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Pr. George's firefighters recognized for service

Prince George's County Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones presented Emergency Services Awards to 49 volunteer and professional firefighters Wednesday night, recognizing their service in three incidents from 2009.

Recognized for their work at Penn-Mar. (Pr. George's County Fire/EMS.)

He recognized 23 individuals for their work in connection with the May fire at the Penn-Mar Shopping Center. His statement, taken from a press release:

This award is in recognition of your actions on Thursday, May 7, 2009, while operating at a natural gas leak at the Penn-Mar Shopping Center , 3400 Donnell Drive , in Forestville . Upon arrival, forty-five civilians were evacuated from stores and protected from injuries and for your reaction and handling of the scene when a natural gas explosion occurred. The explosion injured eight firefighters and destroyed five stores. Despite the devastation of property and potential for serious injuries, everyone went home.

Berwyn Heights firefighters worked on a driver rescue and at Cherrywood. (Pr. George's County Fire/EMS.)

A further 10 individuals were lauded for their roles fighting an October fire on Cherrywood Terrace:

The first arriving unit, Truck 814, reported heavy fire showing from the second floor and immediately asked for a second alarm to be transmitted. Due to the early morning hour of a weekend day, the Truck crew quickly encountered several residents who were trapped on balconies and in the interior stairwell of the first and second floors.
Without hesitation and without the protection of a charged hand-line, the crew from Truck 814 rescued seven occupants from the fire building. Your actions are held in the highest tradition of the fire service and are commendable.

And 15 were recognized for their work in connection with the rescue of a driver. The chief's statement:

A full sized SUV had traveled off a ramp from the Capitol Beltway Route 495 to Interstate 95 approximately 100’ into a 25’ deep ravine. The SUV overturned and then came to rest in approximately four feet of standing water. A teenage male patient was trapped beneath the SUV and partially submerged underwater. The patient was only visible from the neck up.
Surrounding the ravine, were several trees and a dense brush which prevented initial access for all providers. Once stabilization of the vehicle was complete, a crew member entered into the water and began to work beneath the water to extricate the patient. This was a particularly difficult task.
Volunteer Fire Fighter Kevin McVey, who was operating the Amkus equipment under the water, had to feel for the victim and then feel for the proper place to cut. Prior to making his cuts, he had to hold the victim away from the blades of the cutters to ensure he did not cause any further harm to the patient. The teen-aged patient was extricated and transported to a trauma center in critical condition.

A full list of the individuals recognized can be read on the Pr. George's Fire/EMS blog.

-- David P. Marino-Nachison

By Washington Post Editors  |  December 10, 2009; 3:04 PM ET
Categories:  David P. Marino-Nachison , Fires & Fire Safety , Heroes  
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