MCFRS Firefighter/Rescuers receive outstanding benefits, including a 20-year retirement with no age limit, group health and life insurance, tuition assistance, pay differentials, paid holidays, paid vacation, and paid sick leave.

If you have applied for the position of Firefighter/Rescuer I (Recruit) previously, you MUST reapply to be considered.

Have questions? We can help!

1.  How do I create my Account? Can you give me step-by-step instructions?
Yes! Click hereLink

2. I created my account, but still can’t apply.  What should I do?
Make sure that you have waited at least 30 minutes after creating your account to apply.  Make sure that you are logged in when trying to apply.  Follow these instructions:
  1.  Log into your account
  2. Click on the word "employment"
  3. On the search panel, highlight "public safety"
  4. Hit go.
  5. Find the position. (IRC28202)
  6. Click on the vacancy number (IRC28202)
  7. Scroll all the way to the right.
  8. Click on the "apply" button

3. I applied, but didn’t get a confirmation email.  How can I check my status?
  1. Log into your account
  2. Click on the vacancy number (IRC28202)
  3. You should be able to see your status. It should say “active application.”
  4. If yes, you have successfully applied and no additional information is needed.
  5. If no, please make sure that you applied for the position and clicked on the “submit” button.
  6. If you continue to have problems, contact:
4. I received an error message when I tried to input an employee as my referral source.
How can I fix this?

1. Send an email to
2. Include the following information:
    a. Your Last name and Your First name
    b. The name of the employee that referred you to the job announcement 
        (only 1 person can be listed). Include Last Name and First Name
    c. Your Information will be updated within 1-2 business days.
    d. An email confirmation will be sent to you as a confirmation of the change.

5. Do I need a resume?
A resume is not required for this position so you do not need to upload one. If this document is needed later in the application process, you will be provided with specific instructions on how to upload.

6.  I forgot something on my application. Can I make an edit?
Unfortunately, you cannot edit your application once it is submitted. If you need to have your application updated with your college credits, you must send an official transcript from your university before the closing date to the contacts listed at the bottom of this page. Once received and verified that you have 30 or more credits, your application will be updated. Again, an official transcript from your university MUST be received BEFORE the application period closes. 

7. I can't make any of the dates for the entrance exam. What do I do?

There are no alternate dates for the entrance exam.

8. Any special order when inputting my name?

Your name must be last name then first name.

9. I need HELP!!!
We understand and are here to help you. For any OHR and computer access (registration and Job Vacancy Portal) concerns contact: Jacquelyn Anderson Montgomery County Government OHR (Office of Human Resourses) at:

For any Fire and Rescue, hiring press release and job description related questions please contact: Captain O’Neal Johnson Jr. Montgomery County MD Fire & Rescue Service Recruiting Manager at: or via cell at 240-454-1533.