Press Release Archive 2014 - 2020
Title
2014 Press Releases
Content

Fatal Fire in Ellicott City

Ellicott City, MD- Just after 4 p.m. on December 29, 2014, career and volunteer firefighters and paramedics from the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) were dispatched for report of a house fire in the 4500 block of Doncaster Drive in Ellicott City. Upon arrival, crews encountered very heavy fire through the roof and consuming the home. They received information that there may be an occupant still in the residence and entered as soon as fire conditions permitted. The occupant was found on the first floor and declared deceased at the scene.The Howard County Police Department will release the identity of the victim once that information is verified and all next of kin have been notified.

Over 60 personnel worked for nearly an hour to extinguish all visible fire and are now in a process called "overhaul" to locate and extinguish any fire that remains within walls. Fire investigators are currently on scene and will work to identify the origin and cause of the blaze. The home was extensively damaged and it is expected to be posted after the conclusion of the investigation.

In addition to the victim, a dog and cat also perished in the blaze.A second resident not at home at the time of the fire has been displaced and will be assisted by the American Red Cross.

 

Two-Alarm House Fire in Laurel

At approximately 3:30 am this morning, units from the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS), Anne Arundel and Prince George's Fire Departments responded to the 9500 Block of Old Lantern Way in Laurel for a reported garage fire. First responders arrived to find smoke and fire showing from a garage attached to a single story, detached residence. An interior fire attack and coordinated search of the structure was conducted. The occupants were found to have evacuated the structure under their own power. The fire was placed under control approximately an hour after the first unit's arrival on scene. The fire affected both the house and it's attached garage, but did not spread to any neighboring structures. In total, around 70 personnel responded for this two-alarm incident. There were no civilian or fire department injuries. A total of 3 adults and 3 children were displaced as a result of the fire and are being assisted by the Red Cross. The total damage to the structure is estimated to be around $150,000. The fire origin and cause are currently under investigation by the Howard County Fire Marshall's Office in conjunction with the Howard County Police Department. Baltimore Gas and Electric also responded to secure the electrical power to the residence.

 

Howard County to Host One-Day Maryland Resuscitation Academy

Marriottsville, MD- On October 20, 2014, Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) will host the Maryland Resuscitation Academy at the James N. Robey Public Safety Training Center (PSTC). The mission of this one-day seminar is to improve survival in sudden cardiac arrest patients, which is the leading cause of death in the United States. Approximately 80 emergency medical services (EMS) personnel, health care professionals, and medical directors from across the nation are expected to attend the event.

“A sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, at anytime and anywhere. This is why prompt action by emergency personnel or a bystander is so critical and why it is so important that we all learn CPR,” said Howard County Executive Ken Ulman.“I commend the Department of Fire and Rescue Services for its ongoing efforts to train all – personnel and the community-at-large – in CPR, in order to improve the survival rates of those who suffer a cardiac arrest.”

The Maryland Resuscitation Academy allows for medical professionals on the east coast a greater opportunity to learn techniques used in reducing cardiac arrest. Practical implementations of lessons learned are aimed to increase survival rates throughout their own communities. In just two years, Howard County has seen the survival rate of patients increase to 50 percent. The training covered during the Resuscitation Academy includes the science behind CPR, the importance of time, the critical significance of measuring your methods, high-performance CPR demonstrations and practice, public access defibrillation, and more.

“Effectively treating and increasing survival rates of sudden cardiac arrest patients within our community is one of the most important initiatives that our department focuses on,” said Medical Director Kevin Seaman. “We are committed to preparing first responders and health care personnel, not only from our jurisdiction but from our local, regional and East Coast partners as well.”

HCDFRS has modeled King County Washington’s cardiac care methods to study and measure survival from cardiac arrest incidents. After forming a strong working relationship with the Resuscitation Academy in Seattle, the department has implemented what was learned from King County EMS to improve survival from cardiac arrests within Howard County.

For additional pictures and highlights of the event, visit us on social media on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/HCDFRS) or Twitter (www.Twitter.com/HCDFRS).

 

Crews Respond to a Tree Collapse in Laurel

Laurel, MD- At approximately 1:25pm, firefighters and special operation crews from the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) responded to the 9100 block of Stebbing Way in Laurel for reports of a tree collapse. Upon arrival crews encountered a three-story apartment building with extensive damage to the back exterior portion of the building. One person who was home at the time of the collapse, self-evacuated. Two other people with minor injuries were evaluated on-scene and released.

More than 20 personnel responded to include mutual aid from Anne Arundel County. A total of five apartment units have been posted as uninhabitable. As a result, more than 20 people have been displaced and are receiving assistance from the American Red Cross.

Special operation personnel are declaring this an extended operation. They remain on scene shoring up the collapsed portions of the building as to reinforce the integrity of the structure and avoid further damage. A contracting service has been called in to remove the fallen trees.

As heavy rains and high winds continue to affect the region, HCDFRS encourages residents to follow the safety tips as recommended by Ready.gov -

•Avoid moving water and stay away from damaged areas.

•Stay on firm ground. Moving water only 6 inches deep can sweep you off your feet. Standing water may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.

•Flooding may have caused familiar places to change. Floodwaters often erode roads and walkways. Flood debris may hide animals and broken bottles, and it's also slippery. Avoid walking or driving through it.

•Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads and trees may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.

•Use extreme caution when entering buildings; there may be hidden damage, particularly in foundations.

Additional pictures will be available on our Facebook page, courtesy HCDFRS.

 

Firefighters and Paramedics Team Up With Area Schools for “Smoke Alarm Safety Pledge”

Columbia, MD- Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) and the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) have joined together to ensure that 4th grade students pledge to learn the basics of smoke alarm safety. The department will challenge all HCPSS 4th grade students to take the “Smoke Alarm Safety Pledge” now through October 3, 2014.

“It’s simple – smoke alarms help save lives. We know that the risk of dying in a house fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms,” said Howard County Executive Ken Ulman. “I challenge not just our 4th graders, but all our residents to take the ‘Smoke Alarm Safety Pledge.’ Take the time to sit down with your family to discuss the importance of smoke alarms and create a family fire escape plan. Together we can help ensure everyone makes it out alive.”

Students who take the pledge will agree to check all smoke alarms in their homes on a monthly basis and also replace smoke alarm batteries twice a year. Additionally, the pledge states that students should have parents replace any smoke alarms that are more than ten years old. Alarms should be placed on every floor of the house, including hallways as well as inside and outside of every bedroom. Students will also create and regularly practice a fire escape plan with their family.

"We are invested in the well-being of our students and their families. The Smoke Alarm Safety Pledge gives 4th graders a chance to take on a leadership role in helping their families stay safe. I encourage all of our students to get involved," said Howard County schools superintendent Renee A. Foose.

To fill out the pledge form, students should have a parent, teacher, or guardian log onto www.hcdfrs.org and key in the student’s name, school name, date, and age. Students should also take a few minutes to read the Fire Safety information in PDF above the form. This will officially allow them to take the “Smoke Alarm Safety Pledge.”The contest will be judged by the school with the highest percentage of pledges, according to the total student body population. One 4th grade unit in the county will be selected as the winner during Fire Prevention Week, which runs October 5th – 11th. Winners of the pledge contest will receive Chick-fil-A coupons and a visit from Fire/EMS Chief William Goddard

 

Department to Break Ground on the New Elkridge Fire Station 1

Elkridge, MD – County Council Vice Chair Courtney Watson will join Fire/EMS Chief William F. Goddard, III and members of the Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department for the groundbreaking of the new Elkridge Fire Station. The new 33,757 square foot building will be a full service fire station built on a 7.56 acre-site, providing firefighter and emergency medical services. The facility will be a two-story structure and will include six drive through double length apparatus bays, individual sleeping quarters for 23 personnel, a physical fitness training room, kitchen and dining room, general use rooms, administrative offices, a large training room and an all-purpose, emergency preparation/short term evacuation area. Construction will begin in spring 2015 and the station is expected to open in summer of 2016. This station will replace the current firehouse, located on Old Washington Blvd, which dates back to 1948.

 

Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services Honored with “Organizational Safety Award”

Columbia, MD – The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) is pleased to announce that it has been honored by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) with the Billy Goldfeder Fire Service Organizational Safety Award of the year. This award recognizes agencies that have demonstrated an outstanding commitment or significant contribution in the area of fire service health and safety. Over the past years, HCDFRS has implemented a number of safety and health innovations which led to this national recognition, the most significant of which was the adoption of the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation’s (NFFF) 16 Life Safety Initiatives.These initiatives now serve as the primary guidance in developing training, managing operations during incidents and ensuring the overall wellness and health of all members of the Department. The award was presented in Dallas, Texas on August 14, 2014 in conjunction with the Volunteer Firemen's Insurance Services.

“We are extremely honored to receive this award as it recognizes our ongoing commitment to ensure that the brave women and men of our Department of Fire and Rescue Services are able to effectively and safely perform their jobs,” said Howard County Executive Ken Ulman. “In Howard County, we are continuously striving to lead the way and be the best in all that we do. Thank you to the International Association of Fire Chiefs and Volunteer Firemen's Insurance Services for taking the time to recognize our commitment to safety, health and wellness.”

Over the past five years, the Department has made major strides to shift the focus towards safety first. Under the leadership of Fire/EMS Chief William Goddard, comprehensive safety programs are currently being delivered to all personnel and are required training for all new personnel within HCDFRS. The department has also made a conscious effort to enhance safety measures internally with the creation of a bureau that solely oversees Health, Wellness, and Safety initiatives and polices.

“Here in the department, we start each day with a safety message because we are passionate about the safety, health and wellness of our members,” said Fire/EMS Chief William Goddard. “From our officers to our firefighters, we have fully integrated the necessary training and resources to ensure that everyone goes home at the end of every shift.”

Strategic partnerships have been another component of the Department’s commitment to safety. By working with Johns Hopkins University Medical Center, personnel participated in a NFFF grant funded study cardiovascular study to research cardiovascular disease in operational firefighters. Personnel have also participated in the Carotid Intima Media Thickness (cIMT) Program in order to identify, treat, and prevent cardiovascular diseases. Noticing the correlation between cardiovascular health and exercise, the Department now mandates that all new firefighters and paramedics must pass an annual fitness test based national standards.

The following are additional programs that have been developed and are currently operational within the department:

1. Smoking Cessation and Prohibition Program: Starting in 2013, all new employees must sign a “do not use tobacco products” condition of employment commitment.

2. Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Program: This progressive program provides critical wellness services for emergency responders within the region, after traumatic incidents.

3. Shift Safety Officers and Battalion Chief Aides: The addition of dedicated personnel to both the Shift Safety Officer and Battalion Aide positions not only enhances safety procedures during emergency incidents, but also increases safety for citizens.

4. Annual National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) Physical Fitness Examinations for Volunteer Firefighters: This program is based on NFPA 1582 standards and provides a strong foundation to ensuring that individuals are medically qualified to perform the essential functions of a firefighter or EMS provider.

5. Blue Card ICS Training Program: This command safety program is being required for all officers within the department and will provide a strong foundation for safe operations involving command and control on the emergency scenes.

6. NFFF Leadership, Accountability, Courage and Knowledge Training for all Officers: This program is a mandatory requirement for all career and volunteer personnel and remains a staple within our education and training programs.

7. “Courage to Be Safe” - Everyone Goes Home Program: This mandatory safety program was delivered by the NFFF instructors to all departmental personnel and is still part of the required training for all personnel.

 

MedicAlert Foundation to Honor Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services with the Excellence in Fire Service-Based EMS Award

MedicAlert Foundation to Honor Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services with the Excellence in Fire Service-Based EMS Award

Elkridge, MD - MedicAlert Foundation and the Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) will recognize Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) for their recent innovations in emergency medical services (EMS). Bill Webb, Executive Director of CFSI, and Andrew Wigglesworth, Chief Executive Officer and President of MedicAlert Foundation, will be presenting the Fire Service-Based EMS Award to County Executive Ken Ulman and Fire/EMS Chief William Goddard.

HCDFRS is being recognized for four distinguishing innovations that have improved cardiac care response times and have minimized cardiac emergencies among local residents and patients. Among the most notable accomplishments is the department's development of a Community Hands-Only CPR program. The program is a success because of the efforts taken to establish partnerships with local organizations like the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS). Through the partnership, the department recently purchased manikins for local schools and has provided “train-the-trainer” instruction for teachers to train all students. This program has now been mandated into school curriculum for Howard County and serves as a graduation requirement for both 6th and 9th graders. The students will demonstrate what they have learned during this event.

When:Thursday, June 5th 12:00pm

Where:Mayfield Woods Middle School 7950 Red Barn Way Elkridge, MD 21075

Who:Ken Ulman, County Executive
Courtney Watson, County Councilwoman (District 1)

William Goddard, Fire/EMS Chief
Kevin Seaman, HCDFRS Medical Director

Frank Eastham, HCPSS Executive Director of School Improvement and Administration

 

Why:To celebrate Howard County’s excellence in EMS through innovative partnerships like the hands-only CPR program which is now taught to all 6th & 8th grade students.

During the event, students will demonstrate the hands-only CPR program that is now being taught to every student is Howard County. HCDFRS is also implementing a new program where they will be placing automated external defibrillators (AED) on school campuses as an addition to receiving the EMS Innovations award. These innovations are a first in the state of Maryland and will serve as a model going forward, as the new state law takes effect that requires all 9th & 12th grade students in Maryland to learn CPR.

 

Department to Receive Prestigious Congressional Institute Award of Excellence

Columbia, MD - The Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) will present Howard County Department of Fire & Rescue Services (HCDFRS) with the Excellence in Fire Service-Based EMS Award for implementing several unique practices that enhance the delivery of Emergency Medical Services (EMS). CFSI recognizes best practices in EMS by Fire Departments across the United States that will encourage other Departments to consider similar practices for improving their Fire Service-Based EMS system. The award will be presented to Fire/EMS Chief William Goddard III at the 26th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner held in Washington, DC on Thursday, May 1.

“We’ve made significant commitments during the past eight years to use the latest technology and medical techniques to drive down response times and improve the survival rates of cardiac patients,” said County Executive Ken Ulman."These innovations continue to serve and protect our community.HCDFRS has become a model for EMS organizations across the country. We commend all members of the Department for their efforts and congratulate them for earning this award.”

The CFSI Excellence in Fire Service-Based EMS Award is considered to be the most prestigious award presented to a Fire or EMS Department. This award is presented to departments that have improved EMS delivery to the residents of the community. HCDFRS has adopted multiple unique practices that have improved patient quality of life and survival in the community, building upon a long history of excellent EMS performance.

“This award reflects our dedication to educating, protecting, and serving the citizens of Howard County,” said Fire/EMS Chief Goddard. ”Our goal is to expand upon this commitment and to further national collaborations that champion cardiac arrest survival programs and techniques."

The Department will be honored for implementing several initiatives, including life-saving advanced care for STEMI (myocardial infarction or heart attack) patients, increased cardiac arrest survival rates within the county by partnering with Howard County General Hospital, improved neurological survival for patients experiencing out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest, development of a community hands-only CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) program, as well as state, regional, and national outreach initiatives.

About the Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI)

Established in 1989 as a nonprofit organization, CFSI is designed to educate members of Congress about the needs and challenges of the nation's fire and emergency services so the federal government provides the types of training and funding needed by our first responders. For more information please visit www.cfsi.org.

 

Howard County’s Medical Director Selected as one of the Top 10 EMS Innovators in the Nation

Columbia, MD - Dr. Kevin Seaman, Medical Director of Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) has been selected as an innovator in Emergency Medical Services (EMS).Dr. Seaman will be recognized as one of the EMS 10: Innovators in EMS 2013 at the EMS Today Conference scheduled for February 5 – 8, 2014 in Washington, D.C.

“Excellence in innovation is something we strive for here in the county, and I applaud Dr. Seaman, along with the rest of the county’s firefighters and paramedics for their efforts,” said County Executive Ken Ulman. “These award recipients are coming up with the ideas that are moving the EMS profession forward, not just in Howard County, but in other jurisdictions as well.”

The EMS 10 program is sponsored by Physio Control and the Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS); it recognizes ten EMS providers who have introduced significant innovations in the field in the past year. Dr. Seaman was selected for his efforts involving improved response, survival rates and care for sudden cardiac arrest patients. This has made Howard County one of the leading jurisdictions in the resuscitation of cardiac arrest victims. Dr. Seaman has also worked diligently to raise awareness with regards to how the community can assist those in need of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) before first responders arrive. Through community education and revising dispatch instructions and protocols, Dr. Seaman has championed HCDFRS’ comprehensive cardiac arrest survival campaign.

“I am very honored to have been selected for this program,” said Dr. Kevin Seaman. “It has been a team effort, and I think it’s really good to be able to share our ideas with other providers and jurisdictions. I think a lot of them are going to learn from what we’ve done here and hopefully take it back and improve the care where they are.”

During the conference, Dr. Seaman and EMS Captain Dale Becker will also be presenting information on the department’s successful Video Laryngoscope (Glidescope) Program, which has improved the way breathing tubes are inserted for critical patients, and showcasing the department’s High Performance CPR Program. The two were selected to speak out of over 580 submissions.

For additional information about the EMS Today Conference visit http://www.emstoday.com.

 

Canterbury Riding 2-Alarm Townhouse Fire

North Laurel, MD- At around 5:15 am this morning, units from the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS), and the Anne Arundel, Prince George's and Montgomery county fire departments were alerted for an end-of-the-row townhouse fire. They arrived to find heavy fire conditions and initiated an interior fire attack. They also searched the house, where they found and removed one elderly female patient who was transported to Laurel Regional Hospital in serious condition. There was light smoke damage to the interior of the adjacent townhouse. The fire was placed under control around 6am. There were no fire department injuries. A damage estimate is not available at this time. Currently, the fire is still under investigation by HCDFRS in conjunction with the Howard County Police Department. Please feel free to contact Firefighter/On-call PIO Cerisa Speight with additional questions at 410-313-6039.

 

Howard County First Responders Honored for their Response during the Navy Yard Shooting

Marriottsville, MD- The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) recently honored members of the Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) team for their actions on September 16, 2013 during the Navy Yard Shooting that took place in Washington D.C. The ceremony was held Wednesday, January 8th in conjunction with the Howard County Police Department (HCPD), the Naval District of Washington’s Fire & EMS Department, Police Department and the Emergency Management & Dispatch Center.

"The events that took place at the Navy Yard were a tragedy that our country has become all too familiar with in recent years," said County Executive Ken Ulman."Our team of first responders was there providing the necessary counseling and intervention for those personnel who initially responded to the shooting.Their support aided the recovery and healing of our community and our nation."

The team that deployed was comprised of 11 personnel to include firefighters, paramedics, police officers, 911 dispatchers, behavioral health professionals and clergy. On September 16th, the request came following an “active shooter” incident that occurred at the Washington Navy Yard earlier that morning. The Navy Yard of Washington’s Fire & EMS commanders determined that multiple crews and departments had exposure to this traumatic event and required CISM services. Those that responded from Howard County were awarded a unit citation for providing stress intervention and counseling during those critical first hours after the shooting and in the days that followed.

“As first responders, crisis scenarios are part of the job,” said Fire/EMS Chief William Goddard.“But taking care of our own is equally important. It means a lot to us to have served the Navy Yard’s first responders in that way. We gave them the support they needed to decompress and fully process what they encountered.”

The Howard County CISM team was formed in the mid-1980’s and is comprised of 15 members. These members provide one-on-one crisis interventions, grief counseling, psychological support, group sessions and countless hours of support for first responders and the families of first responders. In the past, this team has responded after the Ellicott City Train Derailment, Hurricane Andrew and flooding in the Midwest.

To view pictures of the event, check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/hcdfrs

Title
2015 Press Releases
Content

HCDFRS to Evaluate Additional Ambulance in Columbia

Ellicott City, MD – The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) will begin a trial implementation of a “peak load” ambulance, starting January 4, 2016. The purpose of the trial is to evaluate expected improvements in the availability of ambulances in the more densely populated areas of the County, primarily Columbia.

“Ensuring that all residents of Howard County are safe is a top priority,” said County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “Utilizing this additional ambulance may get first responders to an emergency faster, which ultimately helps improve outcomes and saves lives.”

The additional ambulance will be deployed Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., which covers much of the peak hours and historically reflects the period when HCDFRS sees a higher number of calls for emergency medical services (EMS). Hours may be adjusted due to call volume, weather related incidents or special event needs for additional EMS transport vehicles. The ambulance will respond to incidents primarily out of the Banneker fire station in downtown Columbia.

“Providing exceptional EMS care to all of Howard County is vital,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “Emergency Medical Services make up a majority of the call for services that HCDFRS responds to. By placing this additional ambulance in service during the peak load hours, we are responding to the increasing EMS needs of the community. We suspect that this initiative will cause a positive ‘ripple effect’ and create increased availability of the current ambulance fleet throughout the County, not just in Columbia.”

During this trial period, HCDFRS will evaluate the impact of the additional ambulance and its effect in the community and on the department’s EMS deployment strategy.

For additional information, call the HCDFRS Public Information Office at 410-313-6039 or visit www.hcdfrs.org.

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HCDFRS and Howard Community College to Mark New Partnership and Degree with Signing Ceremony

The science of firefighting is evolving, and the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) wants firefighters and paramedics prepared to protect the community and lead its workforce. HCDFRS has partnered with Howard Community College (HCC) to develop a brand-new academic program that offers an affordable and accessible pathway to an associate degree in fire science and leadership

Starting in 2016, higher levels of education will be required for HCDFRS promotion and advancement. Through the new HCC partnership, firefighters and paramedics can receive credit for their departmental certification courses and take additional core academic courses at HCC.

Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman, HCC President Kathleen Hetherington, and Fire Chief John S. Butler will participate in a ceremonial signing of the memorandum of understanding between Howard County, HCC, and the HCDFRS. The event will take place immediately following the first program information session, which is open to interested firefighters and paramedics. Additional information sessions will be held throughout the month.

WHAT: Announce a new degree program for firefighters and paramedics

WHEN: Monday, December 7, 2015at 10 A.M.

WHERE: HOWARD COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center Lobby
10901 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia, MD 21044

WHO: Executive Allan H. Kittleman, Howard County Government
President Kathleen Hetherington, HCC
Fire Chief John S. Butler, HCDFRS

# # #

 

Working House Fire in Columbia

At 2:15 PM on Saturday, November 28, 2015, firefighters and paramedics from the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) were alerted by neighbors of a house fire in the 5500 block of Eaglebeak Row in the Long Reach Village of Columbia, Maryland.Neighbors called 911 to report a fire on the deck at the rear of the structure.Crews arrived to find heavy fire on the rear of this 2-story single family home, and they began an aggressive attack on the fire from both the interior and exterior.

More than 30 firefighters from HCDFRS are currently working to extinguish the blaze – which includes significant damage to the rear of the structure as well as extension into the basement and first floor of the house.Firefighters will be on site for an extended period of time for overhaul and to ensure the fire is completely extinguished.

There have been no civilian or fire department injuries.

HCDFRS fire investigators are en route to begin their investigation to determine the origin and cause of the blaze.

 

 

Howard County Smart Phone App Press Conference

Ellicott City, MD- The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) will hold a press conference on Wednesday, October 28, 2015, at 10:00 AM to introduce a new smartphone app designed to help save more lives from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). This PulsePoint app empowers everyday people to provide life-saving assistance to SCA victims. Members of the community who are trained in CPR, and are willing to assist in case of an emergency, can now be notified through an app, if someone nearby is having a cardiac emergency and may require CPR. If the cardiac emergency is in a public place, the app will alert trained community members in the vicinity of the need for bystander CPR. This will happen at the same time advanced medical care is dispatched. The app also uses maps to direct these community rescuers to the exact location of the closest publicly accessible Automated External Defibrillator or AED. Often nearby AEDs are not used when they could have made a difference. PulsePoint addresses this by informing bystanders where the nearest AED is located – in real-time and in context of their current location. Howard County will be the first jurisdiction in the state of Maryland to launch this app. During the launch, members of the community will be trained in CPR.

WHAT: Launch of a new life-saving smartphone app called PulsePoint

WHENWednesday, October 28, 2015, 10:00 AM

WHO: Allan H. Kittleman, County Executive
John S. Butler, Fire Chief
Dr. Matthew Levy, HCDFRS Medical Director
Dr. Kevin Seaman, MIEMSS

Marc Crumback, Bystander who helped save a life by performing CPR

Mike Greenhill, Survivor of sudden cardiac arrest

WHERE: Roger Carter Community Center

3000 Milltowne Drive

Ellicott City, MD 21043

Members of the media planning to cover the press conference can contact the Public Information Office at 410-313-6039.

For more information about the app and PulsePoint: www.pulsepoint.org.

 

Howard County Launches New Smartphone App to Alert CPR Trained Bystanders of Sudden Cardiac Arrest Incidents

Ellicott City, MD - The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) today introduced a new smartphone app designed to empower everyday citizens to provide life-saving assistance to victims of sudden cardiac arrest. Anyone trained in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), and willing to assist in the event of such an emergency, can now be notified through an app if someone nearby is having a cardiac emergency and may require CPR. If the cardiac emergency is in a public place, the PulsePoint app will alert trained citizens in the vicinity of the need for bystander CPR. This will happen at the same time advanced medical care is dispatched by the 911 Communications Center.

“Because sudden cardiac arrest can affect anyone and is a time-critical situation where every minute counts, we make it a priority to provide free Hands Only CPR training to residents of Howard County,” said County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “More than 35,000 people have been trained in the County. Now, with the PulsePoint app, anyone trained in CPR will have the ability to put their training to use to help save lives. Our hope is that people will join us in the effort to increase chances for survival by providing CPR as soon as possible.”

The app also uses maps to direct these citizen rescuers to the exact location of the closest publicly accessible Automated External Defibrillator or AED. Often people don’t realize an AED is nearby and these devices often go unused when they could have made a difference. PulsePoint addresses this by informing bystanders where the nearest AED is located – in real-time and in context of their current location. Howard County will be the first jurisdiction in the state of Maryland to launch this app. During the launch, members of the community were also trained in hands-only.

“We see it all the time, citizens are often the first responders to these incidents,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “With the launch of this app, we want to drive the message home that absolutely everyone should be trained to do hands-only CPR because it can happen anywhere at any time. It could be a neighbor, coworker, family member or friend whose life you will save.”

Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for an estimated 325,000 deaths each year or 1,000 deaths per day. The American Heart Association estimates that effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. However, only about one quarter of sudden cardiac arrest victims receive bystander CPR and even fewer receive a potentially lifesaving therapeutic shock from a public access AED. Improving bystander CPR rates and access to AEDs is critical to improving chances for survival.

 

Fire Chief John S. Butler Appointed to Governor’s Emergency Management Advisory Committee

Columbia, MD- Governor Larry Hogan has appointed Howard County Fire Chief John S. Butler to serve as a member of the Governor's Emergency Management Advisory Committee (GEMAC).The GEMAC serves as an independent advisory body and advises the governor on all matters that relate to emergency management for Maryland.The GEMAC brings together local, state, and private sector experts and stakeholders to discuss and develop specific recommendations for further study or investigation by emergency management officials.

”Governor Hogan’s appointment of Chief Butler to this committee is another example of how Howard County's talented leaders are often tapped for their expertise,” said County Executive Allan H. Kittleman.“Chief Butler has important insight and experience from Howard County that he will be sharing with this multi-disciplinary panel, and I know he will bring back more great ideas from this committee”.

"This is a great opportunity to share what we have developed in Howard County with the support of County Executive Kittleman who is committed to incorporating not just Fire and Rescue, but all County departments into the overall Emergency Management program," said Fire Chief John S. Butler.

"Chief Butler will be a fantastic ambassador for Howard County to the GEMAC where the future of emergency management in Maryland is being shaped.The Office of Emergency Management is excited to have his influence at the state level," said Howard County Emergency Management Director Ryan Miller.

The first GEMAC meeting under Governor Hogan will be held tomorrow November 4th at the Maryland Emergency Management Agency in Reisterstown.

 

Celebrate Fire Prevention Week with Fire and Rescue Services

Columbia, MD- Fire Prevention Week is almost here, and from October 4th – 10th, the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) will join the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) to remind residents to “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep,” encouraging working smoke alarms in every bedroom. In conjunction with the Mall in Columbia, HCDFRS will also hold their first annual Fire Prevention Week event on Saturday, October 10th from 12pm – 2pm, located in the lower Sears parking lot.

“You simply cannot overstate the importance of having working smoke alarms in your homes. They save lives,” said County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “We know that the risk of dying in a home fire is reduced significantly in homes with working smoke alarms. Get a smoke alarm, install it, and make sure it’s in working order by checking it once a month.”

The event will feature apparatus displays, CPR training, smoke alarm safety information, activities for kids, and a dramatic live fire demonstration in an enclosed unit. This live burn will raise awareness about home fire safety and show how quickly a fire can spread.

 

“Partnering with the staff from community landmarks such as The Mall in Columbia is an excellent asset and allows the department to spread safety awareness, especially fire prevention measures,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “Smoke alarms save lives every single day, but only when installed and tested properly. We hope that this event will encourage everyone in Howard County to check their smoke alarms not only during Fire Prevention Week, but throughout the year.”

According to the NFPA, having a working smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a reported fire in half. Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. The NFPA also recommends smoke alarms inside every bedroom, outside of every sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.

“The Mall in Columbia continually strives to be a true community partner. We are proud to be part of this year's Fire Prevention Week and we continue to support Howard County Fire and Rescue Services mission of educating, protecting, and serving our citizens,” said Ashley Venable, senior general manager, The Mall in Columbia. “The first responders who work hard 24 hours a day, 365 days a year are true examples of commitment and dedication. We thank them for all they do to keep us safe.”

For more information please visit www.Facebook.com/HCDFRS or www.Twitter.com/HCDFRS. Join the conversation using #FPW2015.

 

UPDATE: Firefighters Battle 3-Alarm Residential Fire in Columbia

Columbia, MD- At approximately 7:15 pm on September 23, 2015, over 100 fire and EMS crews from the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS), as well as mutual aid units from Montgomery, Anne Arundel, and Baltimore Counties responded to the 12200 block of Sleepy Horse Lane in Columbia for a reported house fire with explosion. Initial units arrived on scene and found a middle-of-the-group townhouse on fire with extensive structural damage. They also found fire in three additional units.

A resident of the townhome block called Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) for a reported smell of gas odor. A BGE technician arrived and began his investigation at the caller’s townhome.After finding low levels of gas, the technician proceeded to the adjacent townhouse.The technician noticed what appeared to be a damaged gas assembly and a high level of gas in the garage of the adjacent townhouse.The BGE technician immediately began to warn surrounding residents to evacuate their homes and shut down the main gas feed to the townhouse.A short time later the gas explosion and fire occurred

There were no residents inside the home at the time of the explosion. The BGE employee sustained injuries, was transported in to Johns Hopkins Bayview for treatment and was released. Another civilian patient was transported with smoke inhalation. Multiple neighborhood residents were evaluated for smoke inhalation, but refused transportation to a hospital. HCDFRS received assistance from BGE, the Red Cross and the Department of Inspections and Licensing. The fire was placed under control at around 10:50 pm. Currently, multiple residences are still being evaluated for structural stability. At least six units are expected to be posted as uninhabitable.

Damages are estimated at approximately two million dollars.

If you detect gas, HCDFRS encourages residents to leave the residence at once. Call 9-1-1 immediately and then call BGE at 1-800-685-0123. BGE would also like to remind residents to do the following if a gas leak is detected:

  • Extinguish all open flames. Do not use matches or lighters and do not attempt to light an appliance.
  • Do not use any phones, electric switches, thermostats, or appliance controls. All of these devices, including battery operated equipment, can cause sparks and ignite natural gas.
  • Do not start or turn off vehicles or motorized equipment you may be operating.
  • Do not attempt to find the source of the leak or to repair a leak.
  • When you call, BGE will respond promptly to survey the area

 

Public Safety Officials Gather for Second Regional Safety Symposium

Marriottsville, MD- The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) is thrilled to announce the second annual regional Safety Symposium. The one-day event will focus on ways to diminish hazards that emergency responders encounter during incidents. The symposium is also aimed at creating a dialogue to further the health and wellness of personnel. This year, HCDFRS is partnering with Howard County Risk Management and the Howard County Police Department. The event will take place November 3, 2015, at the James N. Robey Public Safety Training Center in Marriottsville, MD.

“While eliminating all risks in the workplace is a challenging task, we as a county remain committed to providing educational opportunities like this one to help us better protect our personnel from workplace dangers whenever possible,” said Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “Thank you to all who planned this important event. Together we can ensure our personnel are prepared and protected.”

The event will showcase Gordon Graham, a 33 year veteran of California Law Enforcement, with an extensive background in providing education on Risk Management practices. Topics will include “The Ten Families of Risk”, “Organizational Risk Management”, and the “5 Concurrent Themes for Success.” These subjects will better prepare attendees to recognize risk and how to proactively address potential hazards in order to reduce them.

“This symposium puts the emphasis on safety, and that’s our number one priority here in Howard County,” said Fire Chief John Butler. “We are constantly searching for resources that will minimize risks during our daily operations, and this event is a powerful opportunity not only for our members, but for the community as a whole.”

The symposium will also highlight best practices from various agencies across the region. These beneficial presentations will serve to spark discussions among departments, such as sharing lessons learned, and the most effective ways to improve the safety of first responders based on prior experiences.

“We are honored to be partnering with the Department of Fire and Rescue Services in hosting this year's Safety Symposium and look forward to sharing best practices with our colleagues in the region,” said Police Chief Gary Gardner. “Managing risk, preventing accidents and decreasing injuries are top priorities for our agency.We are pleased to be a part of an important discussion that will ensure we continue to place an emphasis on safety so we can best serve the citizens of Howard County.”

For additional information please vhttp://www.hcdfrs.net/register-2015/. Please join the conversation on our social media channels using #SafetyForLife on www.facebook.com/HCDFRS and www.twitter.com/HCDFRS.

 

Department Sends EMS Equipment to Aid during Papal Visit

Columbia, MD- In anticipation of Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia, the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) is providing emergency medical services (EMS) equipment to assist with the large crowds expected to turnout. At the request of Narberth Ambulance, HCDFRS is sending four cardiac monitoring devices to meet the need. HCDFRS is providing this equipment on loan with the support of County Executive Allan H. Kittleman.

“Large scale events like the Papal Visit require the sharing of critical assets, extraordinary regional cooperation and mutual aid,” said County Executive Allan H. Kittleman.“With thousands expected to be in attendance, we wanted to support the efforts of our neighbors and do what we can to assist.”

HCDFRS will provide four LIFEPAK monitors which are equipped with automated and manual defibrillations along with functions to monitor vitals and other cardiac symptoms. The LIFEPAK monitor is extremely beneficial when responding to cardiac arrests and enhances the level of care that emergency service technicians and paramedics can provide. Although the ambulances that Narberth Ambulance owns are fully stocked with LIFEPAK monitors, they need loaners to provide standby coverage to the additional townships that border the Pope’s motorcade and parade routes. The temporary loan of this equipment will not impact operations here in Howard County.

“When large crowds gather, it creates additional challenges for first responders, especially as we respond to medical incidents,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “Having the right supply of equipment can literally make the difference in the chances of survival so we wanted to make sure that Narberth had everything they needed to meet the demand.”

In addition to providing supplies and support during past Papal visits and Presidential inaugurations, HCDFRS has also answered the call and provided assistance during man-made and natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Isabel, Topical Storm Sandy, the LaPlata Tornado and the 2011 North Carolina Tornado.

 

Howard County DFRS to participate in the 2015 9/11 Prince George’s County Memorial Stair Climb

Columbia, MD- Our team of HCDFRS stair climbers will honor the 343 fire service brothers and sisters who selflessly gave their lives on September 11, 2001. HCDFRS will join others across the United States who will convene in high-rise buildings to climb 110 stories as a tribute to our fallen comrades. Each participant will be climbing and carrying a picture with the name of a fellow firefighter that was lost on September 11th. They do so to finish the job they started, and at the completion of their climb, they will release the balloon and watch them disappear out of site symbolizing the completion of their final journey.

HCDFRS members will be leaving from 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive in Columbia, and will then travel to Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, 201 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, Maryland at approximately 6:00am on Saturday, September 12, 2015. The 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb is not a race, but an opportunity to honor, remember, show respect and compassion, and to help restore hope and promote healing to the victims, family, friends, and neighbors of all those who paid that ultimate sacrifice on that unforgettable day. For more information please visit http://bit.ly/1NPXjsj.

WHAT: 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb

WHEN: Saturday, September 12, 2015- 6:00am

WHERE:Transportation from HCDFRS Headquarters

6751 Columbia Gateway Drive

Columbia, MD 21046

Traveling to Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center

201 Waterfront Street

National Harbor, MD 20745

WHY:To honor the 343 fire service brothers and sisters lost on 9/11.

In addition to the Memorial Stair Climb, HCDFRS will also participate in the Garden of Hope wreath-laying service on September 11th, 2015, located at Centennial Park in Ellicott City, MD. There will also be a “Ringing of the Bell” ceremony to commemorate the moment the towers were struck, and a special radio message sent to all field personnel to honor those who were lost in the attacks. The Honor Guard will also be participating in a combined effort to pay homage at Oriole Park Camden Yards on September 11th.

 

Firefighters Battle 3 Alarm Condo

Columbia, MD- At approximately 11:45am on Sunday, September 6, 2015, firefighters and paramedics from the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) were dispatched for a fire at a multi-family condominium complex in the 5800 block of Wyndham Way in Columbia. The complex is located immediately adjacent to the Banneker fire station in Town Center, and crews were on scene almost immediately after dispatch. First arriving units identified heavy fire coming from the 3rd floor of the structure, and the company officer requested a second alarm. Crews worked quickly to extinguish the fire, but there was extensive damage to as many as 12 units as a result of the blaze. The fire alarm system notified residents of the need to evacuate the structure, and the property’s sprinkler system activated as designed. A 3rd alarm was requested at 12:24 PM. At the height of the event, more than 75 firefighters were on scene.

At this time, there have been two minor injuries to residents, and one firefighter received minor burns while extinguishing the blaze.

The fire was declared under control at about 1:00 PM and declared out at approximately 3:00 PM.

The fire remains under investigation, and damage estimates are pending.

The American Red Cross has been requested to assist displaced residents, and HCFDRS’ senior chaplain is on location providing assistance to residents as needed.

 

Department Receives Grant for 400 New Smoke Alarms

Columbia, MD —The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) has been awardeda $4,969 fire prevention grant from FM Global, one of the world’s largest commercial property insurers. FM Global representatives will present the grant to Fire Chief John S. Butler at the Savage Fire Station next Tuesday, August 18th at 10:00am. The grant will be used to purchase approximately 400 smoke alarms to assist with a new outreach initiative called Project S.A.F.E which stands for Smoke Alarms for Everyone.

“We are grateful for FM Global’s donation, as we continue our work to ensure that everyone in the community has a working smoke alarm, regardless of their financial situation,” said County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “Smoke alarms do save lives; we’ve seen that again and again. When they are placed on every level in the home, they save both lives and property.”

Because fire continues to be the leading cause of property damage worldwide, during the past 35 years, FM Global has contributed millions of dollars in fire prevention grants to fire service organizations around the globe. Locally, the company has awarded grants to a number of Maryland-based organizations to support initiatives like HCDFRS’ Project S.A.F.E. program.

“The Project S.A.F.E. program started on the ground-level where a group of firefighters got together during an officer training project and came up with the idea,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “Since the inception, smoke alarms have been installed and smoke alarm education has been disseminated to residents on incident calls and while canvassing neighborhoods. We plan to use the generous donation from FM Global to further this work.”

Through its Fire Prevention Grant Program, FM Global awards grants quarterly to fire departments—as well as national, state, regional, local and community organizations worldwide—that best demonstrate a need for funding, where dollars can have the most demonstrable impact on preventing fire, or mitigating the damage it can quickly cause.

“At FM Global, we strongly believe the majority of property damage is preventable, not inevitable,” said Michael Spaziani, manager of the fire prevention grant program. “Far too often, inadequate budgets prevent those organizations working to prevent fire from being as proactive as they would like to be. With additional financial support, grant recipients are actively helping to improve property risk in the communities they serve.”

To learn more about FM Global’s Fire Prevention Grant Program, please visit www.fmglobal.com/grants.

 

Department Recruiting for Next Academy Class: Applications Will Open in February 2016

Columbia, MD – The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) is pleased to announce that recruitment efforts are currently under way for the next firefighter/EMT training academy class. During this recruitment phase, the Department is expected to fill 20-30 vacancies.

As a county we take tremendous pride in the service that our firefighters and paramedics provide,” said County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “We invite our community and the region to consider this incredible opportunity to serve Howard County.”

The department is recruiting entry-level firefighter Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) candidates. Applicants must possess a high school diploma or GED and a valid driver’s license. Applicants must also provide legal proof of eligibility to work in the United States and have no felony or serious misdemeanor convictions or pled guilty to or received probation before judgment for such offenses. As a condition of employment, selected applicants will not be permitted to use any form of tobacco products while employed as a member of the department and will be held to a physical fitness standard. No previous experience or certifications are required.

“We are excited to once again reach into the community to recruit candidates to join this proud organization,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “Whether you’re a returning military veteran, a newly-graduated college student, or a seasoned worker looking to change professions, this is excellent opportunity to consider.”

Selected candidates must complete a rigorous 28-week training program in firefighting, emergency vehicle operations, medical services, hazardous materials and rescue training. All trainees will be required to complete certification as Maryland Emergency Medical Technician and National Fire Service Professional Qualification Firefighter II standards. HCDFRS is an EMS based-fire service department that focuses on providing an enhanced level of emergency medical services to the community. Nearly 80% of the department responses are for medical-related emergencies.

“In addition to other all-hazard training, we are recognized for excellence in emergency medical services,” said Chief Butler. “So those who apply will have an opportunity to learn innovative medical techniques, and make a true difference in the lives of the visitors and residents of Howard County.”

Those interested in applying must submit an application online beginning February 2016. For more information including benefits and application information visit www.HCDFRS.org or call 410-313-HIRE (4473).

 

USCIS to hold children’s citizenship ceremony at Howard County Fire Station

USCIS to hold children’s citizenship ceremony at Howard County Fire Station

Howard County executive, fire chief to address children;

families to learn about fire safety, prevention

SAVAGE, MD—Thirty-one children representing 20 countries will celebrate their U.S. citizenship during a special ceremony Friday at the Savage Fire Station.
Greg Collett, Baltimore district director for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), will administer a special Oath of Allegiance. Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman and Howard County Fire Chief John S. Butler will address the children.

The participants hail from: Albania, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Malaysia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Syria and Uzbekistan.
USCIS periodically holds special ceremonies for children to recognize and celebrate their acquired citizenship, which is generally derived through their naturalized parents or adoption. For more information about USCIS programs, please visit www.uscis.gov.

WHEN: 10 a.m. Friday (July 31) WHERE: Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services
Savage Fire Station 8521 Corridor Road Savage, MD 20763 CONTACTS: Daniel Cosgrove, USCIS, 202-604-9839 Jackie Kotei, HCDFRS, 410-313-6039 NOTES: Media: RSVP to [email protected] or [email protected] no later than 5 p.m. Thursday.

Firefighters & Paramedics Rescue Trapped Resident After Truck Crashes into Apartment

Elkridge, MD- Just before 09:30 am on Sunday, July 26th, firefighters and paramedics from the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) responded to the 6800 Block of Old Waterloo Road in Elkridge for reports of a truck that had crashed into the ground floor of an apartment building. Units arrived to find a small pickup truck had crashed completely into the apartment building trapping a single resident in her apartment. The resident was stabilized and removed from the apartment while the department’s Special Operations team conducted a structural assessment of the building. The injured resident was air lifted to Shock Trauma in Baltimore by a Maryland State Police Medevac for evaluation. The truck driver was not injured.

HCDFRS Special Operations Crews installed an emergency shoring system to secure the weakened structure to prevent further damage and collapse. After the building was checked by the Howard County Building Inspector, HCDFRS members worked with the property management company to allow residents to reoccupy the undamaged apartments. HCDFRS crews and the Building Inspector cleared the scene just before 3:00 pm.

 

Firefighters Rescue Horse From Ditch

Westview, MD- Just before 5:00am on Wednesday, June 11th, special operation crews from the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services responded to the 8300 block of Johnny Cake Road in Westview for reports of a horse stuck in the ditch. The horse was a 1800lb 7-year old Clydesdale that was stuck in a ditch next to a house. Howard County crews responded as part of a mutual aid request from Baltimore County Fire and Rescue. A veterinarian was also requested.

Because Howard County crews had the specialized training and crane equipment needed, they began to effect a rescue. The horse was lifted with the crane in order to be removed from the ditch. It took firefighters roughly 90 minutes to extricate the horse. There were no injuries to report.

 

Howard County Conducts Demonstration of Foam Firefighting Capabilities

Laurel, MD – The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) will conduct a demonstration of its foam firefighting capabilities, which are routinely requested throughout the region. With an increasing number of crude oil transports, along with the transportation of other flammable and combustible materials by rail, the ability to fight fires with foam provides an advanced level of defense. As seen in other parts of the country, firefighters can no longer rely on water alone when a rail car, truck or industrial facility catches fire. Foam is an effective fire suppression agent that helps save lives, property and the environment.

With more than 15 personnel recently returning from an advanced course in foam deployment and the acquisition of two highly specialized tankers that are unique in that they carry a large quantity of two different foam extinguishing agents, HCDFRS is inviting members of the media for a first-hand experience. Media will be given a hands-on opportunity to deploy foam from hose lines, operate the bumper mounted turret on the tankers and experience the other considerations that factor into using foam to extinguish fires.

WHO: Allan H. Kittleman, County Executive

John S. Butler, Fire Chief

WHAT: Hands-on demonstration of the latest foam extinguishing agents and specialized firefighting equipment

WHEN: Wednesday, June 10, 10:30 am

WHERE: Fire Station 11 – Scaggsville

11226 Scaggsville Road

Laurel, MD 20723

WHY:To better understand the progression and advancements in fighting fires with foam, as well as the specialized techniques needed to battle highly combustible fires.

Members of the media planning to cover the demonstration, please contact the Public Information Office at 410-313-6039 or email [email protected]

 

Auto Parts Fire in Clarksville

Clarksville, MD- On June 6, 2015, units from the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) and Montgomery County Fire and Rescue were dispatched to the 12000 block of Hall Shop Road in Clarksville, MD for a reported fire behind an auto parts business. Approximately 30 units and around 70 personnel responded and found vehicles, tires, waste fuel, and flammable gas containers on fire. The fire was contained after about 30 minutes. Units are currently performing extended overhaul operations. MDE was requested and responded to help contain hazardous runoff from the waste oil involved in the fire. There have been no fire department or civilian injuries. A damage estimate is not available at this time. There are no occupants displaced. The fire origin and cause is currently under investigation by Howard County Fire Investigation Division.

 

Howard County Recognized by the American Heart Association with a National EMS Award; Hosts Cardiac Symposium to Train the Region

Columbia, MD- Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) is being honored with the American Heart Association’s “Mission: Lifeline® EMS Bronze Award” during National EMS Week. HCDFRS has been selected for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks. These award-winning measures and protocols are now being taught regionally through the Department’s Resuscitation Academy which takes place May 18 -19.

“We are fortunate in Howard County to have one of the best EMS systems in the nation. The Department has made tremendous strides in responding to incidents that involve cardiac arrest,” said County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “Through partnerships with the hospital, our providers rapidly identify the type of attack, promptly notify the medical center, and trigger an early response from hospital personnel. This is often the difference between life and death.”

Every year, more than 250,000 people experience a STEMI, or ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction, a type of heart attack caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by surgically opening the blocked vessel or by giving clot-busting medication. Unfortunately, a significant number don't receive prompt attention, which is critical in restoring blood flow. Mission: Lifeline’s EMS recognition program recognizes those emergency responders whose efforts improve STEMI systems of care and the quality of life for these patients.

“EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks,” said Nancy Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. “Since they often are the first medical point of contact, they can shave precious minutes of life-saving treatment time by activating the emergency response system that alerts hospitals.We applaud HCDFRS for achieving this award that shows it meets evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks.”

“HCDFRS is dedicated to making our unit among the best in the country, and the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that by implementing processes for improving STEMI systems of care with the goal of improving the quality of care for all STEMI patients,” said Fire Chief John Butler. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care for STEMI patients

 

Crews Battle Fire in Ellicott City

Ellicott City, MD- At approximately 11am on Thursday, May 14, 2015, crews from Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) responded to a report of a fire in the 8300 block of Governor Grayson Way in Ellicott City. First responders arrived to find fire in the basement of the structure. An interior, offensive fire attack and coordinated search of the residence was conducted. The occupants were found to have evacuated the home prior to HCDFRS arrival.

An offensive fire attack was utilized throughout the duration of the incident as the fire extended from the basement into the first and second floors. Units were requested from Baltimore County and Baltimore City to assist. A second alarm was called due to extensive hoarding conditions throughout the residence. The fire was placed under control within the hour. There was an extended operation from crews due to the large size of the home and overhaul needed.

Two adults and one child have been displaced. Red Cross was requested and will assist the family as needed. No civilian, firefighter, or paramedic injuries reported at this time. Fire investigators are working to determine the cause and origin of the fire. Please contact the media line for any additional questions: 410-313-6039.

 

Firefighters from the Howard County Local 2000 to Host Elected Officials at Fire Ops 101

Marriottsville, MD- The career firefighters of Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) will host a program for elected and appointed officials known as Fire Ops 101. During this daylong event, attendees will experience hands-on firefighting and rescue operations under the controlled supervision of Howard County’s firefighters and paramedics.This all day event will take place Friday, May 8, 2015 at the James N. Robey Public Safety Training Center located at 2200 Scott Wheeler Drive, Marriottsville, MD 21104. Members of the media are invited to attend.

“While I have a tremendous amount of respect for the men and women who serve, I know that this event will help me get a better sense of all that goes into firefighting,” said County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “I’m excited to join my colleagues for this first-hand experience of the physical and mental challenges that go into battling fires and performing other rescue techniques. Special thanks to the Local 2000 for hosting this event!”

This workshop will demonstrate many aspects of fire and emergency medical service operations, from suiting up in the proper protective gear to putting out fires.Each of the four scenarios will give participants the opportunity to do what firefighters and paramedics face on a day-to-day basis.Each participant will learn how to use self-contained breathing apparatus, essential to breathing in conditions that involve heavy smoke.Participants will also learn to battle a live fire and be given instruction on how to respond to anticipated events of fire behavior such as flashover.

“This event will provide the elected and appointed officials a chance to experience first-hand what it is like to be a fire fighter,” said Local 2000 President Rich Ruehl.“We know that they won’t become experts, but we hope that the takeaway is how physically demanding, mentally challenging, technical, and training intensive all aspects of the job are.We are looking forward to hosting these key decision makers on Friday.”

HCDFRS is a combination department comprised of IAFF Local 2000 and six volunteer corporations. The Howard County Professional Fire Fighters Association was chartered as the 2000th Local of their parent organization – the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) – in August of 1970. More than 375 of HCDFRS personnel are members of the union.

 

That Stuff Is Poison: National Poison Prevention Week 2015

Columbia, MD – It’s National Poison Prevention Week and the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) is spreading the word with an informational video that focuses on how residents can avoid poison emergencies. The song is a parody version of Bell Biv DeVoe’s hit, “Poison.” The video features field personnel, civilian employees, hazmat special operations crews, a dancing Sparky the Fire Dog, and more.

“Finding new and creative ways to keep the community engaged and interested in our safety messages is a priority,” said Fire Chief John Butler. “Poisons in the home can be deadly if not properly locked away or child-proofed. Spreading awareness of the dangers that these materials can pose is imperative.”

Residents are encouraged to follow these safety measures:

Keep household cleaners, medicines, and chemicals in locked cabinets or out of the reach of children.

Never mix chemical products together. This may create poisonous toxins.

Cosmetics and other personal care items should be placed out of the reach of children.

Do not share prescription medicines.

For additional information call the Maryland Poison Control Center: 1-800-222-1222.

For additional tips and information please visit www.Facebook.com/HCDFRS throughout Poison Prevention Week.

Direct Video Link: https://youtu.be/zSs8u_cE7kw

 

Two Alarm Fire in Columbia

Just after 11:30 p.m. on Monday, March 2, 2015, firefighters and paramedics from the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) were alerted for a single family house fire in the 4900 block of Canvasback Drive in Columbia, MD.Crews arrived to find fire showing through the roof of the 2-story home.Five adults and one child were home when the fire started and self-evacuated.A second alarm was requested bringing in more than 50 personnel.

In total, the six residents who occupy the home are displaced. The Red Cross is providing assistance. HCDFRS fire investigators are looking into the cause of the fire.There were no injuries to civilians or responders.

Several updates since our initial release:

Fire investigators with the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) have conducted their investigation and ruled the fire accidental.

The home located in the 4900 block of Canvasback Drive has significant historical significance. The house was once a barn located on land purchased by the founder of Columbia, Jim Rouse. This purchase would eventually become part of the planned community of Columbia, which dates back to the mid-1960’s before Columbia was developed by the Rouse Company.

Due to the treacherous weather conditions, the location of the residence, the multiple renovations and age of the home, there were significant challenges in combating this fire. The fire was brought under control and completely extinguished within a two-hour time frame.

Initial reports place the damage at $750,000 but due to the historical significance these are preliminary estimates.

Investigators have also determined that there are a total of eight residents who will be displaced, two of whom were not home at the time of the fire.

The six people that self-evacuated at the onset of the fire, did so as a result of working smoke alarms. The family had smoke alarms in every room on every level of the home.

Smoke alarms save lives, as was the case in this fire. There were no injuries and the residents are being assisted by the Red Cross.

HCDFRS recommends that all residents have working smoke alarms in the home. Here are some additional tips from the National Fire Protection Association –

•Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home.

•Test your smoke alarms every month.

•When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside.

•Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.

Additional pictures from the incident have been placed on our Facebook page courtesy HCDFRS – www.Facebook.com/HCDFRS

 

County Executive Kittleman Appoints John Butler Chief of Fire and Rescue Services

Ellicott City, MD – Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman today announced John S. Butler as the new Chief of the County’s Department of Fire and Rescue Services. Chief Butler currently serves as Acting Chief, and has been a member of the Department since 1993. He is the first Chief to have held every rank in the Department.

“John Butler exemplifies the true spirit of public service in Howard County,” said County Executive Kittleman. “He has worked his way up to the top leadership position, and knows the job of every member of our outstanding Department. He has demonstrated confidence and competence as Acting Chief, and has gained the trust of every one of his members. I am proud to appoint him as our new Chief of Fire and Rescue and know that he will do an excellent job of keeping our community safe.”

The County Executive made the announcement at Station #9 in Long Reach, the station where Chief Butler began his service as a Howard County firefighter 22 years ago. The station is the first place in Maryland where the new chief, then 12 years old, and his family stopped during their move to Maryland in 1981.

Chief Butler was born in Monrovia, Liberia. A former U.S. Marine, he is a graduate of Oakland Mills High School in Columbia, and holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Baltimore with a triple major in history, government and management. He has advanced degrees from the Johns Hopkins University Public Leadership Program, and from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government’s “Leadership In Crisis” Program.

“This is a tremendous responsibility,” Chief Butler said. “The county’s combined department is one to be proud of.I’ll continue to ensure safety initiatives for our responders, as well as foster values and integrity, and advocate for every area of the County.”

Chief Butler lives in Ellicott City with his wife; they have three grown children.

Title
2016 Press Releases
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Three Fires in Howard County in Less Than Twelve Hours

COLUMBIA, MD – The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) responded to three fires on Sunday, December 11, 2016. Two of the fires were cooking-related, while one was linked to improper ash disposal. HCDFRS urges residents to stay safe and diligent especially during the winter months.

Units responded to a report of a structure fire in the 5500 block of Landing Road in Elkridge at approximately 1:00pm. A shed was fully engulfed, located very close to the main house. As discovered by the Office of the Fire Marshal, the cause was improperly discarded ashes from a fire pit. All occupants were able to evacuate the building and there were no injuries.

The second fire occurred around 2:00pm in the 7000 block of Ducketts Lane in Elkridge. HCDFRS arrived to find burned food on the stove with the fire controlled by the sprinkler system. One civilian suffered burns to the hands and arms and was transported to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center for treatment.

At approximately 9:00pm, firefighters and paramedics arrived in the 5300 block of Dorsey Hall Drive for a report of an odor of burnt food and a smoke alarm sounding. After forcing the door open to the residence, an unresponsive patient was found and was quickly moved to fresh air. Upon investigation, food was found on the stove that caught on fire. The patient was transported to Howard County General Hospital for smoke inhalation.

“Our responders are here to keep Howard County safe, but risk reduction starts with the community,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “We encourage residents to install smoke alarms and test them monthly. Be sure to create and practice a family escape plan frequently.”

The department urges residents to heed the following safety tips:

-       Never leave food unattended while cooking. Stay in the kitchen to keep an eye on your food. Keep combustibles such as utensils, towels and potholders away from the stove.

-       Dispose of ashes properly. Wait several days before moving cooled ashes. Place them in a metal container with a lid outside and at least ten feet from any structure.

-       Have your chimney cleaned and inspected once a year by a licensed professional.

-       Turn off space heaters before going to sleep. Keep them at least three feet away from combustibles.

-       Consider having home fire sprinklers installed.

-       Test smoke alarms monthly.

-       If there is a fire in your home, get out, stay out, and call 911.

For additional information, please call the media line: 410-313-6039. Additional safety tips can be found at www.facebook.com/hcdfrs and www.twitter.com/hcdfrs.

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Department Receives Grant to Help Develop a Mobile Integrated Health - Community Paramedicine Program

Columbia, MD – The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) recently received a $10,000 seed grant from the Horizon Foundation to begin planning a mobile integrated health program. The grant, part of the Horizon Foundation’s commitment to improving health and wellness in Howard County, will allow HCDFRS to plan and evaluate potential Mobile Integrated Health – Community Paramedicine (MIH-CP) interventions that will help reduce operational strain on emergency care resources and improve care for patients with complex medical conditions.

MIH-CP is an evolving discipline within the field of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) that focuses on providing non-emergent services by identifying patients whose needs are best met though better access to non-emergency care. Emergency calls to the 911 Center may involve patients with chronic diseases who require help managing an ongoing medical condition. Traditionally, on a national scale, paramedics could do little for these patients beyond transporting them to the hospital. With the introduction of MIH-CP, the department will continue its partnerships with hospitals, primary care physicians, mental health providers, and county agencies to administer this innovative program that navigates patients to the right level of care.

“Working with partners throughout our community, including the Howard County Health Department and Howard County General Hospital, HCDFRS is excited to develop an MIH-CP program plan,” said Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “Thanks to the Horizon Foundation for its support of this initiative and its dedication to the health of the residents of Howard County.”

While MIH-CP programs may vary in their specific interventions, these programs tend to share a similar common goal to lower costs, improve the lives of patients, and enable EMS to use their skills and resources to help solve the problems facing healthcare systems and communities.

“Programs such as MIH-CP can help decrease operational strain on our emergency care resources, while at the same time improve the care for patients with chronic and complex medical and behavioral health conditions,” said Medical Director Dr. Matthew Levy. “We look forward to working with our partner agencies across Howard County to develop an MIH-CP program plan intended to meet the unique needs of those who reside, work, and visit Howard County.”

“Dr. Levy and his team continue to work with regional associates to identify creative ways to serve our county,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “I am excited to see the positive impact of this new initiative.”

The MIH-CP program will be data-driven, patient-centered, and will be a collaborative effort between the Howard County community and key stakeholders. For additional information, please call the media line: 410-313-6039.

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Early Morning Fire in West Friendship

West Friendship, MD- Shortly after 6:00 a.m. on November 20, 2016, firefighters and paramedics from the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS), were alerted by a passerby of a structure on fire in the area of the 12900 block of Livestock Road, West Friendship. 

Initial crews arrived and reported a two-story wood frame building fully involved and additional HCDFRS units as well as units from Carroll County and Sykesville were requested.  The building is the Willow Springs Golf Course clubhouse and was unoccupied.  The building appears to be a total loss.

There have been no civilian or fire department injuries.  HCDFRS fire investigators are on scene and working to determine the origin and cause of the blaze.

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St. Florian’s Brigade - First Affiliate of iWomen in the Nation

Columbia, MD- Members of the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) announced today the creation of the St. Florian’s Brigade.  The St. Florian’s Brigade is focused on supporting and facilitating the participation of women in fire and emergency services.  Although women in the fire and emergency services are the centerpiece of the Brigade, membership is open to all members of the department. 

“I fully support, and plan to meet, and confer with the Brigade,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler.  “I am tremendously proud of the grassroots effort to ensure that career, volunteers, and civilian members have a forum to express shared interests and common goals.”

St. Florian’s Brigade is the first local affiliate of iWomen (International Association of Women in Fire and Emergency Services) in the nation.  St. Florian’s grew from a special interest group in the Department known as the Women’s Issues Committee that was started in 1992.  The committee worked with the department administration to implement policy changes in uniform and protective gear sizing for women, maternity and paternity leave, lactation accommodation, station bathroom design, and personnel issues.

 “The benefits this committee offers will improve the welfare of our employees, volunteers and our community,” said County Executive Allan H. Kittleman.  “Howard County leads once again with its support for the nation’s first local affiliate of the International Association of Women in Fire and Emergency Services.”

St. Florian’s is focused on supporting our members through educational opportunities – conferences and networking, continuing to work with the department regarding policy changes and implementation, being a local and National advocate for women in fire and emergency services and supporting our members as they strive to achieve their personal fire service goals.

"This group is the first of its kind in the entire country” said President Christine Uhlhorn and Vice President Amy Breznak of St. Florian’s Brigade.  “We, as the executive leadership, couldn't be more proud or ready to help our members to achieve everything they aim for, along with sharing the message of women in fire and rescue services with future generations."

St. Florian’s will be involved in the community through adopting a family for Thanksgiving and Christmas and hosting two-day camps (1st Alarm Girls Fire Camp) for girls aged 10-14 possibly in the summer of 2017.  In working with the department, St. Florian’s Brigade may offer a mentorship program to newly graduated female recruits from the fire training academy and volunteer training programs, support our members as they strive to get promoted, included, mentored, and assist/support with any related issues.

You can follow St. Florian’s Brigade on Instagram @st.floriansbrigade and like them on Facebook @St. Florian’s Brigade.

For more information, please contact the Public Information Office at 410-313-6039.

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New Tower and Ambulance Dedicated to Honor United States Armed Forces and Veterans

Marriottsville, MD- The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) will hold a dedication ceremony and photo shoot on November 10, 2016 at 8:00 AM at the James N. Robey Public Safety Training Center to formally introduce the department’s two newest pieces of apparatus. Tower 2 and Paramedic 25, housed at Station 2 in Ellicott City, feature a patriotic paint scheme honoring United States active military personnel and veterans.

“It is always important to acknowledge the debt we owe and the admiration we feel for those who serve in our country’s military forces,” said County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “These dramatic new additions to our Fire and Rescue fleet will not only help save lives, but show our respect for the women and men who help keep us safe.” 

Paramedic 25 is a 2016 Dodge 5500/Horton 4x4. It has a Cummins diesel motor and liquid spring suspension. Tower 2 is a 2016 E-One Cyclone II Extreme Duty cab and chassis with a 95 foot rear mount tower ladder. It also holds 169 feet of ground ladders, LED lighting, and an Onan 10KW generator. Tower 2  and Paramedic 25 will be featured in the Ellicott City Veterans Day parade on November 12, 2016, at 11:00 AM on the west end of Main Street.

“As a former U.S. Marine, dedicating this new tower and ambulance on the Marine Corps birthday is a great tribute,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “This department has tremendous pride for our country and those that serve it. This is just one of the ways we display that pride on a daily basis.”

Recently, Chief Butler received an award that honors employers who support reservists in their workforce from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (a Department of Defense committee). HCDFRS also partners with the local American Legion to nominate members of the department for regional awards with the potential to be recognized on a national level.

"When veterans or active duty members look for careers, the fire service seems to be a perfect fit as there are many commonalities,” said Edward “Larry” Killen, Howard County American Legion Commander.  “These men and women value public service and giving back, and our relationship with the department is invaluable."

The photo shoot and dedication ceremony will be held at the James N. Robey Public Safety Training Center, located at 2200 Scott Wheeler Drive in Marriottsville. Members of the media are encouraged to attend. Light refreshments will be provided. For more information please call 410-313-6039.

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Smoke Alarm Canvassing to Take Place in Columbia Neighborhoods

Columbia, MD – On Saturday, November 5, at 10:00 AM, the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) will canvass neighborhoods to ensure proper smoke alarm installation. Firefighters and paramedics will focus on areas that have a large 65 and older population, along with homes that are more than ten years old. With Daylight Saving time ending, this is an important time of year to test smoke alarms and replace batteries. It is also vital to replace any smoke alarms that are more than ten years old. Canvassing Howard County neighborhoods is a part of the department’s Project S.A.F.E. (Smoke Alarms for Everyone). The goal of S.A.F.E. is to continue providing public education to residents by issuing and installing smoke alarms to homes that have no alarms or malfunctioning alarms. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. The desired outcome of this initiative is to increase the number of functioning smoke alarms in order to save lives.


WHAT:      Firefighters and paramedics to visit homes to ensure proper smoke alarm installation

WHEN:      Saturday, November 5, 2016, 10:00 AM

WHERE:   Columbia, MD

       

Members of the media planning to cover the event can contact the Public Information Office at 410-313-6039 for specific locations.     

 

Howard County Government honors 2016 “Employee of the Year”

 

 

Image removed.

October 28, 2016

Media Contact:
Mark Miller, Administrator, Office of Public Information, 410-313-2022

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Government’s 2016 Employee Awards Program winners were honored today at a ceremony at the Ten Oaks Ballroom. The highest distinction of “Employee of the Year,” went to Brad Tanner, Community Outreach Specialist and Public Information Officer for the Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS). Over the last year, Tanner’s sustained efforts, high standards of customer service, dedication and diligence to his job have raised the department’s community outreach efforts to a whole new level. With the support of his team, Tanner created a concise Community Risk Reduction Plan for HCDFRS, spearheaded programs that highlighted the importance of public safety education and marketed the launch of the PulsePoint smartphone application. He also championed having Hands-Only CPR taught in all Howard County Public School System 6th and 9th grade health classes as a graduation requirement. Lastly, Tanner created the county’s Fire Prevention Expo, implemented Project SAFE (Smoke Alarms for Everyone) and organized a Naturalization event for immigrant children at a local firehouse.

Full release can be found here.

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Most Diverse Firefighter/Paramedic Trainee Class Set to Begin

Columbia, MD- Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) Fire Chief John S. Butler announced today that a record number of women and culturally diverse trainees have accepted Firefighter Trainee positions in Trainee Class 29, due to begin on October 31, 2016. 

Trainee Class 29 is the first trainee class in nearly three years.  Of the 36 applicants selected for the 26-week Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Fire training academy, 20 are women or other culturally diverse trainees.  The class contains nine women, including those having African-American, Asian, and Hispanic ethnicities.  Of the male trainees, there are also those who have African-American, Asian and Hispanic ethnicities. 

“We continue to improve our EMS and Fire service and this trainee class reflects how Howard County’s reputation for inclusiveness attracts such a well-qualified diverse pool of applicants,” said Fire Chief Butler.  “We know our residents are comforted when they encounter a first responder who understands and respects their culture, language and beliefs.” 

In addition, Trainee Class 29 has eight people who are bilingual.  Languages they speak include: Chinese, French, Korean, Russian and Spanish. 

“We continue to build a department that is more reflective of the diversity in our community,” said Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman.  “We know our ranks are the strongest when we embrace diversity to the fullest and open the doors of opportunity to all.”

Fire Chief Butler also announced departmental promotions, set to take effect January 1, 2017.  Battalion Chiefs José Sánchez, Christine Uhlhorn and Louis Winston will be promoted to Assistant Chiefs.  In addition, Assistant Chiefs William Anuszewski and Daniel Merson will be promoted to Deputy Chiefs.  Although taking effect at the beginning of the calendar year, these senior management promotions are being announced early in order to ensure smooth transition and transfer of knowledge.

For more information, please contact the Public Information Office at 410-313-6039.

 

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Department to Hold Fire Prevention Week Expo at the Mall in Columbia

Columbia, MD- During Fire Prevention Week, October 9 – 15, the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) will join the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) to remind residents “Don’t wait – check the date!” encouraging the replacement of ten year old smoke alarms. In conjunction with the Mall in Columbia, HCDFRS will also hold their second Fire Prevention Expo on Saturday, October 8, from 12pm – 2pm, located in the lower Sears parking lot.

“Working smoke alarms save lives,” said County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “Smoke alarms that are more than ten years old should be replaced. It’s also important to make sure they are in working order by checking them at least once a month.”

The event will feature an auto extrication demonstration, hands-only CPR training, smoke alarm safety information, activities for kids, pictures with Sparky, apparatus displays, and a dramatic live fire exercise in an enclosed unit. This live burn will raise awareness about home fire safety, the importance of residential fire sprinklers, and illustrate how quickly a fire can spread.

“Being able to partner with the Mall in Columbia once again allows the department to spread safety awareness, especially fire prevention measures, in a large setting,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “We hope to reach a wide audience and encourage everyone in Howard County to check their smoke alarms not only during Fire Prevention Week, but throughout the year.”

The NFPA recommends smoke alarms to be placed inside every bedroom, outside of every sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement and outside kitchen areas. According to the NFPA, having a working smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a reported fire in half. Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or non-functioning smoke alarms.

"The Mall in Columbia is honored to be a part of Fire Prevention Week," said Barbara Nicklas, Senior General Manager.  "We thank Howard County Fire and Rescue Services for their dedication and commitment to keeping the community safe."

For more information please visit www.Facebook.com/HCDFRS or www.Twitter.com/HCDFRS. Join the conversation using #FPW2016.

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Small Fire in Columbia

Shortly after 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 24, 2016, firefighters and paramedics from the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) were dispatched for an automatic fire alarm at the Extended Stay America in the 8800 block of Stanford Boulevard in Columbia.  Two units arrived to find smoke conditions on the second floor and requested additional units.  Crews immediately extinguished the fire in a laundry room dryer on the second floor of the building.

All occupants were safely evacuated from the building.  There are no reported injuries to firefighters or civilians. Units are still in the process of evacuating smoke from all three floors of the building.  All residents are expected to be able to return to their units.

The fire remains under investigation by the Office of the Fire Marshal. 

 

Inaugural Honor and Remembrance Day to be Held at Garden of Valor

Marriottsville, MD- The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) will hold a remembrance ceremony at the Crest Lawn Memorial Gardens to honor fallen fire service members. The Honor and Remembrance Day will take place on October 2, 2016 in the Garden of Valor.

“We owe these real-life heroes so much for the sacrifice they made to keep us safe,” Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman said. “Their service to the county should never be forgotten and I hope this tribute will serve as a reminder of the bravery they displayed as our first responders.”

The Garden of Valor was dedicated on June 21, 2012. The parcel of land has been set aside for firefighters, paramedics, police officers, emergency medical technicians, sheriffs, and other emergency workers that have served their communities.

“This ceremony will hopefully be the start of a long-standing tradition to annually and formally honor those that have gone before us,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “The time and dedication that these individuals gave to the county deserves admiration and recognition.”

The ceremony will take place at Crest Lawn Memorial Gardens, located at 2150 Mount View Road in Marriottsville. It will begin at 2:00 pm in the Garden of Valor. All career, volunteer, auxiliary members of the department, and their family and friends, are encouraged to attend. The ceremony will feature the Fire Brigade Pipes and Drums of Greater Baltimore, the HCDFRS Honor Guard, as well as guest speakers. The ceremony will be followed by light refreshments.

 

Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services Receives Federal Injury Prevention Grant for Elderly Residents

COLUMBIA, MD – Senator Barbara Mikulski, County Executive Allan H. Kittleman, and Fire Chief John S. Butler today announced the award of a $201,524 federal grant to the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS).  The grant, part of FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program, will allow HCDFRS to reduce preventable injuries and deaths for County residents who are 65+.  As more seniors choose to age in place, HCDFRS is committed to helping elderly residents to do so safely.

“During the next 20 years, our senior population is expected to more than double,” said Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman.  “Falls are one of the leading reasons seniors lose their independence. This grant will allow us to focus additional resources on education, outreach and prevention.”

Fall prevention is particularly important for our elderly residents.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

•           Each year, one-third of elderly people in the community – and half of nursing home residents – will fall.  Two-thirds of those who fall will do so again within six months.

•           The risk of falling increases with age and is greater for women than men.

•           Falls are the leading cause of death from injury among people 65 and older. Approximately 9,500 deaths in older Americans are associated with falls each year. 

•           More than half of all fatal falls involve people 75 or over.

•           When an elderly person falls, his/her hospital stay tends to be twice as long as for an elderly patient who is admitted to the hospital for any other reason. Forty percent of elderly patients injured from a fall never return to full mobility

•           Among people aged 65 to 69, one out of every 200 falls results in a hip fracture. That number increases to one out of every 10 for those aged 85 and older. One-fourth of seniors who fracture a hip from a fall will die within six months of the injury.

•           Despite the significant risk of injury and death, the most profound effect of falling is the loss of function associated with independent living.  Many people who fall, even if they are not injured, become afraid of falling and, as a result, limit their everyday activities.  As they become less active, fall victims become weaker – increasing their chances of falling again.

After completing a thorough evaluations of health risks in the community – and considering that the number of residents aged 65+ is expected to double in the next decade – HCDFRS created an injury prevention program called “Remembering When.”  Through the program, HCDFRS firefighters, paramedics, and community outreach team members will:

•           Identify elderly residents in the community

•           Educate those residents in ways to prevent falls and other injuries in their homes and throughout the community

•           Conduct home inspections to proactively identify and remediate hazards, including a fall hazard inspection and verification the residence has working smoke detectors

•           When appropriate, follow up with residents who are at a higher risk of falling or who might need additional evaluation

The FEMA grant will fund 95% of the program cost for the next two years, and the remaining 5% will be provided as a matching grant from Howard County Government.

 

Bar Fire in North Laurel

Shortly after 3:00 AM on August 24, 2016, firefighters and paramedics from the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) – along with companies from both the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department and the Anne Arundel County Fire Department – were dispatched for a commercial building fire at Sam & Elsie’s in the 9900 block of Washington Boulevard in North Laurel.  A passing officer from the Howard County Police Department, on routine patrol in the area, saw smoke coming from the bar and radioed for the fire department to be dispatched.

Upon arrival, crews found a small fire in the bar area of the building, and they worked to quickly extinguish it and ventilate the smoke from the building.    

There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians.  The fire remains under investigation by HCDFRS’ Office of the Fire Marshal. 

Sam and Elsie’s is expected to remain closed pending an inspection by the Howard County Health Department.

The attached photo may be published.  Please credit HCDFRS.

 

Possible Lightning Strike of House on Illchester Road

Image removed.Just before 10:45 p.m. on Wednesday, August 17, firefighters and paramedics from Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) responded to the 5000 block of Ilchester Road in Ellicott City for a house fire.  The residents reported the incident as a possible lightning strike and were able to evacuate prior to the fire department arrival.

 

Units arrived on scene to find fire showing from the roof of a two-story single family house.  Fire was contained to the roof and attic of the house.  The two adult residents are displaced but have not requested any assistance from the Red Cross at this time. 

There were no reported injuries to fire department personnel or civilians.  Members of the HCDFRS Office of the Fire Marshal are currently on scene conducting an investigation.  The current damage estimate to the house is $200,000.

 

1st Alarm Girls Fire Camp

Image removed.Marriottsville, MD- The Women’s Committee of the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) will hold a two-day camp for young women, ages ten through fourteen, who are interested in learning more about the fire service and what it takes to become a firefighter. This 1st Alarm Girls Fire Camp will be held at the Public Safety Training Center (PSTC) in Marriottsville August 13 and 14.

“Our firefighters serve a vital role in protecting our lives and our properties. We want to encourage the young people in our community to learn about what these brave men and women do and yet have fun at the same time,” said Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman. “This camp gives these girls an excellent opportunity to do just that. We hope they get the most out of the time spent with our first responders.”

Young women, ages ten through fourteen, are encouraged to apply as there are a few spots left open for the camp. Daily activities will include team building exercises, a station visit, CPR training, how to use a fire extinguisher, a live burn demonstration, and more. The schedule will be from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm on both days. After the camp has concluded, each child will receive a certificate of completion at the graduation ceremony. Family and friends are encouraged to attend graduation.

“This camp is a great opportunity for these young ladies to build a sense of inclusion responsibility and teamwork which are both essential parts of a diverse fire service,” said Fire Chief John Butler. “Hopefully we will see some of these hardworking kids again here in Howard County when they’re ready to start their careers or volunteer service as firefighters and paramedics.”

If your child is selected to attend, parents are encouraged to attend an orientation meeting from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm on August 1 to provide further information about 1st Alarm Girls Fire Camp. The meeting will take place at the PSTC, located at 2200 Scott Wheeler Drive in Marriottsville. 

To fill out an application, please go to https://www.howardcountymd.gov/GirlsFireCamp. For more information please contact Battalion Chief Christine Uhlhorn: [email protected] or call (443)-865-4814.

 

 

Commercial Fire in Columbia

Image removed.Columbia, MD- Shortly before 5:30 am on July 4, 2016,, firefighters and paramedics from the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) were alerted by a passerby of smoke coming from the 5900 block of Harpers Farm Road in Columbia. 

 

Crews arrived to find heavy smoke and fire coming from the side of the building in the location of Lynn’s Day Spa. Firefighters on the first arriving units immediately began an aggressive attack on the fire. A second alarm was immediately requested alerting additional HCDFRS units as well as units from Montgomery County and Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Departments. The second alarm was soon downgraded and the fire was controlled quickly.

 

A nearby business, DaVita Dialysis Center, suffered light smoke conditions and the health department has been requested to evaluate the center for opening. HCDFRS is assisting them with patients as they arrive.

 

There have been no civilian or fire department injuries. HCDFRS fire investigators are also on scene and working to determine the origin and cause of the blaze.

 

Department Urges Fireworks Safety

Columbia, MD- As the July 4th holiday approaches, Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) would like to remind residents and businesses to keep their celebrations safe this weekend and throughout the year.

“Fireworks are synonymous with the Fourth of July celebrations. However, they are also extremely dangerous and can result in serious burns, other injuries, fires and even death if not handled properly,” said Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a display conducted by trained professionals. As you gather with family and friends this holiday weekend to celebrate our nation’s independence, I urge you to avoid the use of consumer fireworks and instead, enjoy the Howard County July 4th festival and fireworks celebration at the Columbia Lakefront.”

According to the National Fire Protection agency (NFPA), handheld sparkers can reach up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit which can cause considerable injuries. Party poppers, ignitable snakes, snaps and pops, and handheld sparklers remain legal in Howard County. However, the sale, possession, and use of ground-based sparklers is strictly prohibited. Violators are subject to a fine of up to $1,000.

“Summertime celebrations can be fun, but please remember to stay safe and use common sense,” said Fire Chief John Butler. “We at HCDFRS want to remind residents that fireworks can be dangerous. Don’t risk it, let the professionals handle it.”

In a recent study conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), approximately 200 people throughout the U.S. go to the emergency room with fireworks-related injuries on days surrounding the July 4th holiday. Sixty two percent of these injuries were burns, while twenty two percent were lacerations or contusions. Forty percent of people injured by fireworks were under the age of fifteen.

Those who purchase legal fireworks in Howard County (which are handheld sparklers, party poppers, ignitable snakes, and snap and pops) should follow these safety tips from the CPSC:

·         Never point or throw fireworks at another person.

·         Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby in case of fire.

·         After a display, children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over, as they may still be active.

·         Douse used fireworks with a significant amount of water and leave them for several hours.

·         Adults should always supervise fireworks activities and never let children handle fireworks.

·         Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.

·         Never try to re-light fireworks that have not fully functioned.

 

 

The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to leave it to the professional and attend a public display. For more information about Howard County fireworks and events: https://www.howardcountymd.gov/July4th.

 

Trailer Fire at Allied Trailers

Image removed.Savage, MD- Shortly before 6 PM, on June 14, 2016, firefighters and paramedics from the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) were alerted by passersby of smoke coming from the rear of the Allied Trailers storage yard in the 9200 block of Washington Boulevard in Savage. 

Crews from the nearby Savage fire station arrived to find heavy smoke coming from the rear of the storage yard.  Since the business was closed, they had to gain access to the storage yard by forcing entry through the rear gate.  Firefighters on the first arriving units immediately began an aggressive attack on the fire.  Access to the fire proved to be especially challenging because the trailers were tightly packed in the storage yard – affording firefighters little room to maneuver, and making it easier for the fire to extend to other units.

Due to the location of the fire at the far reaches of the storage yard as well as the heavy fire conditions crews initially encountered, firefighters on several fire engines were tasked with laying an extensive amount of large diameter water supply hose from the closest fire hydrant to the location of the fire.  As a precaution, the Incident Commander requested assistance from a water tanker from the Scaggsville fire station to ensure enough water was available to quickly extinguish the blaze.

Approximately 55 firefighters from HCDFRS were on scene at the height of the incident.  A much smaller number of firefighters will be on site for a period of time for overhaul and to ensure the fire is fully extinguished. HCDFRS was assisted by Anne Arundel Fire Department and Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department.

There have been no civilian or fire department injuries.

HCDFRS fire investigators are also on scene and are working to determine the origin and cause of the blaze.

 

NSRI Holds National Level Exercise for 108 Emergency Responders in Port of Baltimore

Image removed.OMAHA, Neb. June 2, 2016–108 emergency responders across seven local, county, state, regional and federal emergency response agencies were recently brought together by the National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) at the University of Nebraska for a multi-jurisdictional All Hazards Response Training (AHRT) National Level Exercise (NLE) in the Port of Baltimore on May 18, 2016.  NSRI AHRT professionals and programs provide realistic training scenarios, facilities, and subject matter experts to increase the preparedness of responders.

 

The NSRI, a University Affiliated Research Center (UARC), is located at the University of Nebraska with offices at U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) Headquarters, located at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska and in Savage, Maryland.  NSRI is one of 13 established UARC’s across the nation, delivering relevant and timely research solutions directly impacting Department of Defense (DOD) operations and national security.

 

The seven participating emergency response agencies included Baltimore City Fire, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) Special Operations, Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Police, Maryland Port Administration (MPA), Pennsylvania National Guard's 3rd Civil Support Team (CST) and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD).    

 

The MPA hosted the location, a docking station at the Port of Baltimore's North Locust Point Marine Terminal.  “It was an excellent opportunity for the Port of Baltimore to team up with NSRI for this outstanding exercise,” said MPA Director of Security David Espie.  “Effectively responding to any incident requires sound communication and coordination with local and federal partners.  Exercises like this go a long way to ensure you are prepared to meet those challenges that our world presents today and tomorrow.”

 

The high security harbor location provided a realistic backdrop for the complete cradle to grave exercise.  The training vessel was provided by MARAD.  In coordination with MARAD and MPA, the Ready Reserve Force vessel, FFS ANTARES, a Fast Sealift Ship with the capacity to carry 800+ military vehicles including trucks, tanks and helicopters, offered a real-world, intricate facility for the scenario.  Fast sealift ships are some of the fastest cargo ships in the world, capable of sailing from the U.S. East Coast to the Persian Gulf in 18 days.    

 

The ANTARES, which is maintained by MARAD in a reduced operating status at the Port of Baltimore to support rapid military deployment, was staged with a mock clandestine laboratory operation in one of the ships many unsuspecting staterooms.  NSRI Director of Field Operations and Training, Wes Carter staffed the ship with mock opposition force in the form of shipmates, while NSRI Director of Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear & Explosive (CBRNE) Counterproliferation and Defeat, Dillon Cunningham staged the ship with nefarious items and a mock clandestine weapons of mass destruction (WMD) production laboratory as well as other sample evidence.  Advisor Dan Polanksi ensured that responding law enforcement agencies and HAZMAT personnel were following operational guidelines and agency Standard Operating Procedures during multiple phases throughout the day. Also playing active roles in supporting the scenario were the ANTARES Ship Captain, Engineer and First Mate.     

 

The 108 emergency responders teamed together in a test of their counter-WMD preparedness and readiness including response to suspicious activity, hostile environments and hazardous materials.  In addition to the 108 personnel on the scene were their Special Service Vehicle (SSV) fleets, including Incident Command trucks, mobile command trailers, Special Response Team (SRT) assets, Medical Response Vehicles (MRV’s), mobile laboratory, survey and decontamination (DECON) trucks and a Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV) outfitted with flash point detectors, used by a Survey Entry Team.  Equipment ranged from communications technology, tactical, protective and laboratory sampling/testing gear to HAZMAT decontamination lines.  Also paramount to a WMD event is the extensive range of expertise needed on the scene.  The NSRI AHRT exercise participants reflected the range of crucial CBRNE weapons expertise and capability.

 

The exercise facilitated a better understanding of the requirements necessary to successfully counter a WMD event.  In this particular scenario, unknown WMD agents were being produced by an armed, hostile threat; a mock shipmate, aboard the ANTARES.  The ANTARES Ship Captain played the role of initiating an investigation, which began the exercise.  As the exercise progressed, the unknown WMD agents were successfully secured, collected and identified.  Each agency played a critical part in utilizing local, state and federal resources to secure the scene and collect environmental samples for analysis and criminal prosecution.  Participants exercised sampling operations with local first responders, the FBI, Laboratory Response Network (LRN) and CST.  Also drilled were crisis communication procedures between relevant local, state and federal partner agencies.

 

“The training exercise was an excellent opportunity to train with other agencies,” said CPT Arthur Prough, Operations Officer with Pennsylvania National Guard's 3rd Civil Support Team.  “If there's an incident, you don't want that to be your first time working together.  You get to know other agency's idiosyncrasies, so it's good to do these exercises and work together.  It's also not every day we have access to a real ship as a training ground, unlike a mock training building.  We were offered a very real-world, valuable training experience.”

 

“Members of the Maryland Transportation Authority Police's Tactical Command and Port Detachment were pleased to have the opportunity to participate in the NSRI’s training exercise,” said Major Antonio Rodriguez.  “These types of exercises help us prepare for emergencies, identify our effectiveness during crises and evaluate our preparedness for different tactical and disaster scenarios.  Any time that you can test your emergency preparedness and asset coordination based on realistic scenarios is a plus.”

 

The AHRT initiative at the NSRI has been expanded to offer outreach and training programs to government agencies, public health and first responder personnel.  NSRI’s Carter states that “AHRT continues to be one of the most requested training programs by CSTs, Federal Law Enforcement, HAZMAT and Fire personnel that respond directly to WMD events.  The benefits of AHRT training include increased communication and cooperation between the respective agencies and decreased numbers of non-credible samples collected by responding agencies.”

 

AHRT was established primarily to increase collaboration between CSTs and their local, state and federal assets that would normally respond to an act of terrorism in their home states. To date, NSRI AHRT instructors have provided training, exercise venue and guidance on all aspects of WMD response to over 3000 individuals and 130 agencies.  Future NSRI AHRT exercises are planned across various nation-wide locations and will utilize real-world settings.

 

About NSRI

Founded in 2012, the National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) at the University of Nebraska is the only University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) in the country dedicated to delivering solutions for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) to U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) and across other federal agencies. NSRI provides research and development for the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and other governmental agencies in multiple mission-critical competency areas — including development of medical countermeasures to WMD; nuclear detection and forensics; consequence management; chemical and biological weapons detection; and space, cyber, and telecom law.  Learn more at nsri.nebraska.edu.

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Water Rescue Equipment Saves Time and Reduces Risk

Image removed.Ellicott City, MD - The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) today debuted new rescue equipment that will be used to help save people and animals during emergency water rescue responses. With Memorial Day just around the corner, it marks the unofficial start of water recreational activities and boating season. This is also a time when HCDFRS typically sees an increase in water-related emergency responses. In order to more effectively respond to water-related emergency incidents, HCDFRS will be deploying two new state-of-the-art resources. The first is a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) underwater camera and the second is a side-scan sonar detecting rescue boat.

“We want to stress that residents always use caution when enjoying the water this season,” said County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are roughly 3,000 drownings nationally each year, and one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. This new equipment can play a critical role in emergencies, but first and foremost, we encourage everyone to practice safety and supervise children around any body of water.”

On an average, HCDFRS responds to 18-25 water related rescue calls each year. These incidents range from drivers being stranded in flash floods to drownings that occur on many of the lakes, reservoirs or one of the three rivers that border Howard County. Water rescue incidents generally occur because victims either knowingly enter the water, or otherwise find themselves in the water and unable to remove themselves from the dangers associated with that body of water. There is always a possibility of more victims becoming stranded because of the good intentions of concerned citizens.

“Few tasks are as difficult for an incident commander as deciding what to do when we respond to a surface water rescue incident that turns into an underwater search and recovery,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “In a situation where every second counts, this new equipment saves us time and resources. We are able to quickly locate the victim and perform a rescue.”

This ROV unit is equipped with sonar, a high definition camera and a claw device used to grab victims when located. The special operations crew at Station 11 conducted hundreds of hours of training on the ROV before placing it in service in mid-October 2015. Like drones, these ROV’s have multiple uses such as victim rescue and recovery, to law enforcement investigations, to hazmat detection, and even damage assessments and inspections of bridges and dams.  In addition to water rescue and recovery, the ROV is used annually to assist Recreation and Parks staff with the inspection of underwater structures throughout the county.

 

Department Debuts New Water Rescue Equipment to Assist in Saving People, Animals during Water Incidents

Columbia, MD - The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) will hold a press demo on Wednesday, May 25th at 10:30 AM to debut new rescue equipment that will be used during emergency responses to save people and animals. With Memorial Day just around the corner, it marks the unofficial start date of water recreational activities and boating season. This is also a time when HCDFRS typically sees an increase in water-related emergency responses. In order to more effectively respond to these types of incidents, HCDFRS will be deploying two new state-of-the-art resources. The first is a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) underwater camera and the second is a side-scan sonar detecting rescue boat. Like drones, these ROV’s have multiple uses such as victim rescue and recovery, to law enforcement investigations, to hazmat detection, and even damage assessments and inspections of bridges and dams.  There will be a demonstration of the equipment, followed by an interactive hands-on opportunity for members of the media to gear up in water safety suits, get in the boat, operate the ROV and perform recovery tactics.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT: New water rescue equipment to assist in saving people and animals

WHENWednesday, May 25, 2016, 10:30 AM

WHO: Allan H. Kittleman, County Executive

John S. Butler, Fire Chief

Captain Vince Baker, Special Operations

WHERE:  Centennial Lake Boat Ramp

10000 Clarksville Pike

Ellicott City, MD 21042          

Members of the media planning to cover the demo can contact the Public Information Office at 410-313-6039.

 

Department Receives American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Recognition Award

Columbia, MD - The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® EMS Silver Award for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks.

“We have exceptional emergency medical services in Howard County,” said County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “The Department is committed to innovation and continually expanding and improving the service it offers residents. I am pleased the Department is receiving this well-deserved national recognition.”

Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) the most deadly type of heart attack caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication.

Unfortunately, a significant number of STEMI patients don't receive this prompt reperfusion therapy, which is critical in restoring blood flow. Mission: Lifeline seeks to save lives by closing the gaps that separate these patients from timely access to appropriate treatments. Mission: Lifeline’s EMS recognition program recognizes emergency medical services for their efforts in improving systems of care and improving the quality of life for these patients.

Emergency Medical System providers are vital to the success of Mission: Lifeline. EMS agencies perform 12-lead ECGs which measure the electrical activity of the heart and can help determine if a heart attack has occurred. They also follow protocols derived from American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines. These correct tools, training, and practices allow EMS providers to rapidly identify suspected heart attack patients, promptly notify the medical center, and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.

“EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks,” said James Jollis, M.D., Chair of the Mission: Lifeline Advisory Working Group. “Since they often are the first medical point of contact, they can shave precious minutes of life-saving treatment time by activating the emergency response system that alerts hospitals. We applaud HCDFRS for achieving this award that shows it meets evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks.”

Agencies that receive the Mission: Lifeline Silver award have demonstrated at least 85 percent compliance for each required achievement measure for one year. In order to be awarded the Silver award the Department had to be recognized previously with the Bronze award. Next year, they will be eligible to apply for the Gold award.

 “Our firefighters and paramedics are dedicated to making our service among the best in the country, and the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that by implementing processes for improving systems of care with the goal of improving the quality of care for all acute coronary syndrome patients,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care for all cardiac patients.”                                                                  

Fire and Police Departments Partner for Active Assailant Training

Initiative marks first coordinated training of all sworn members from both agencies

In an effort to more effectively respond to active shooter incidents, all sworn personnel in the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) and Howard County Police Department (HCPD) are participating in a newly-created joint training program designed to get help to victims sooner.

The new active shooter training, which began in March, emphasizes a unified approach and marks the first time both public safety agencies have trained together department wide. By the end of May, all career operational HCDFRS and sworn HCPD personnel will have completed the training program.

“Preparing for any possible situation is something we strive for as a county,” said County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “We want our emergency personnel to be fully trained and prepared. This type of cooperative initiative ensures that all our first responders will be able to work together to protect Howard County citizens to the fullest measure.”

In the past, emergency medical personnel would have to wait for an incident scene to be completely searched and declared safe before entering. As part of the new protocols, joint rescue teams of police and fire personnel will enter the scene under police protection to begin treating and extracting the injured, even before police have searched every part of the building. The teams will be equipped with ballistic vests, helmets, collapsible stretchers and other medical supplies. The goal is to begin to treat and evacuate victims as soon as possible.

The training stems from lessons learned in active shooting incidents nationwide, ranging from Columbine High School in 1999 to the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting in 2012. In January 2014, Howard County faced its own tragedy at the Columbia Mall in which two people were fatally shot by a gunman who then killed himself.

“This new training program builds upon the already strong working relationship we have with our fire department partners,” said Police Chief Gary Gardner. “Having fire and police commanders working side by side as they deploy rescue teams is a critical component to a successful coordinated response. Together, we want to do all we can to render aid as quickly and safely as possible to victims in need of help during a crisis.”

Through interactive scenarios taking place at the James N. Robey Public Safety Training Center in Marriottsville, HCDFRS members are learning to provide medical care in potentially hostile surroundings escorted by police.

“The purpose of this training is to advance our readiness should the need for a multi-agency response occur,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “Training based in a realistic, threatening setting is vital, and our firefighters and paramedics will have the right tools and strategies to respond to this type of incident.”

 

Fire and Rescue Appoints New Medical Director Team

Columbia, MD—The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Matthew J. Levy to the position of Medical Director and Dr. Asa M. Margolis to the position of Associate Medical Director. In these roles, Dr. Levy and Dr. Margolis are responsible for overseeing the delivery of all emergency medical programs within the Department and creating a vision for future success.

“Our fire and rescue department has always made innovative strides to stay on the forefront of emergency medical and pre-hospital care,” said County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “Together, Dr. Levy’s and Dr. Margolis’ leadership will greatly enhance the department’s ability to create a model public safety community.”

Dr. Levy had been the Associate HCDFRS Medical Director since 2009 and has served as HCDFRS’ Interim Medical Director since 2014. His career in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Disaster Response spans over two decades. During this time he has maintained an active role is a variety of local, state and federal elements related to emergency medical and disaster care. Dr. Levy is Board Certified in Emergency Medicine and Subspecialty Certified in EMS. Dr. Levy is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Johns Hopkins and is also a member of the core faculty of the Maryland Resuscitation Academy which is committed to improving cardiac arrest survival. Dr. Levy sits on multiple steering committees at various levels of government and has spoken internationally on topics of prehospital emergency care, tactical medicine, disaster response and the training of personnel.

“The role of a fire-based EMS medical director is becoming increasingly sophisticated,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “They must have the necessary expertise to weigh in on operational matters, continuous quality improvement and be knowledgeable on future trends and research. Dr. Levy and Dr. Margolis bring a wealth of experience and a sincere passion for serving.”

Joining him to further the Department’s commitment to EMS is Associate Medical Director Dr. Asa Margolis. Dr. Margolis is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He also holds a position in the Division of Special Operations in the Department of Emergency Medicine and is Assistant Medical Director of Johns Hopkins Lifeline, a critical care transport program. Dr. Margolis completed an EMS fellowship at The Johns Hopkins University in 2015 during which time he did his field clinical work with HCDFRS. Dr. Margolis is Board Certified in Emergency Medicine and Subspecialty Certified in EMS.

Dr. Levy also maintains a position in the Division of Special Operations in the Department Emergency Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and is the Associate Medical Director of Johns Hopkins Lifeline. Dr. Levy completed his medical degree at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Emergency Health Services at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Dr. Levy completed a residency in Emergency Medicine at The Johns Hopkins Hospital where he also served as Chief Resident. Dr. Margolis completed his medical degree and master’s degrees at the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and his Master of Public Health degree at Yale University. He completed residency in emergency medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2014 after serving as Chief Resident.

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Dr. Matthew Levy                       Dr. Asa Margolis

 

Country Meadows Fire

Image removed.Laurel, MD- At approximately 10:40am  on April 16, 2016, firefighters and paramedics from the Howard County  Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) responded to the 9700  block of Country Meadows Lane for reports of a fire at Country Meadows  apartments. Crews arrived to find heavy smoke and fire coming from the  2nd and 3rd floor apartment units and a 2nd alarm was requested. 

After  initial interior operations were conducted to search for potential  victims, firefighters went to defensive mode in order to suppress the  fire which was spewing through the roof. After the attack was made on  the roof, crews resumed offensive interior operations. The third alarm  was requested at about 25 minutes into the incident for additional  resources. Mutual aid from Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties  were among those who assisted. It took approximately 60 firefighters an  hour to control the fire. All of the building's occupants were able to  evacuate on their own prior to HCDFRS arrival.

A total of 12  apartment units were affected displacing 22 residents. Those residents  are being assisted but the American Red Cross as well as the management  team at the Country Meadows Apartments. A total of three residents were  treated. Two were evaluated on-scene and released while a woman was  transported to Howard County General for an ankle injury and second  degree burns. No firefighters or paramedics have been injured. Fire  investigators are on scene to determine the cause of the fire. Initial  damages are estimated to be in excess of $1 million dollars. No further  information is available at this time.

 

McDonald's Restaurant Fire in Ellicott City

Image removed.Ellicott City, MD - At 8:30 AM on April 10, 2016, firefighters and paramedics from the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) were alerted for a commercial structure fire at the McDonalds restaurant in the Long Gate Shopping Center in Elliott City. Crews arrived to find heavy smoke emanating from the attached PlayPlace, and they began an aggressive attack on the fire. Access to the fire proved to be challenging. As a result, firefighters removed a large portion of the ceiling in the PlayPlace and opened up portions of the roof system to reach the fire and ensure the fire was fully extinguished. 

Approximately 40 firefighters from HCDFRS were on scene at the height of the incident. Firefighters will be on site for an extended period of time for overhaul and to ensure the fire is fully extinguished.

There have been no civilian or fire department injuries. HCDFRS fire investigators are on scene and are working to determine the origin and cause of the blaze.

The Howard County Health Department has been contacted and will ultimately determine when the restaurant can reopen.

 

Fire and Police Partner for Distracted Driving Awareness Month

In an effort to make roads safer, the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) and Howard County Police Department (HCPD) are partnering together to educate motorists about the risks of distracted driving. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and both departments have pledged to spread the message to drivers that distracted driving is not only hazardous to themselves, but to others as well.

“Informing our community about the dangers of cell phone use and other distractions while driving is imperative,” said County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “Our hope is that people realize the potential risks involved and that they discontinue bad habits in order to help protect not only themselves, but also their families and others on the road.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2014:
• Crashes involving distracted drivers killed 3,179 people and injured 431,000.
• Ten percent of all drivers ages 15 to 19 in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the collision. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of their crash.
• Throughout the U.S., 244 people aged 15 to 19 were killed in distraction-affected crashes.

“The best way to end distracted driving is to educate our community about the threat it poses,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “If something as simple as putting down the phone while driving can save lives, we want to make sure we get that message out to as many people as possible. Every driver has a stake in this effort.”

“Driving a motor vehicle is a privilege that requires a person’s full attention at all times,” added Police Chief Gary L. Gardner. “Taking your eyes off the road, even for a matter of seconds, can have dire consequences to you, your passengers and others on the road. No text or phone call while driving is worth your life, or someone else’s.”

Distracted driving enforcement details will be conducted by the Howard County Police Department and other law enforcement agencies across the state for the entire month.

For additional information and safety tips, please visit facebook.com/hcdfrs and facebook.com/howardcountypolicedepartment.

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House Fire in Cooksville

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Cooksville, MD- Just after midnight on March 26, 2016 firefighters and paramedics from Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) were alerted for a possible house on fire in the 2100 block of Route 97 in Cooksville, MD.Units from Station 13 (Glenwood) quickly arrived to find fire showing from the second floor of a 3 story single family home.Firefighters initiated an aggressive interior attack and found heavy fire conditions in the second floor and attic areas.It took approximately one hour to extinguish the bulk of the fire and (due to building construction) another 3 hours to open up ceilings and walls to extinguish all the hot spots.No one was reported to be living in the home at the time of the fire.HCDFRS was assisted by units from Carroll, Montgomery, and Frederick Counties.Fire investigators are currently on the scene working to determine a cause and point of origin.

 

Multiple Brush Fires in Eastern Part of Howard County

 

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Eastern Howard County- At approximately 4:30 pm on March 23, 2016, units from Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue (HCDFRS), Baltimore County, Anne Arundel and Prince George counties were alerted for multiple brush fires along the CSX railroad lines from the Howard and Baltimore County line to the Anne Arundel County line. Additionally, CSX representatives responded due to the disruption in rail service.

All trains were held outside the affected area until the fires were placed under control at approximately 8:30 pm The only reported property damage were two small storage sheds. There were no fire department or civilian injuries.

The fire origin and cause are currently under investigation by CSX.

 

Dogs Rescued in Glenelg House Fire

 

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Glenelg, MD- On March 11, 2016 at approximately 11:19 p.m., firefighters and paramedics from the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) were alerted by neighbors of a house fire in the 13700 block of Bold Venture Drive in Glenelg, Maryland. Crews arrived to find heavy fire coming from the garage and side of the 2-story single family home.

All eight family members evacuated the home prior to HCDFRS arrival, however firefighters rescued two family dogs. More than 55 firefighters from HCDFRS worked to extinguish the blaze. Additionally, units from Carroll and Montgomery County provided mutual aid. Firefighters will be on site for an extended period of time for overhaul and to ensure the fire is completely extinguished.

The family of eight is being provided assistance by the Red Cross. There were no civilian or fire department injuries. Fire investigators are on scene and have begun their investigation to determine the origin and cause of the blaze.

 

Three Alarm Fire in Ellicott City

 

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Ellicott City, MD- Just after 11:20 AM on Sunday February 14, 2016 Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) was alerted for an apartment fire in 7600 block of Coachlight Ln in Ellicott City. Multiple 911 calls were received reporting that the side of a building was on fire. First arriving units from HCDFRS found heavy fire showing from a two story condominium building and requested a second alarm. All of the building’s occupants were able to evacuate on their own prior to HCDFRS arrival. Firefighters performed an aggressive interior fire attack in six condo units and the attic which prevented the fire from spreading to another section of the building. The third alarm was requested at 30 minutes into the incident for additional man power. Units from Anne Arundel and Baltimore Counties as well as BWI Airport responded on the second and third alarms. It took approximately 75 firefighters 90 minutes to control the flames. A total of 16 occupants (12 adult, 4 children) are displaced and are being assisted by the American Red Cross. This incident is under investigation by HCDFRS fire investigators and the estimated loss of property and contents is 1.2 million dollars. There were no injuries to responders or civilians reported.

Volunteer Departments to Receive Grant Funding for Additional Resources

Image removed.Image removed.Columbia, MD– Two volunteer fire departments of the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) have been awarded grant funding from the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE). West Friendship Volunteer Fire Department and Lisbon Volunteer Fire Company, along with other nonprofit emergency response and public safety organizations in Maryland, have received funding in order to purchase additional fire and rescue equipment for their respective stations.

“Thanks to this grant funding, Lisbon and West Friendship will be able to provide even more protection to our citizens in Howard County,” said County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “As a county, we are always seeking ways to increase public safety and emergency resources.”

In the grant request, West Friendship Volunteer Fire Department (WFVFD) applied for fire suppression equipment and cold/warm water rescue apparatus. The station’s first response area includes the Patapsco River, as well as roughly 275 lakes, ponds, and storm water management areas. Enhancing the fire suppression arsenal will improve capabilities to fight fires in remote structures. These added materials strengthen the ability to respond to community emergencies, increase public safety by providing resources for personal injury, fire and water rescue coverage, as well as ensure the safety of fire department personnel. The department was awarded $5,000 from BGE.

The Lisbon Volunteer Fire Company encompasses the western-most region of Howard County. The station responds to many vehicle rescues along major commuter roads, including Interstate 70, Routes 32, 97, and more. In the past, the company has relied heavily on bulky hydraulic hand jacks and other rescue mechanisms. These methods, although effective, can be labor intensive and time consuming. In today’s world of the fire and rescue services, a “High Lift Airbag” is considered more efficient and potentially safer. With the purchase of this airbag system, responders will be able to safely locate and rescue victims quickly who are trapped in all types of vehicle collisions. These airbags will also assist with building collapses and shoring efforts. The department was also awarded $5,000 from BGE.

“Our volunteer partners are vital to keeping our communities safe,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “Working side by side with these members provides the best possible care and attention to our residents. These increased assets will serve to benefit all of Howard County.”

A formal recognition of grant awardees and networking event will be held on February 8th, at the Maryland Food Bank located at 2200 Halethorpe Farms Road, Baltimore, MD.

“At BGE, the safety of our customers and employees is paramount, and we appreciate the roles that organizations such as the West Friendship Volunteer Fire Department and the Lisbon Volunteer Fire Company play in keeping Howard County residents safe,” said Valencia A. McClure, Director of Communications and Corporate Relations for BGE. “We are grateful to partner with emergency response organizations who share our mission.”

For additional details, please call the Public Information Office: 410-313-6039.

 

Firefighters Battle Columbia House Fire and Rescue Dog

Image removed.Columbia, MD- At approximately 1:30 PM on January 9, 2016, firefighters and paramedics from the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) were dispatched to a house fire in the 10000 block of Hatbrim Terrace in the Kings Contrivance Village of Columbia. Crews arrived to find heavy fire on the first floor of this 2-story single family home, and they began an aggressive interior attack.The fire was extinguished quickly, but firefighters will be on site for an extended period of time for overhaul and to ensure the fire is completely extinguished.

Two residents had evacuated the home prior to HCDFRS arrival, but firefighters rescued the family dog, “Jet.” Both residents were transported to local hospitals for treatment. More than 30 firefighters from HCDFRS worked to extinguish the blaze.There have been no fire department injuries. HCDFRS fire investigators are on scene and have begun their investigation to determine the origin and cause of the blaze.

 

 

 

 

Title
2017 Press Releases
Content

Dept Responds to Five Significant Fires in Four Weeks

COLUMBIA, MD – The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) responded to five fires in the last four weeks. HCDFRS urges residents to stay safe and diligent, especially during the holiday season and winter months. Thankfully, those affected by these recent fires were alerted by working smoke alarms in the home, were able to evacuate safely, and closed the door when exiting which limited fire growth.

 

The department responded to four residential fires and one motel fire since November 29, 2017. There were no civilian or firefighter injuries reported during any of the incidents. The HCDFRS’ Office of the Fire Marshal is investigating the origin and cause of these fires.

 

According to the National Fire Protection Association, home fires occur more during the winter months than any other season. Heating is the second leading cause of U.S. home fires, deaths and injuries. December, January and February are the peak months for heating fires. Two out of every five fires attributed to the use of heating equipment involved space heaters (NFPA).

 

The department urges residents to heed the following safety tips:

 

  • Install and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors monthly.
  • Practice home exit drills. Have an emergency plan in place.
  • Dispose of ashes properly. Wait several days before moving cooled ashes. Place them in a metal container with a lid outside and at least ten feet from any structure.
  • Have your chimney cleaned and inspected once a year by a licensed professional.
  • Turn off space heaters before going to sleep. Keep them at least three feet away from combustibles.
  • Do not overload extension cords.
  • Consider having home fire sprinklers installed.
  • If there is a fire in your home, get out, stay out, and call 911.
  • Before you go to sleep, close bedroom doors. Additionally, exit the home quickly and safely during an emergency. If you are able, close doors behind you to stop the spread of smoke and fire.

 

For more information, please call the media line: 410-313-6039. Additional safety tips can be found at www.facebook.com/hcdfrs, www.twitter.com/hcdfrs and www.hcdfrs.org.

 

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Firefighters Battle House Fire in Columbia

Columbia, MD - Shortly before 9:00 p.m. on December 12, 2017, firefighters and paramedics from the Howard County Department of Fire & Rescue Services (HCDFRS) were dispatched for a house fire in the 7400 block of Sandalfoot Way.  An adult resident called 911 after seeing smoke and flames from the fast moving fire.

Crews arrived on location to find heavy fire showing from the garage area of a two-story single family home.  All seven occupants at home were safely outside.  During the initial firefighting operation the attached garage collapsed.  Fire was controlled within approximately one hour but crews continue working on overhaul with anticipated extensive operations because of the collapse.

The seven displaced residents will be assisted by family and friends.  There are no injuries to firefighters or civilians.

Fire investigators from the HCDFRS Office of the Fire Marshal are on location and have begun their investigation to determine the origin and cause of the blaze.

 

Firefighters Contain Hotel Fire in Jessup

Jessup, MD- Around 12:45 AM on Friday, December 8, 2017 over 50 firefighters and paramedics from HCDFRS, Anne Arundel and Baltimore County Fire Departments were dispatched for a building fire in the 8000 block of Washington Boulevard in Jessup.

 

Upon arrival crews found heavy smoke showing from the second floor of an occupied hotel. The fire was knocked within 10 minutes of crews arriving and contained to one hotel room. Crews continued to check for extension with nothing evident and quickly brought the fire under control.

 

No civilian or firefighter injuries were reported at the scene.

 

Investigators from HCDFRS’ Office of the Fire Marshal are still investigating the origin and cause of the fire.

 

 

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Firefighters Battle Blaze in Columbia

Columbia, MD – Shortly before 3:30 PM on Sunday, November 26, 2017, firefighters and paramedics from the Howard County Department of Fire & Rescue Services (HCDFRS) were dispatched for a house fire in the 5500 block of High Tor Hill in Columbia.  Several neighbors called 911 after seeing smoke and flames from the fast-moving fire.

 

Upon arrival, crews encountered heavy fire conditions and adopted a defensive strategy to attack the fire due to heavy structural damage inside.  Firefighters worked for about an hour to extinguish the fire.

 

Four residents will be displaced, and the American Red Cross has been requested to assist them temporarily.

 

There have been no injuries to firefighters or civilians.

 

Fire investigators from HCDFRS’ Office of the Fire Marshall are on location and have begun their investigation to determine the origin and cause of the blaze.

 

High Tor Hill is shut down in the vicinity of the incident.  Please avoid the area.

 

For further information, please call the media line - 410-313-6039.  

 

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Department to Hold Fire Prevention Week Expo at the Mall in Columbia

Columbia, MD- During Fire Prevention Week, October 8 – 14, the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) will join the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to remind residents “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” encouraging residents to create and institute a family escape plan. In conjunction with the Mall in Columbia, HCDFRS will also hold their annual Fire Prevention Expo on Saturday, October 7, from 12pm – 2pm, located in the food court entrance parking lot.

“Seconds matter in fire and other emergencies,” said County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “I encourage and challenge all Howard County residents to take the time to create a home fire escape plan and practice it with their families.”

The event will feature hands-only CPR training, a Special Operations demonstration, smoke alarm safety information, activities for kids, pictures with Sparky, apparatus displays, and a dramatic live fire in an enclosed unit. This live burn will raise awareness about home fire safety, the importance of residential fire sprinklers, and illustrate how quickly a fire can spread.

“Working hand-in-hand with the Mall in Columbia allows the department to spread fire safety awareness in a larger setting,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “We hope to reach an extensive audience and encourage everyone in the community to have an emergency escape plan in place, and to also test their smoke alarms throughout the year.”

The NFPA recommends practicing home fire drills at least twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out. Parents should teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them. Closing doors will slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire. Once outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.

For more information please visit www.Facebook.com/HCDFRS or www.Twitter.com/HCDFRS. Join the conversation using #FPW2017.

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Second Annual Honor and Remembrance Ceremony

Marriottsville, MD- The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) will host its annual remembrance event at Crest Lawn Memorial Gardens to honor career and volunteer fallen fire and rescue service members. The Honor and Remembrance Ceremony will take place on Sunday, October 1, 2017 in the Garden of Valor.

“I am honored to take part in this ceremony paying tribute to these heroes who served the community,” said Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “As we continue this tradition each year, we will always remember their dedication and sacrifice.”

The Garden of Valor was dedicated on June 21, 2012. The parcel of land has been set aside for firefighters, paramedics, police officers, emergency medical technicians, sheriffs, and other emergency workers that have served their communities.

“We plan to continue this ceremony annually in order to formally recognize those that have gone before us,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “It’s important that we pay our utmost respects and continue to learn from these selfless individuals. Never forgetting means we will never forget their service and commitment.”

The ceremony will take place at Crest Lawn Memorial Gardens, located at 2150 Mount View Road in Marriottsville. It will begin at 2:00 pm in the Garden of Valor. All career, volunteer, auxiliary members of the department, their family and friends, all members of the community, and the media are encouraged to attend. The ceremony will feature the Mt. Hebron High School Chamber Choir, the Fire Brigade Pipes and Drums of Greater Baltimore, a combined fire and rescue Honor Guard representing the organizations of those being remembered, as well as guest speakers and dignitaries.

For more information please contact the Office of Community Outreach and Media Affairs at 410-313-6039.

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Firefighters Work to Extinguish House Fire in Elkridge

Elkridge, MD- Shortly after 11:00 PM on August 1, 2017, firefighters and paramedics from the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) – along with companies from both the Baltimore County Fire Department and the Anne Arundel County Fire Department – were dispatched for a house fire in the 6200 block of Fairbourne Court in Hanover/Elkridge. 

Upon arrival, crews encountered heavy fire conditions, and they worked for more than 30 minutes to bring the fire under control.  Crews are continuing their efforts to fully extinguish the fire and to check for “hot spots.”

Investigators from the HCDFRS’ Office of the Fire Marshal are on location, and they are working to determine the origin and cause of the blaze. 

Five adults have been displaced as a result of the fire.  The Red Cross is assisting those residents.

One firefighter was taken to the hospital for evaluation. No other injuries reported.

At this stage of the fire investigation, no photos are available for immediate release.

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PulsePoint Smartphone Notification and Prompt CPR Saves A Man’s Life

Columbia, MD- On June 15, 2017 at approximately 8:30 am, firefighters and paramedics with the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) responded to 7100 Columbia Gateway Drive for a possible cardiac arrest. Units arrived to find 49 year old Sean Maguire in cardiac arrest with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in progress. Return of Spontaneous Circulation (ROSC) was achieved after approximately 15 minutes of high-performance CPR and advanced life support care. The immediate responder, Simone Rockstroh, 67, who happens to be an off duty volunteer firefighter delivered CPR.  She was alerted to the scene via PulsePoint push notification on her smartphone device and arrived to find Sean’s coworkers attempting to help him.  This is the first documented cardiac arrest save resulting from a PulsePoint notification in the state of Maryland.  Maguire has since been discharged from Howard County General Hospital and is recovering. 

In the fall of 2015, HCDFRS was the first jurisdiction in Maryland to launch PulsePoint - a smartphone app designed to empower CPR-trained residents to provide life-saving assistance to victims of sudden cardiac arrest.  The app sends push notifications to followers who are nearby the location of a cardiac arrest in a public location.  Over 3,000 have downloaded PulsePoint and elected to receive alerts from Howard County Fire and Rescue.         

“It’s extremely encouraging to know the residents of Howard County are invested in the health and wellness of others,” said Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “Everyone should take the time to learn CPR and download PulsePoint.  It really works; it saves lives.”

HCDFRS continues to promote CPR education and the use of PulsePoint throughout the community by hosting free CPR trainings on a daily basis.  Over 60,000 residents, employees, and visitors of Howard County have been trained in CPR over the past 5 years. 

“This success story should empower others to seek Hands-Only CPR training,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “Our department is committed to training residents and visitors in Howard County in CPR at no cost. Additionally, we express the importance and benefit of having PulsePoint and similar apps downloaded on your smartphone.”

On Friday, July 28, HCDFRS hosted a survivor’s reunion between Maguire, Rockstroh, and the crews who responded to the incident.  Photos of the event will be posted to our Facebook page. Please credit HCDFRS. For additional information please call 410-313-6039.

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Department to Hold Two Girls Fire Camp Sessions

Marriottsville, MD- The St. Florian's Brigade of the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) will host two camp sessions in July for young women, ages 8 through 16, who are interested in learning more about the fire service and what it takes to become a firefighter. This 1st Alarm Girls Fire Camp will be held at the Public Safety Training Center (PSTC) in Marriottsville on July 8 and 9 for ages 8 through 11, and an additional session on July 29 and 30 for ages 12 through 16.

“This camp provides a unique opportunity for girls to learn about what our firefighters do and how they serve the community,” said Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “I believe they will benefit tremendously from the comradery and life-saving training.”

Daily activities will include a live burn demonstration, team building exercises, a scavenger hunt, presentations from the Office of the Fire Marshal, a station visit, CPR training, how to use a fire extinguisher, a trip to the Emergency Operations Center and more. The schedule will be 8:00 am – 5:00 pm each day. After the camp has concluded, each child will receive a certificate of completion at the graduation ceremony. Family and friends are encouraged to attend the graduation.

“Essential parts of a diverse fire service include teamwork and responsibility,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “Hopefully these young women will carry some of the lessons learned at camp into their everyday lives. Maybe we’ll even see some of them back here in Howard County when they’re ready to start their careers or volunteer as firefighters and paramedics.”

Photos of the event will be posted to our Facebook page following the camps. Please credit HCDFRS. For additional information: https://www.howardcountymd.gov/GirlsFireCamp or call 410-313-6039.

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Department Receives American Heart Association’s Highest EMS Award

Columbia, MD- Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) has been honored with the American Heart Association’s “Mission: Lifeline® EMS Gold Plus Award.” HCDFRS has been selected for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks. HCDFRS is the first in Maryland to receive this award and only 1% of agencies in the country have received “Gold Plus” status.

“The department is truly deserving of this award,” said Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “I am consistently impressed by our first responders; they provide the highest quality of care to the residents, employees and visitors of Howard County on a daily basis.”

Annually, over 250,000 people experience a type of heart attack, known as a STEMI, or ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction, which is caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart.  This life-threatening emergency requires timely intervention to restore blood flow to the heart. Mission: Lifeline’s EMS program recognizes those emergency responders whose efforts advance STEMI systems of care and the quality of life for these patients.

Programs that have achieved Bronze, Silver, and then Gold awards consecutively are eligible for “Gold Plus” status. The “Plus” grade is for EMS agencies that achieved 75% of the STEMI ECG’s, or electrocardiograms, within ten minutes of being by a patient’s side (during the 2016 calendar year). When a patient suffers a STEMI, as identified by the ECG, that information is communicated to the receiving center, such as a hospital. HCDFRS was 89% on transmission of ECG within ten minutes of being at a patient’s side.

“We are a department that has never settled for ‘good enough,’ especially when it comes to EMS,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “We are constantly looking for ways to improve the quality of care for our patients. The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us achieve that by implementing processes for improving STEMI systems.”

The department’s Medical Director, Dr. Matthew Levy also commented, "Our STEMI activation program was one of the first of its kinds in the region and exemplifies HCDFRS's commitment to excellence in prehospital emergency care. We are very proud of this recognition for the outstanding job our personnel do every day."

Detailed information about the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program can be found here: https://goo.gl/ok11sk (PDF).

For additional inquiries, please call the media line: 410-313-6039. 

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Update: Death in January Basement Fire Ruled Fire Fatality

Glenwood, MD- On January 18, 2017, HCDFRS was dispatched to the 2800 block of Glenwood Springs Drive for a reported house fire. Deena Rae Brewer was discovered in the basement of the home, where she was pronounced dead at the scene. Fire Investigators from the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) Office of the Fire Marshal investigated the incident alongside detectives from the Howard County Police Department (HCPD). The fire was determined to be accidental in nature. The recently released report from the Chief Medical Examiner, indicated that the cause of death was attributed to smoke inhalation and thermal burns. The smoke inhalation and burns were further complicated by other medical conditions. The death has now been officially ruled a fire fatality.

Upon initial arrival to the January incident, HCDFRS found smoke coming from the front door of the residence and were notified of a potential victim in the basement. Firefighters and paramedics entered the home and discovered a fire contained to the basement portion of the structure.

The department reminds everyone that fire prevention and risk reduction is everyone’s responsibility and fight. Remember these important tips to keep you and your family fire-safe:

  • Test smoke alarms on a monthly basis.
  • If your smoke alarms are ten years old, they should be replaced.
  • Have a family escape plan in the event of an emergency.
  • Know two ways out of every room.
  • Discard smoking materials properly in an ash tray.
  • Consider installing a sprinkler system in your home.
  • Close your bedroom door when you go to sleep to stop the potential spread of fire and smoke.

For further media inquiries, please call the media line: 410-313-6039.

 

Members Honored for Commendable Acts of Service

Columbia, MD – Eleven members of the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) were recently honored by external agencies for their commendable acts of service. Lieutenant Kevin Frizzell was recognized for his courage and swift thinking by the Howard County Police Department (HCPD) at their annual awards ceremony. Ten other responders were credited for their life-saving actions at the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center Gala.

“Our public safety personnel routinely put others before themselves,” said Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “We are proud to see them recognized for their efforts. It is well deserved.” 

HCPD awarded Lt. Kevin Frizzell a Bronze Star for valor at their annual awards ceremony. In August 2016, Lt. Frizzell was called to assess the scene of a large party for any occupancy violations that might be in progress. He made contact with the event manager to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all occupants, and that there were no fire code violations. As the party was winding down, Howard County police officers and Lt. Frizzell heard gun shots nearby. Lt. Frizzell and officers headed towards the scene, displaying immense courage as they entered the area (the shooter's whereabouts were unknown at this time). Despite knowing the danger of this situation, Lt. Frizzell began treating one subject who was shot in the chest. Officers provided coverage and kept an increasingly hostile crowd at bay so that Lt. Frizzell could control the bleeding and stabilize the patient. The injured person was transported to Shock Trauma. The quick and selfless actions of police officers and Lt. Frizzell ultimately led to the victim's life being saved.

Ten HCDFRS providers were honored at the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Gala for their life-saving treatment of T.J. Scanlon, who was found outside after three days in sub-freezing temperatures in March 2016. Units from Station 10 were the first to respond to the call for a patient who had fallen into a basement stairwell. Firefighters and paramedics realized immediately that they would need to get T.J. to Shock Trauma as quickly as possible. A Maryland State Police (MSP) Trooper was called to fly in. MSP requested that FF/P Ashley Weber fly with them to take care of T.J., who suffered a spinal cord injury, hypothermia, and over an hour of cardiac arrest. Amazingly and thankfully, T.J. survived with no neurological damage, and he is in good spirits thanks to the combined efforts of Shock Trauma personnel, MSP, and HCDFRS responders. Members honored at the gala: FF/P Ashley Weber, Capt/P Thomas Norman, Lt/P James Zour, FF Kevin Panizari, Lt. David Olson, FF George Maisonet, Lt. John Zimmerman, MFF/HVO/P Tim Daly, FF Steven Schulz, FF Barry Griffin, as well as Howard County Dispatchers Joi Clark and Charles Cox.

“Most firefighters and paramedics will just say they’re doing their job,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler.  “But I believe it is important to honor those that have gone above and beyond and made such a tremendous impact in someone else’s life. And although these were deservingly recognized, acts of valor occur every day by HCDFRS members, as well as our law enforcement and 911 dispatch partners.”  

More information regarding the Shock Trauma gala: https://goo.gl/FGgwHa

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Passing of House Bill Grants Fire Investigators Law Enforcement Authority

Annapolis, MD –Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) Fire Investigation Division was granted the ability to earn specific law enforcement powers with the passing of House Bill 1343.  By decree of the Howard County Fire Code, HCDFRS is responsible to investigate the origin and cause of fires in the County.

HCDFRS and the Howard County Police Department (HCPD) have a close working relationship when investigating fires.  HCDFRS has designated investigators that currently concentrate on origin and cause of the fire while HCPD has designated Arson Detectives that concentrate on any criminal nexus. This close working relationship will continue.  With the passing of this bill, the Fire Investigators will now have the ability to attend the HCPD police academy and afford them law enforcement abilities when applying the Fire Laws of Maryland.

“It’s our goal to ensure our public safety departments are well equipped to continue to perform their duties at the highest level possible,” said Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman.  “Fire Investigation often deals with criminal activity and the passing of this bill will continue to keep our community safe.”

The training that the investigators will be going through will be the full HCPD academy, after which they will be certified as Police Officers by the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission.  While the Fire Investigators will be certified officers, their enforcement authority will be restricted to the Fire Laws of Maryland.  The additional training and certification will allow the fire investigators to handle some of the smaller incidents independently while possibly freeing up the police detectives for other calls.

 “A top priority for our first responders is ensuring their safety,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler.  “The passing of this bill will allow our Fire Investigators to protect themselves while working potential criminal-related incidents and provide after-hours code enforcement by allowing them to carry a firearm in accordance with applicable laws and training.”

Howard County Fire Investigators will be at a level equivalent of investigators across the state that already have law enforcement powers. 

To view House Bill 1343 in its entirety, please visit: goo.gl/xuNSP0

For additional information, please call the media line: 410-313-6039.

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Photo courtesy of Rick Lippenholz

 

 

 

Columbia Townhouse Fire

Columbia, MD – Shortly after 3:00 PM, Thursday, April 6, 2017, firefighters and paramedics from the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) responded to the 5400 block of Wild Lilac for a reported townhouse fire. 

Arriving units encountered significant fire conditions in the end-of-group townhome, and additional resources were requested.  It was quickly determined that the occupants of the home had safely evacuated prior to the arrival of the fire department. The fire was confined to the upper floors of the home and did not spread to adjacent homes. 

Approximately 45 firefighters worked to bring the fire under control within 30 minutes.  There were no civilian injuries reported and one canine was safely removed from the basement of the home.  Five persons were displaced and are being assisted by the Red Cross. Damage is estimated at approximately $250k and the cause of the fire is currently under investigation. 

Further information can be obtained from our social media outlets or by contacting the Media hotline at 410-313-6309. 

 

NFFF and UL Hold Nationally Attended Fire Research Course at PSTC

Marriottsville, MD – This week, the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) is honored to host the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) and the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) Firefighter Safety Research Institute’s three-day pilot course designed to empower and prepare fire service leaders and instructors to incorporate the most current research findings about fire behavior and firefighting tactics into their training programs. 

Cadres of career and combination fire departments from around the country are expected to attend.   Invited attendees will include, but are not limited to, Boston, Detroit, San Francisco, San Diego, Philadelphia, and Tampa, as well as several departments from the Baltimore/Washington area. 

The course will occur today, Wednesday, and Thursday at the Howard County James N. Robey Public Safety Training Center (PSTC) in Marriottsville.  On Wednesday afternoon, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., the course will include several live-fire demonstrations. Members of the press are invited to observe these demonstrations. 

“Incorporation of this research is paramount to safe operations, and is a priority for fire departments everywhere,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler.  “This course is a great milestone in making this information more usable for implementation into training and policies.”  

The pilot course development and delivery has been funded in part by the Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Grant Program Directorate under their Assistance to Firefighters-Fire Prevention and Safety Grant program. 

More information about UL can be found at: http://ulfirefightersafety.org.

More information on NFFF can be found at: www.firehero.org.

 

New Medical Facility Opens for Firefighters in Howard County

COLUMBIA, MD – The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) announces the opening of a new independent medical services facility in Columbia. HCDFRS has entered into a contractual relationship with Corporate Occupational Health Service (CorpOHS) to provide all medical services to its personnel.

Career and volunteer members of HCDFRS will have their annual medical evaluations conducted at the new CorpOHS office. CorpOHS staff will also fulfill all other medical needs to include injury care and back-to-work evaluations. The staff specializes in the care that is pertinent to the needs of firefighters and paramedics.

"Our goal is to attain and retain a healthy workforce, and we believe employing an occupational health and medical services contractor who knows, understands and has experience working within the first responder industry will help achieve that goal,” said Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “This is the first time we have secured specialized, independent medical services for our firefighters, and we expect good results with this approach."

The CorpOHS Howard location will operate under the direction of Stephan Mann MD, MPH, the Medical Director for CorpOHS. Dr. Mann is Board Certified in Occupational Medicine and Family Practice. He has practiced medicine for 35 years and has 23 years of experience in Occupational Medicine. Dr. Mann has been the Occupational Medicine consultant for Frederick County Fire and Rescue for 20 years, and for Carroll County Volunteer Emergency Services Association for 12 years. He has also worked with numerous businesses, local governments, and law enforcement agencies in central Maryland.

“Dr. Mann has a thorough understanding of the positions in our fire department, including essential job tasks, physical demands, psychosocial stressors, chemical, biological, and physical exposures, and the effects of medical conditions on essential job tasks,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “He is knowledgeable of local, state, and federal laws related to the health and safety of our members and our industry.”

CorpOHS and HCDFRS will host an open house to showcase the new Howard County medical facility, providing tours and answering questions about the services they offer. The open house will take place Thursday, March 30, from 4-6:30 pm, at 7165 Columbia Gateway Drive, Suite G Columbia, Maryland.

“CorpOHS is excited to continue our relationship with HCDFRS in our new Columbia facility,” said Dr. Stephan Mann. “We look forward to being an integral part of their culture of safety and concern.”

For additional information, please call the media line: 410-313-6039.

 

Medical Director Named Emergency Medical Services Physician of the Year

COLUMBIA, MD – Dr. Matthew Levy, the Medical Director for the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS), was named Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Physician of the Year by the Maryland Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). Each year, this award is given to a Maryland physician who has made significant contributions in the field of EMS.

 

Dr. Levy has been recognized for his extensive career in Maryland EMS and his decades long commitment to EMS Medicine. Dr. Levy holds leadership roles in a number of state and national EMS system initiatives. He is board subspecialty certified in EMS Medicine and is also a member of the inaugural fellowship class of the National Association of EMS Physicians’ (NAEMSP) Academy of Emergency Medical Services.

“The programs Dr. Levy has created for our county are truly innovative,” said Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “He is undoubtedly deserving of this award and we are grateful for his service and dedication to the community.”

Some of the initiatives Dr. Levy has instituted are: the Pulsepoint smart phone application which alerts subscribers when Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is needed, placing public access bleeding control kits in government-owned buildings and schools, active assailant response training efforts, the Cardiac Arrest Workgroup, and the CPR meter pilot project which gives providers real time feedback on compression rate and depth while performing CPR. He is also heavily involved in the opioid mitigation within the county.

“Dr. Levy is deeply committed to advancing the practice of EMS Medicine,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “His leadership and foresight have driven this department to an even higher level of emergency care.”

Dr. Levy is HCDFRS’ first Medical Director to have served as an EMS provider within the department. He has held every level of EMS provider role from Emergency Medical Technician, to Paramedic, to Associate Medical Director, to Interim Medical Director, and is now the department’s Medical Director. Dr. Levy regularly runs calls, and is a strong advocate for EMS personnel. Additionally, he works closely with the Emergency Department at Howard County General Hospital.

“I am honored to have been recognized by ACEP for this award,” noted Medical Director Dr. Matthew Levy. “And I would like to thank my team members, as well as the department’s leaders, for their assistance and support. I look forward to continuing our work in EMS to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all Howard County residents, employees and visitors.”

For additional information, please call the media line: 410-313-6039.

 

Two Alarm House Fire in Glenwood

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Glenwood, MD – At approximately 9:00 p.m. on March 15, 2017, firefighters and paramedics from Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) were alerted for a house fire in the 2600 block of McKendree Road.  The fire was initially called into 911 dispatchers by a resident of the home.

First arriving units found heavy fire in the vicinity of the garage with extension into the second floor of the two-story house. Initial assessment indicated additional equipment and personnel would be required and a second alarm was requested. The wind and temperature created some challenges but there were no reported civilian or emergency responder injuries. HCDFRS received mutual aid response from Carroll and Montgomery counties.

There was one adult male at home at the time of the fire and he evacuated before the arrival of emergency personnel. He is the only resident of the house and has not requested Red Cross assistance. The estimate of damage is approximately $580,000. The fire incident is currently under investigation by the HCDFRS Fire Marshal’s Office.

 

Western Ellicott City House Fire

Ellicott City, MD-  Just before midnight on March 10, 2017, firefighters from Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) were alerted for a tree on fire along Triadelphia Rd just south of Frederick Road.  While units from the West Friendship fire station were responding, a second call came in from Emerald Court, reporting that it was a house on fire and that people were possibly trapped inside.  The call was immediately upgraded, bringing additional HCDFRS and Carroll County units.   First arriving units found a single family home fully engulfed in fire and the roof beginning to collapse. It was quickly determined that the occupants of the home were able to evacuate prior to the fire department’s arrival. Water supply was established using tanker trucks and the bulk of the fire was under control within about 45 minutes. It took almost 2 hours to completely extinguish the fire and the home is considered a total loss. There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians during this incident and the occupants of the home were in the process of moving out so they have made their own arrangements for shelter.  Fire Investigators are currently on the scene but will have to resume operations tomorrow due to the collapse of the structure. The approximate value of the home was $650,000.

 

House Fire in Ellicott City

Ellicott City, MD – At approximately 7:40 p.m. on February 1, 2017,  firefighters and paramedics from Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) were alerted for a house fire in the 2900 block of Knoll Circle in Ellicott City.  The fire was called into 911 dispatchers by the homeowner indicating the siding of the house was on fire around the chimney area.

Upon arrival firefighters found heavy fire showing through the roof of a single story rancher home.  Aggressive interior attack was initiated and crews found fire throughout the attic. The bulk of the fire was extinguished within 20 minutes.  The two adults at home at the time evacuated before HCDFRS arrived. 

There were no injuries to civilians or responders.  The house will be posted. No estimate on damage at this time.  This incident is under investigation by the HCDFRS Fire Marshal’s Office.

 

 

Basement Fire in Glenwood, One Found Deceased

Glenwood, MD- At approximately 1:45pm, Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) arrived at the 2800 block of Glenwood Springs Drive for a reported house fire. Units arrived to find smoke coming from the front door of the residence. Firefighters and paramedics entered the home and discovered a fire contained to the basement portion of the structure.

Upon arrival, units were notified of a victim in the basement. A deceased adult was discovered in the basement of the home. The fire was quickly placed under control. All other occupants, as well as two dogs, escaped the residence before HCDFRS arrival. The family is being supported by the Mobile Crisis team and the HCDFRS chaplain.  

Mutual aid was provided by units from Carroll and Montgomery counties. 50 total personnel responded to the scene. There were no additional civilian or firefighter injuries reported. Damage to the home is estimated to be approximately $50,000.

Fire investigators are working with the Howard County Police Department (HCPD) to determine origin and cause of the incident. Per standard procedure, HCPD investigates incidents when there is a fatality. Investigation is ongoing at this time.

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Deck Collapse Injures Eight in Ellicott City

Ellicott City, MD - Shortly after 4:30 PM this afternoon, Howard County’s 911 Center received multiple calls for a deck collapse in the 4900 block of Bonnie Branch Road in Ellicott City. Callers reported about 20 people were on a 20’ x 40’ deck when it collapsed approximately 12’ to the ground. 

Based upon this information, HCDFRS categorized this call as a mass casualty incident (MCI) - automatically routing additional firefighters, paramedics, and equipment to the scene. Upon arrival, paramedics began immediately triaging patients to receive care based upon the extent of their injuries. A total of eight adult patients were transported - three to the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore and the remainder to a local hospital.  

None of the patients had life-threatening injuries.

In total, more than 40 firefighters and paramedics responded to the incident.

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Gas Explosion in House in Woodbine

Woodbine, MD – At approximately 11:00 p.m. Friday night, firefighters and paramedics from the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) were alerted by the homeowner for an inside gas leak in the 15000 block of Bushy Park Road.  Shortly after emergency personnel arrived at the location there was an explosion, and additional HCDFRS units as well as units from Carroll County were requested.  

 

Two adults and three children and the family dog were out of the house before the explosion and there were no injuries.  The fire was placed under control quickly and fire investigators from the HCDFRS Office of the Fire Marshal are on location to determine origin and cause of the explosion.

 

There were no injuries to civilians or emergency personnel.  The family has arranged for accommodations and will not need Red Cross assistance at this time.  The property damage is approximately $300,000.   Please credit HCDFRS for the attached photograph.  For further information, please call the media line at 410-313-6039.

 

Fire Department and Public School System Collaborate on “Stop the Bleed” Initiative

Columbia, MD – The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) and the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) today collaborated on “Stop the Bleed” training for high school students, the first jurisdiction in Maryland to implement this training through health education.  This effort aligns with the 9th grade “Safety & Injury Prevention” curriculum requiring every student “to demonstrate the ability to respond appropriately to emergency situations.”

 

“Partnering with our schools is a priority for Howard County,” said Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “I’m proud that our schools and public safety departments have strong relationships that affect positive change.  Risk reduction programs such as ‘Stop the Bleed’ and public access to life safety resources creates educational opportunities to prevent injuries, assist others and make a real difference.”

 

This educational program is modeled after the current and successful Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training taught by health teachers to high school students.  HCDFRS and HCPSS will utilize a train-the-trainer model, consisting of HCDFRS personnel training HCPSS high school health teachers; the teachers will then teach the skill to their students.

 

“Safety and Security requires a multi-prong approach and as we improve the physical security of our schools and add mental health services, it is also critical that we are prepared for emergencies,” said HCPSS Superintendent Michael J. Martirano. “This program is a wonderful example of County government and the school system partnering to support our emergency preparedness efforts.”

 

“We have been successful in stocking the schools with Stop the Bleed kits and training over 4,000 community members over the past two years,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “The natural next step is making sure students are aware of the kits and how to properly use them in the event of an emergency.  This program will ensure Howard County students are educated and prepared.”

 

HCDFRS has provided HCPSS with the resources (written materials, presentations, and Stop the Bleed training kits) to teach and practice the skill.  This program will involve the training of approximately 20 teachers who will then educate approximately 4500 students county-wide in life threatening bleeding control identification, instruction and skill practice. 

 

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Executive Kittleman Names Merson to Serve as Interim Fire Chief

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman today named Deputy Chief Daniel G. Merson to serve as the Interim Fire Chief for the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) effective September 1, 2018. Merson will assume the position being vacated by Chief John S. Butler who was recently appointed chief of the Fairfax County, Virginia Fire and Rescue Department.

 

“We are fortunate to have such tremendous bench strength in our fire department,” said Kittleman. “I know that while Chief Merson will have big shoes to fill, he is an eminently qualified leader who’s made many significant contributions during his long career of service to the residents of our community.”

 

Merson is a lifelong resident of Howard County and has served with HCDFRS for 34 years. He began his fire service career as a volunteer for the Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department and has been an advanced life support provider/paramedic for his entire career. For more than 21 years, Merson has held a Chief Officer position. During that time, he has managed the Emergency Medical Services (EMS), served as a field Battalion Chief, was the Bureau Chief of Emergency Services, served as the Fire Marshal for the County and is currently the Deputy Fire Chief for support services. 

 

“This is a great department going through a challenging time,” said Merson, referring to the July 23 line of duty death of Lt. Nathan Flynn. “I am confident we will continue to bring vision and stability as we prepare for the future.”

 

“Chief Merson has extensive knowledge of county government, the department, national fire and EMS standards and strategic planning with an emphasis on human dignity,” said Butler. “Howard County and this department are in good hands.”

 

Chief Merson’s diligent work in EMS was instrumental in improving the department’s delivery of care to patients in the field through advanced technology and training. He taught advanced life support classes throughout the State and in 1999 was honored as the State EMS Provider of the Year.

 

For more than a decade, Merson remained involved with the proper implementation of the Incident Command System and served as the Team Commander for the Central Maryland Incident Management Team, which includes 10 jurisdictions. Through his leadership, a new fire code was developed and approved to improve the fire and life safety of residents and guests throughout the County.

 

Merson holds a bachelor’s degree from Liberty University and is currently enrolled in a master’s program. 

 

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Department Receives Grant for New Mobile Fire Safety Classroom

COLUMBIA, MD – The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) recently received a $96,872 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the purchase of a new educational safety trailer. The funding, part of FEMA’s Fire Prevention and Safety grant, will allow HCDFRS to expand upon community outreach efforts by teaching children the importance of fire safety in an interactive and technologically advanced setting. 

“We’ve had instances in Howard County where children have saved their entire family from a fire based on what they’ve learned in these educational environments,” said Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “Thanks to this grant from FEMA, our fire department will continue to enrich their outreach efforts and emphasize the importance of knowing exactly what to do in an emergency.” 

This upgraded safety classroom will be used to educate elementary-aged students in the Howard County Public School System through a captivating learning program. Additionally, the trailer will be featured at various community events throughout the year. The trailer will include various simulation stations such as: a bedroom with a heated door, an escape window, a non-toxic smoke system, and interactive presentation technology that provides immediate feedback after quizzing participants. 

“Our community outreach and administrative services teams recognize the importance of fire and life safety educational resources and continue searching for new opportunities to enhance our risk reduction programs,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “This new and improved fire safety house will do just that by keeping kids engaged and focused while they learn life-saving skills.” 

HCDFRS has developed a curriculum for the safety house that will cover the following: basic fire and burn safety with stove-top demonstrations, home fire safety, closing bedroom doors while sleeping, the importance of working smoke alarms, how to safely exit your home in an emergency, knowing your address and phone number, and what to except when dialing 911.  

For additional information, please call the media line: 410-313-6039. 

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Executive Kittleman Congratulates John Butler on His Appointment as Fairfax County Fire Chief

Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman today congratulated Department of Fire and Rescue Services Chief John S. Butler on his appointment as the new chief of the Fairfax County (Va.) Fire and Rescue Department.

 

Butler will assume his new position effective September 1, 2018. He succeeds Chief Richard Bowers, who retired in April.

 

“This is a bittersweet moment for us here in Howard County,” said Kittleman. “John has been an outstanding leader by elevating the professionalism and delivery of services of the department. He’s a fixture in the community where he has established many outreach programs and initiatives. He will be missed.”

 

Kittleman said he will appoint an acting chief prior to Butler’s departure, giving the county opportunity to conduct a search for a permanent fire chief.

 

Butler, who joined Howard County Fire and Rescue in 1993 as a recruit, said he is excited by the opportunity to lead the Fairfax County department. He noted his hiring reflects “the highly regarded reputation that Howard County Fire and Rescue has achieved in the public safety field and it echoes the department’s tireless work, competency, and loyal dedication of serving Howard County.”

 

“The sadness is that I will be leaving an organization that has been, outside of my primary family, the one and only focus of my adult life for nearly three decades,” said Butler. “But the Fairfax County position provides me with a new professional opportunity that I couldn’t turn down.”

 

Butler, the first African-American to become chief in Howard County, also broke new ground on other fronts in the county. He was the first chief to rise through the ranks and the first paramedic to become chief.

 

While serving as chief, Butler has implemented numerous community programs, most notably distribution of Stop the Bleed kits, an initiative to teach residents on how to immediately stop life-threatening bleeding. Under his leadership, Howard County became the first county in Maryland to launch PulsePoint, a lifesaving smartphone application which alerts trained subscribers to nearby cardiac events in public places.

 

Butler also helped establish a fire science leadership degree program at Howard Community College and a fire and life safety initiative for Howard County Public School System students.

 

As chief, Butler established the first and only local affiliate of the International Association of Women in Fire and Emergency Services and hired the most diverse firefighter and paramedic trainee class in the Department’s history.

 

Butler has held such roles as firefighter/paramedic, operational field supervisor, emergency services educator, tactical medic, assistant and deputy chief before becoming Fire Chief in 2014. Butler also served in the United States Marine Corps for 21 years, including two combat tours, one in Panama and the other in the Persian Gulf.

 

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Howard County Fire and Rescue Receive Pet Oxygen Masks

Ellicott City, MD- Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) is teaming up with Invisible Fence Brand of Maryland to help reduce the number of pets injured or killed in house fires each year. Nationally, an estimated 60,000 pets die each year in house fires. Maryland Invisible Fence has donated 28 pet oxygen mask kits to HCDFRS, supporting animal life-saving efforts in Howard County. The kits are designed to help resuscitate a dog or cat if found in a structure fire.

 

“Our first responders strive to protect all residents, families and their loved ones here in Howard County,” said Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “Giving our firefighters and paramedics the added ability to save the lives of their pets is a wonderful step forward.”    

     

In the case of a residential fire, once firefighters have assured human life is safe, attention often turns to pets in the home. In the past, firefighters have tried adapting human oxygen masks to fit an animal, but human masks do not fit properly on the nose of dogs and cats, thus not providing the necessary supply of oxygen.

 

“Our firefighters and paramedics strive to preserve life, no matter the species,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “Losing a pet to fire or toxic fumes can be devastating, and this donation gives our department the tools to be more efficient at protecting your family and companions.”

 

The plastic, cup-shaped animal resuscitation masks, which come in three sizes, were originally developed for use by veterinarians. They seal around the muzzle of an animal tighter than a human mask. This helps firefighters deliver the right amount of oxygen to the pet to assist with rescue efforts. The masks are washable and reusable.

 

For additional information, please call the Office of Community Outreach and Media Affairs at 410-313-6039.

 

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Department Receives American Heart Association’s Highest EMS Award for the Second Time

Columbia, MD- Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) has been honored with the American Heart Association’s “Mission: Lifeline® EMS Gold Plus Award” two years in a row. HCDFRS has been selected for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks. HCDFRS was the first in Maryland to receive this award in 2017.

“Having our department receive this award again is truly exceptional,” said Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “Our first responders constantly strive to expand and improve their services and continue to provide the highest quality of care to all of Howard County.”

Annually, over 250,000 people experience a type of heart attack, known as a STEMI, or ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction, which is caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart. This life-threatening emergency requires timely intervention to restore blood flow to the heart. Mission: Lifeline’s EMS program recognizes those emergency responders whose efforts advance STEMI systems of care and the quality of life for these patients.

“We are always searching for ways to improve patient care,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us attain that goal by implementing procedures for improving STEMI systems.”

Programs that have achieved Bronze, Silver, and then Gold awards consecutively are eligible for “Gold Plus” status. The “Plus” grade is for EMS agencies that achieved 75% of the STEMI ECG’s, or electrocardiograms, within ten minutes of being by a patient’s side (during the 2017 calendar year). When a patient suffers a STEMI, as identified by the ECG, that information is communicated to the receiving center, such as a hospital. HCDFRS was 89% on transmission of ECG within ten minutes of being at a patient’s side.

Detailed information about the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program can be found here: https://goo.gl/2pdDmG.

For additional information, please call the Office of Community Outreach and Media Affairs: 410-313-6039.

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Two Alarm Fire in Columbia Quickly Placed Under Control

Columbia, MD - Shortly after 6:30 AM this morning, firefighters and paramedics from the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) were dispatched for a townhouse fire in the 5500 block of Suffield Court in Columbia.

A second alarm was called due to crews encountering heavy fire upon arrival. The fire was knocked within 30 minutes. One unit of the townhome row was involved, one additional unit was impacted with minor damage.  Red Cross was requested to assist the residents. 

Over 50 firefighters and paramedics were on location.

There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters. Fire investigators from the HCDFRS Office of the Fire Marshal are on location to determine origin and cause of the blaze.

For further information, please call the media line at 410-313-6039.

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EMS Week, Stronger Together

Columbia, MD- Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) is gearing up for National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week which begins on May 20. EMS Week brings together local communities and medical personnel to publicize safety and honor the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services of medicine's "front line." The year’s national theme is “EMS Strong, Stronger Together,” with daily themes such as: education, EMS for children, and CPR/Stop the Bleed awareness.       

“Our EMS providers are on the front line every day, caring and providing a sense of relief and security to those who have found themselves in emergencies,” said Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “This week provides us with an opportunity to thank them for answering the call to care in Howard County.”

HCDFRS also recently announced the opening of the application period for the newest Trainee Class (TC31). The application period for TC31 will open soon, and the department is highly encouraging currently functioning Firefighter Paramedics and experienced fire service personnel to apply for consideration.

“Our emergency medical technicians and paramedics, are increasingly spending more time on EMS incidents, aside from other responsibilities during the work period,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “One way to show appreciation during EMS Week is to hire additional responders who can bring some relief to the growing call volume in some areas of the County.”

HCDFRS has a national reputation for EMS excellence and is continually researching and implementing innovative protocols to improve patient outcomes through advanced pre-hospital emergency medical care. As hosts of the Maryland Resuscitation Academy, HCDFRS shares experiences and encourages other communities to adopt international best practices to improve survivability in out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. Last year, HCDFRS was honored with the American Heart Association’s “Mission: Lifeline® EMS Gold Plus Award,” the first department in Maryland to receive this award. Only 1% of agencies in the country have received “Gold Plus” status.

For additional information, please call the Office of Community Outreach and Media Affairs: 410-313-6039.

 

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Multiple Townhouse Fire in Elkridge

Elkridge, MD – At approximately 6:30 PM on Tuesday, May 8, 2018, firefighters and paramedics from the Howard, Anne Arundel, and Baltimore counties were dispatched to a report of a townhouse fire in the 6600 block of Ducketts Lane. Crews arrived with smoke showing from the structure with multiple townhouse units involved. The call was elevated to a second alarm.

 

Crews began aggressively knocking the fire down from the rear and were able to get the fire under control within an hour. A total of five townhouse units were affected with two sustaining significant fire damage. Three units have smoke and water damage. Two of the residents will be assisted by the Red Cross. A total of seven residents were impacted by this fire. No residents or firefighters were injured.

 

Fire investigators from the HCDFRS Office of the Fire Marshal are on location and have begun their investigation to determine the origin and cause of the blaze.

 

Photo Credit:  HCDFRS

 

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New Elkridge Fire Station Opens

Elkridge, MD- The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) and the Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department (EVFD) held a dedication ceremony for the new Elkridge Fire Station, Fire Station 1, on Saturday, March 24, 2018. Members of the public attended the ceremony immediately followed by an open house consisting of: station tours, activities for kids, and opportunities to engage with firefighters and paramedics. 

“Howard County has one of the premier combination systems in the country, and this station will be staffed by both career and volunteer personnel,” said Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “We look forward to continuing our work with the Elkridge community to improve services and quality of life.”

Construction of the new fire station, located at 5700 Rowanberry Drive, began in October 2016. The new 35,080 square foot building is a full-service fire station, providing fire suppression and emergency medical services. The facility is a two-story structure with six pull-through double length apparatus bays, a physical fitness training room, kitchen and dining room, general use rooms, administrative offices, a large training room, and an all-purpose community room. The station’s state-of-the-art design incorporates extensive energy efficient and environmentally friendly strategies making it a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certified facility.

“A lot productive teamwork went into this project and I would like to thank the County Administration, the Department of Public Works, and the Elkridge Volunteer Building Committee    for your collaboration in its completion,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “This new station is something our department will be proud of and will have a positive impact on the community.”

“We are thrilled to see the new station up and running,” said Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department President Julie Casey. “For over 75 years the original station served the community but, currently, is unable to meet the growing demands of the local communities.”  

The new station will replace the previous station located on Old Washington Road, which ran its first call on November 6, 1942. Staffing will consist of a combination of 21 career personnel across three shifts and 90 active volunteer members who provide nightly and weekend coverage as duty crews. The EVFD also has 30 associate volunteer members and 37 junior members. The station, including site work, cost an estimated $13.7M to construct. For additional information, please call the media line: 410-313-6039.

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Smoke Alarm Recall: Kidde Models PI2010 and PI9010

Columbia, MD – The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) is urging residents and businesses to check smoke alarms to ensure they are not part of this large-scale recall.

 

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the alarms are Kidde dual-sensor (photoelectric and ionization) smoke alarms – models PI2010 and PI9010. The hazard involves a yellow cap that was left on during the manufacturing process. It can cover one of the two smoke sensors and compromise the smoke alarm’s ability to detect smoke, posing a risk of consumers not being alerted to a fire in their home. About 452,000 units were sold in the United States.

 

HCDFRS does not carry or install these alarms for our safety programs.

 

Consumers may contact Kidde directly, toll-free at 833-551-7739 or online at www.kidde.com and click on “Product Safety Recall” for more information.

 

For additional assistance, please contact the Office of Community Outreach & Media Affairs at 410-313-6039.         
                                                                 

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Howard County Officially Recognizes “Firefighters” Over “Firemen”

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – The Howard County Code will soon be updated to officially recognize the term “firefighters,” replacing the word “firemen” in all instances. The change is the result of the County Council’s unanimous approval last night of Bill No. 10-2018 (CB-10.)  The bill was introduced at the request of County Executive Allan H. Kittleman and Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) Chief John S. Butler and will become effective in early May.

Additionally, an official name change was made to “Howard County Volunteer Firefighter’s Association, Inc” (HCVFA).  The previous language read “Firemen’s,” and was last updated in 1998. 

“I spend a lot of time with our first responders and the term ‘firemen’ is viewed by many both inside and outside the department as outdated,” said Kittleman.  “It simply does not reflect the makeup of our County’s evolving, diverse, and inclusive public safety sector and our combination fire department.”

“While the term ‘firemen’ may have been acceptable at one time in our industry, we are striving to be a more inclusive and diverse Fire and EMS department,” said Butler.  “Updating the name in the County Code is progress but this does not change the culture of our department.  It is up to our firefighters and EMS responders do that.  At the end of the day, it is a simple word change, but a change that sends a clear, meaningful, and powerful message.  I'd like to sincerely thank the County Council and County Executive for supporting us with this effort.”

A record number of women and culturally diverse trainees comprised last year’s HCDFRS academy class.  Additionally, the department supports the St. Florian’s Brigade, a non-profit fire service organization.  Each summer, St. Florian’s Brigade hosts the “First Alarm Girls Fire Camp,” a summer camp promoting fire service awareness for school-aged young people who are interested in learning about what it takes to become a firefighter.     

“I applaud the vision of inclusiveness this County and Department continue to show,” said St. Florian’s Brigade President Christine Uhlhorn.  “Their support for our efforts of encouraging involvement in the fire service continue to make a positive difference.” 

 “We worked hard for this change over the past few years,” said Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department President Julie Casey.  “The modern fire service has room for everyone and this County recognizes that.”

 For more information please contact the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services Office of Community Outreach and Media Affairs, 410-313-6039. 

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HCPSS and HCDFRS Collaborate on “Adopt-a-School” Initiative

Ellicott City, MD – The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) and the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) will work collaboratively on the new “Adopt-a-School” program between each Howard County elementary school and its neighborhood fire station. This will provide opportunities for students and staff to get to know their nearby first responders.

 

“Howard County is dedicated to working with our public schools, not only with this program but through the other risk reduction programs we teach in the classrooms,” said Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “We are invested in prevention and these educational programs will foster those learning behaviors for our young leaders.”

 

Firefighters and paramedics will visit their designated elementary school at least four times a year. They will work collaboratively with the school system to provide training opportunities to practice life saving techniques, offer age-appropriate risk reduction strategies, and discuss life safety programs.

 

“Our first responders serve a critical role in the community and this is just another way for them to partner with HCPSS and serve as positive role models for our children,” said HCPSS Interim Superintendent Michael J. Martirano. “This partnership with the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services will encourage students to better understand fire and medical safety, and will strengthen the connections between families and fire and rescue first responders.”

 

“On countless occasions, we’ve witnessed kids having to take on the role of first responder,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “From calling 9-1-1 when a family member has had a medical emergency, to making sure their family is safely outside of a burning house, to checking smoke alarms; they are sometimes our first line of defense. I’m looking forward to strengthening our rock-solid partnership with HCPSS to ensure that every student has the tools they need to save a life.”

 

Throughout the school year, HCDFRS will also teach:  home fire and burn safety using the mobile classroom known as the “Fire Safety House”, Hands-Only CPR, automated external defibrillator use, and Stop the Bleed to school staff, parents, and community members. HCDFRS will also participate in at least one fire drill with each elementary school.  For more information please contact the Office of Community Outreach and Media Affairs at 410-313-6039.

 

 

Firefighters Respond to Early Morning House Fire in Ellicott City

Ellicott City, MD – At 1:07 AM on , firefighters and paramedics from the Howard County Department of Fire & Rescue Services (HCDFRS) were dispatched for a house fire in the 10300 block of Kingsbridge Road in Ellicott City.    

Several neighbors called 911 after seeing flames coming from the residence on the corner of Kingsbridge Road and Woodville Lane.

Crews quickly arrived on location to find the house fully engulfed in flames.  Due to the heavy fire volume and the structural damage to the residence, units are operating in a defensive mode – applying water from the exterior of the structure.  The structure has been significantly compromised, and there was a collapse on the rear of the residence at 1:22 AM. 

Thankfully, the residents are out of town at the time of the fire.

About 75 firefighters – including fire crews from Baltimore County – are on location and are actively working to extinguish the flames.

There have been no injuries to firefighters or civilians.

Fire investigators from the HCDFRS Office of the Fire Marshal are also on location and have begun their investigation to determine the origin and cause of the blaze.

For further information, please call the HCDFRS media line at (410) 313-6039. 

 

Deputy Chief Jerome Appointed Chairperson

 

COLUMBIA, MD – Deputy Chief John Jerome of the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) has been appointed by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan as Chairperson of the Maryland Fire-Rescue Education and Training Commission (MFRETC).  The MFRETC has the responsibility of overseeing education and training activities for Maryland's fire, rescue, and emergency medical services personnel.

“This appointment speaks volumes about the leadership of our fire department,” said Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman.  “We know Deputy Chief Jerome is an innovative leader here in Howard County and it’s great to see him share his expertise at the state level.” 

Deputy Chief Jerome, who has served on the commission since 2011, will oversee the future needs and improvements that the fire and emergency medical education and training programs may require. 

A 25-year veteran of HCDFRS, Deputy Chief Jerome began his fire service career here in Howard County with the Ellicott City Volunteer Fire Department, and continued on in the career service, rising through the ranks. He has been a paramedic for 28 years, holds a bachelor’s degree in economics, a post-graduate certificate in distance education, and is a graduate of the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer program. He is known for his high level of involvement, his advocacy for emergency medical services, fireground command safety, provider education, and the importance of instructing and mentoring. He is an innovative management officer whose leadership has resulted in a model community heart attack care system, national accreditation of the Department's paramedic education program, and numerous cutting-edge education programs.

“Deputy Chief Jerome has represented HCDFRS in various roles throughout his 25-year career,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler. “We are proud that he will have yet another opportunity to share his expertise, especially when it comes to the future of Maryland’s emergency services training and education.  It’s rewarding to see Howard County DFRS talent be recognized and contributing elsewhere in the state, region, and nationally.” 

MFRETC carries out responsibilities of the Maryland Higher Education Commission related to training and post-secondary education.  It is composed of thirteen members who are appointed by the Governor of Maryland with guidance and approval of the Senate.  For more information please contact the Office of Community Outreach and Media Affairs at 410-313-6039.

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HCDFRS Controls Garage Fire from Spreading to House

Columbia, MD – Just before 6:30 AM on Monday, December 9, 2019, firefighters and paramedics from Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) were dispatched to the 9400 block of Keepsake Way for a garage fire. Upon arrival, HCDFRS saw heavy fire coming from the garage working its way to the attached house. Crews immediately began to extinguish the fire and successfully prevented severe damage to the main portion of the residence. There is, however, some limited damage to the outside of the house due to the high heat from the fire.

 

It should be noted that the entry door from the garage to the main portion of the residence was closed and kept the bulk of the fire from entering the house.

The fire took less than 30 minutes to place under control and the American Red Cross is assisting 2 adults and 2 children who are displaced.

 

The HCDFRS Office of the Fire Marshal is investigating the origin and cause of this incident.

Early Morning Deck Fire in Hanover

Hanover, MD - Shortly after 5:30 AM on October 10, 2019, firefighters and paramedics from the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) were dispatched for a reported deck fire on the 6300 block of Hanover Crossing Way in Hanover. Upon arrival, fire department personnel saw active fire on the deck climbing up the rear of the structure to the attic. Crews immediately requested additional support with units responding from BWI, Anne Arundel County, and Baltimore County. Fire department personnel were able to extinguish the fire with no reported injuries. The residents, who were home at the time of the fire, were able to evacuate safely including two dogs. There is one cat unaccounted for. Red Cross is currently assisting the displaced residents.

The HCDFRS Office of the Fire Marshal continues to investigate the origin and cause of the fire. For further information, please call the HCDFRS media line at 410-313-6039.

 

New Merriweather Fire Station Opens

Columbia, MD- The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) held a dedication ceremony for the new Merriweather Fire Station, Fire Station 14, on Monday, August 19, 2019. The ceremony was immediately followed by station tours.

 

“Our public safety needs have grown over the decades. Working together, we acted with a sense of urgency to build and open a new Merriweather Fire Station that will improve our emergency response time and save lives,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “I want to thank Chief Uhlhorn, the Howard Hughes Corporation, and every single member of our Fire and Rescue team for supporting this project and our community. Our new fire station will support our first responders, as they continue to keep us all safe.”

 

Construction of the new fire station, located at 6025 Symphony Woods Road, began in March 2019. The new 6,800 square foot building is a full-service fire station, providing fire suppression and emergency medical services. The facility is a single-story structure located at the bottom of a parking garage. It houses two apparatus bays, kitchen and dining room, general use rooms, a room to be utilized as a unified command center for large scale special events happening in the Town Center/Merriweather area, and administrative offices. The project architect is Fox Architects of Washington D.C. The station was constructed as part of a public/private partnership with the Howard Hughes Corporation.

 

“It took a lot of moving parts to make sure this project happened in a timely fashion, and we are thrilled that this day has finally arrived,” said Fire Chief Christine Uhlhorn. “We want to thank the Howard Hughes Corporation for their partnership and assistance with the development of this new fire station. We are looking forward to the positive impact the Merriweather station will have on the Columbia community and Howard County as a whole.”

 

The new station will assist with the growing number of residents and employees in the downtown Columbia area, allowing for even faster response times. Staffing will consist of a combination of six career personnel across three shifts. The current apparatus for Station 14 are: one fire engine and one paramedic unit.

 

For additional information, please call the Office of Community Outreach and Media Affairs: 410-313-6039.

 

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New Merriweather Fire Station Grand Opening - Media Advisory

Columbia, MD – The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) will open the new Merriweather Fire Station (Station 14) with an official dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony. The new station will assist the Banneker Fire Station (Station 7) during emergency incidents as downtown Columbia continues to grow. 

WHO: Calvin Ball, Howard County Executive 

Christine Uhlhorn, HCDFRS Fire Chief 

Howard Hughes Corporation 

WHAT: New Merriweather Fire Station Grand Opening – Dedication Event 

WHEN: Monday, August 19, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. 

WHERE: Merriweather Fire Station (Station 14) 

6025 Symphony Woods Road 

Columbia, Maryland, 21044 

WHY: To dedicate the newest Howard County fire station, which will offer more timely support for emergency incidents as downtown Columbia continues to grow. 

Please note: The area surrounding where the fire station is located is still under construction and may be difficult to navigate. Please plan ahead. There will be signs posted the day of the event to direct traffic flow. An official media release and fact sheet will be disseminated at the conclusion of the dedication event. Members of the media planning to cover the event should contact the Office of Community Outreach & Media Affairs at 410-313-6039. 

 

Department releases internal safety review report on Woodscape incident

Marriottsville, MD- The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) continues to support the family of Lieutenant Nathan Flynn who perished last July from injuries sustained while operating on a 7-alarm house fire in Clarksville, MD. This was the first career line of duty death in HCDFRS history. Immediately following Lieutenant Flynn’s untimely death, HCDFRS established an Internal Safety Review Board (ISRB) comprised of uniform personnel from inside the department, personnel from neighboring fire departments and outside agencies. The ISRB was charged with investigating factors that contributed to Lieutenant Flynn’s death as well as looking beyond the immediate causes to discover all aspects that impacted the event.

“We continue to mourn the loss of Nate, and our priority is to support his family as well as our fire department family,” said Fire Chief Christine M. Uhlhorn. “Our fire department has implemented many changes since experiencing this tragedy last July, such as: continuing to increase the staffing levels on our front-line engines to meet the national recommendation of four, establishing a radio committee and self-contained breathing apparatus committee to review current functionality and procedures, and continuing our practical training programs such as live fire acquired structure training and fire-ground survival. I thank the ISRB for their hard work over the past eleven months on this thorough and concise report and I am committed to reviewing all their recommendations as well as the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommendations when released. I am open to making the necessary changes that will impact the safety of our firefighters and paramedics.”

Findings from the report include:

• Establishing a clear and consistent Philosophy of Command throughout the department;

• Creating a competency-based training program, in which all HCDFRS personnel complete hands-on training in realistic conditions with an emphasis on practical error prevention and error trapping;

• Enhancing fire-ground communication, with an emphasis on establishing closed-loop radio communication;

• Enhancing crew accountability on the fire-ground; and

• Cultivating the ability of HCDFRS officers to clearly establish incident strategy and the global ability of all department members to carry out effective tactics.

• HCDFRS must review all current and applicable General Orders, revise them for consistency across the department, and conduct comprehensive training of HCDFRS personnel on the updated orders.

• The ISRB strongly recommends that Howard County have an independent organizational review of the HCDFRS to make recommendations on improving overall department structure, policies, and procedures.

“We will never forget the heroism and sacrifice of Lt. Nathan Flynn. We will continue to honor his legacy by dedicating ourselves to the safety of our firefighters, all first responders, and our entire community,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “We have made progress in meeting the staffing needs of our Department of Fire & Rescue Services to give them the full support they need and, frankly deserve. I know we can build upon this progress and use the Internal Safety Review Board (ISRB) report to help prevent future tragedy and promote safety for all. I want to thank everyone on the ISRB for their efforts and, as always, thank everyone in our Department of Fire & Rescue Services for their great service to our county.”

The full ISRB report can be found online here: https://www.howardcountymd.gov/Departments/Fire-and-Rescue/Internal-Saf… The document is available for download in full version or by individual section.

For more information, please contact the Office of Community Outreach and Media Affairs at 410-313-6039.

 

Department receives American Heart Association’s highest EMS award for the third time

Marriottsville, MD- Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) has been honored with the American Heart Association’s “Mission: Lifeline® EMS Gold Plus Award” three years in a row. HCDFRS has been selected for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience cardiac emergencies. HCDFRS was the first in Maryland to receive this award in 2017. 

“Achieving this award for the third consecutive year is another recognition of excellence in emergency medical care delivered by our firefighters and paramedics,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “Our first responders constantly strive to expand and improve their services and continue to provide the highest quality of care to Howard County. I thank each and every one of them for their dedication to our community. Their work is critical to our holistic strategy of advancing health and wellness for all, serving as an example for others to follow.” 

Annually, over 250,000 people experience a type of heart attack, known as a STEMI, or ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction, which is caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart. This life-threatening emergency requires timely intervention to restore blood flow to the heart. Mission: Lifeline’s EMS program recognizes those emergency responders whose efforts advance STEMI systems of care and the quality of life for these patients. 

“EMS is a core function of our daily operations and we continuously seek to improve patient care,” said Fire Chief Christine M. Uhlhorn. “The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us attain that goal by implementing procedures for improving STEMI systems.” 

Programs that have achieved Bronze, Silver, and then Gold awards consecutively are eligible for “Gold Plus” status. The “Plus” grade is for EMS agencies that have achieved 75% of the STEMI ECG’s, (or electrocardiograms), within ten minutes of being by a patient’s side during the 2018 calendar year. When a patient suffers a STEMI, as identified by the ECG, that information is communicated to the receiving hospital to activate a cardiac team. HCDFRS was 89% on transmission of ECG within ten minutes of being at a patient’s side. 

Detailed information about the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program can be found here: https://goo.gl/2pdDmG

For additional information, please call the Office of Community Outreach and Media Affairs: 410-313-6039. 

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Swearing in Ceremony for Arson Accelerant Detection Canine Sowell

Ellicott City, MD – Howard County Executive Ball and members of the Howard County Council will join the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) for the swearing in ceremony of their newly certified and operational arson accelerant detection canine, Sowell, and handler Lieutenant Craig Matthews. Sowell (pronounced so-well), and HCDFRS previous arson accelerant detection canines, has been provided through a grant from State Farm Insurance. State Farm was eager to have Howard County stay in the accelerant detection program and agreed to a seat in this year’s training program, several months ahead of the current canine’s retirement. The team will be used as a regional asset and may travel to outside jurisdictions to provide services. 

WHO: Howard County Executive Calvin Ball 

Members of the Howard County Council 

State Farm Representatives 

HCDFRS Personnel 

Canine Sowell 

WHAT: Swearing in ceremony for canine Sowell and handler Lt. Craig Matthews as well as demo of how the team operates. 

WHEN: Thursday, July 18, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. 

WHERE: George Howard Building – Banneker Room 

3430 Court House Dr # 100, Ellicott City, MD 21043 

WHY: To officially swear in the newest member of HCDFRS’ fire investigation unit. 

Please Note: Opportunities for interviews will immediately follow the ceremony. Also, a media release will be given to those in attendance and disseminated later that afternoon. For questions please contact the media line at 410-313-6039. 

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Barn Fire in Glenwood with Smoke Plume Visible for Miles

Glenwood, MD - Shortly before 2:20 PM on July 15, firefighters and paramedics from Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) were dispatched for a barn fire on the 3000 block of Route 97 in Glenwood. Upon arrival, crews found heavy fire conditions in two, approximately 50’ x 100’, barn structures. HCDFRS was informed there were no civilians inside the structures, as well as no chemicals nor animals. Due to the size of the fire, a massive smoke plume was visible for miles into neighboring counties. Units from Carroll and Montgomery counties assisted with the incident operations. The fire took approximately two hours to be placed under control and both structures are a total loss. One civilian with unknown injuries refused treatment and one firefighter was evaluated for an injury. This incident is under investigation by the HCDFRS Office of the Fire Marshal. For further information, please call the media line at 410-313-6039.

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Department Continues to Increase the Minimum Staffing for Engine Companies

Marriottsville, MD - HCDFRS announces, effective immediately, the increase of three more engine companies to a minimum staffing of four firefighters. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 1710) recommends a minimum of four personnel assigned to each engine company. This increase was implemented after the findings and suggestions from the Fire Department Emergency Services Staffing Joint Study Group. The staffing committee was formed at the request of County Administration when the county and the Howard County International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) - Local 2000 entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA), effective July 1, 2017 thru July 1, 2019.

 

“Today marks an important step forward in promoting public safety in Howard County and supporting our first responders. When we received the recommendations of our Fire Staffing Committee, we knew we needed to act and invest in our future,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “I want to thank everyone at the Department of Fire and Rescue Services for their help and continued dedication to keeping our community safe. Their partnership has been critical to our staffing increase that will put more fire engine companies into neighborhoods that need them. Our priority will continue to be securing a safer community for all.”

 

As part of the MOA, the two agreed to form a committee of experts to address staffing recommendations for Fire and Rescue services in Howard County. The last documented staffing report was completed twenty-three years ago, on April 1, 1996. The full report can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/y3gjjvbm.

“We continue to strive towards the NFPA recommended staffing levels within our department,” said Deputy Chief William G. Anuszewski. “With the considerable support of Executive Ball and his administration, we have secured the funding to increase the staffing on these engines.”

“We are very pleased to see this increase in our current staffing levels occur as we continue our push toward minimum safe staffing levels everywhere in the county,” said Local 2000 President Rich Ruehl. “The improvements that began this morning are the result of many years of hard work, research, and dedication by a number of people too many to mention. In the near future we will see further improvements in the service we provide. Our members are proud to serve and we could not be more proud of these accomplishments, the Administration, and the Council for their continued support.” 

 

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Chief Uhlhorn Appoints New Deputy Chiefs

Marriottsville, MD - Howard County Executive Calvin Ball and HCDFRS Chief Christine M. Uhlhorn congratulate Assistant Chiefs Louis Winston and Gordon Wallace on their appointment to serve as Deputy Chiefs. Deputy Chief is an appointed position in HCDFRS that has the ability serve as Acting Fire Chief should the need arise. Chief Winston’s appointment is effective immediately while Chief Wallace’s appointment will begin August 31, 2019.

“Howard County is fortunate to have Chiefs Winston and Wallace as leaders in our Department of Fire and Rescue Services,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “I am confident they will use their combined 52 years of service to carry our county forward with a strong vision for the future. Our Fire & Rescue personnel are the best in the nation and I look forward to working with both Deputy Chiefs to support their efforts to keep us all safe.”

“Chiefs Winston and Wallace are innovative progressive leaders who have the experience to carry on the traditions of our department while possessing the fortitude to prepare for the future,” said Fire Chief Christine M. Uhlhorn. “Their leadership capabilities will continue to propel our fire department forward as a national standard for excellence.”

Chief Louis Winston has served with HCDFRS for over 29 years and has held a Chief Officer position for over 6 years. During that time, he served as a field Battalion Chief and as an Assistant Chief where he managed the Administrative Services Bureau overseeing recruitment, human resources, and the department’s budget. Chief Winston is also a graduate of Leadership Howard County’s Premier Class of 2015 and the Carl Holmes Executive Development Institute.

Chief Gordon Wallace has served with HCDFRS for 23 years and has held a Chief Officer position for over 9 years. During that time, he served as a Battalion Chief in the Bureau of Education and Training, as well as overseeing HCDFRS’ Special Operations and as an Assistant Chief where he managed both the Emergency Services Bureau, overseeing field operations, and the Office of the Fire Marshal responsible for fire investigation, code enforcement, and public education. Chief Wallace also is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program and has designation as a Chief Fire Officer from the Centers for Public Safety Excellence.

Firefighters and Paramedics from the Howard County Local 2000 to Host Elected Officials at Fire Ops 101

Marriottsville, MD- The career firefighters of the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) will host a program for elected and appointed officials known as Fire Ops 101. During this daylong event, attendees will experience hands-on firefighting and rescue operations under the controlled supervision of Howard County’s firefighters and paramedics. The event will take place Friday, April 26, 2019 beginning at 8:00 AM at the James N. Robey Public Safety Training Center located at 2200 Scott Wheeler Drive, Marriottsville, MD 21104. Members of the media are invited to attend.

“I have the utmost respect for our first responders and know first-hand what it takes to be a firefighter in this county,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “I’m excited for my colleagues to obtain this hands-on experience of the physical and mental challenges that go into serving Howard County and putting your life on the line by fighting fire and performing other rescue techniques. I want to personally thank President Rich Ruehl and the Local 2000 for planning and hosting this event.”

The workshop will demonstrate many aspects of fire and emergency medical service operations, from suiting up in the proper protective gear to putting out fires.  There will be four training scenarios to give participants the opportunity to do what firefighters and paramedics face on a daily basis. Each participant will learn how to use self-contained breathing apparatus, battle fire while given instruction on how to respond to anticipated events of fire behavior, and affecting rescue to a medical emergency involving physical and mental hurdles. 

“This event takes ‘Under-Cover Boss’ to a new level; providing the people in elected and appointed office a unique opportunity to experience what being a firefighter and paramedic is all about,” said Local 2000 President Rich Ruehl.  “We are not looking for them to become experts in the craft, but we hope they will get a sense of how demanding, both physically and mentally, technical, and training intensive our jobs are. Despite the weather, we look forward to hosting the County’s key decision makers on Friday.”

The Howard County Professional Fire Fighters Association was chartered as the 2000th Local of their parent organization – the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) – in October of 1970. More than 400 of HCDFRS personnel are members of the union with over 70 members assisting in the event. 

 

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Townhouse Fire in Columbia

Just before 5 PM on Monday, February 25, 2019 fire fighters and paramedics from Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) were dispatched to the 6100 block of Majors Lane in Columbia for multiple reports of a townhouse fire.  Crews arrived to find fire showing from the second floor and extending to a neighboring townhouse.  The residents of the home where the fire started were found to have safely evacuated prior to the arrival of fire fighters.  Two residents were evaluated by paramedics but refused transport to the hospital.  The fire took 15 minutes to control and was completely extinguished a short time later.  Damage to the neighboring structure was limited to the attic area and the front exterior.   The American Red Cross is assisting 8 adults who are displaced, four from the home where the fire started and four from the neighboring structure.  The HCDFRS Office of the Fire Marshal is investigating this incident. 

 

 

 

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One Rescued from House Fire

Just before 7:00 AM on January 18, 2019, firefighters and paramedics from Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services were dispatched to the 5800 block of Harness Court in Columbia for a townhouse fire. The occupant of the home called 911 and stated that there was a fire in his house and he was unable to get out. Firefighters arrived to find a fire on the first floor of the home and were able to quickly rescue the lone occupant from the second floor via a ground ladder. The fire was quickly extinguished. The adult male occupant of the home was transported to Howard County General Hospital for treatment and is in stable condition. This incident is under investigation by the Office of the Fire Marshal. Contact the on-call PIO if you have any additional questions.

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Swearing-In Ceremony for Fire Chief William Anuszewski

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Today, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball and members of the Howard County Council participated in the official swearing-in ceremony of Fire Chief William Anuszewski. Chief Anuszewski was appointed as Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) Chief on May 25th but due to the ongoing pandemic, the swearing-in ceremony was delayed. This afternoon, he took his official oath of service surrounded by his family, friends, and colleagues.

"Chief Anuszewki is a proven leader," said County Executive Calvin Ball. "Our Fire & Rescue Services and community have benefitted from his leadership throughout this pandemic – preparing our emergency services, setting up hospital liaisons, and safely responding and transporting COVID-19 patients. Chief Anuszewski has deep experience within our Department and has the upmost respect of his colleagues, my sincere congratulations on his official swearing in as Fire Chief."

Before his appointment, Chief Anuszewski served as Deputy Chief of Operations and Emergency Management. Anuszewski began in the fire service as a volunteer with the Ellicott City Volunteer Fire Department in 1983 prior to being hired by HCDFRS in 1990. Over his 30-year career, he has held various leadership roles in multiple bureaus within the department, serving as Battalion Chief of Special Operations, Field Operations, and Assistant Chief of Logistics and Administrative Services.

“As a lifelong resident of Howard County, it’s both a privilege and honor to have served this community as a firefighter and now chief of our renouned combination fire department,” said Fire Chief William Anuszewski. “One of my current objectives is updating our strategic plan with input from both internal and external stakeholders. I see the talent we have and my vision is to ensure we educate, protect, and serve Howard County at the highest level. Our members: career, volunteer, and civilians, are some of the best in the business, the residents and visitors of Howard County are well protected by our department.”

Since serving as Fire Chief, Anuszewski continues to prioritize safety within the community through programs such as Mobile Integrated Community Health and safety for firefighters and paramedics by continuing to staff at least four personnel on engine companies. Anuszewski values the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion within the fire service and remains committed to implementing those ideals through HCDFRS recruitment and education.

 

5th Annual Honor and Remembrance Ceremony

Marriottsville, MD - The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) will host its annual Honor and Remembrance Ceremony at Crest Lawn Memorial Gardens to recognize career and volunteer fallen fire and rescue service members. The Honor and Remembrance Ceremony will take place on Sunday, September 27, 2020 in the Garden of Valor.

"No matter how many years have passed, nor the distractions within times of crisis, we will never forget those who sacrificed their lives in service," said County Executive Calvin Ball. "These heroes and their families deserve our thanks, appreciation, and our eternal gratitude."

The Garden of Valor was dedicated on June 21, 2012. The parcel of land has been set aside for firefighters, paramedics, police officers, emergency medical technicians, sheriffs, and other emergency workers.

“We will continue this important tradition of honoring those that have gone before us,” said Fire Chief William Anuszewski. “Throughout their lives, these individuals set the standard at the highest level of what it means to protect and serve. We will not forget them.”

The ceremony will take place at Crest Lawn Memorial Gardens, located at 2150 Mount View Road in Marriottsville. It will begin at 2:00 pm in the Garden of Valor. All career, volunteer, auxiliary members of the department, their family and friends, all members of the community, and media are encouraged to attend. The ceremony will feature the Fire Brigade Pipes and Drums of Greater Baltimore, a combined fire and rescue Honor Guard representing the organizations of those being remembered, as well as guest speakers and dignitaries. Face coverings are required for this event.

 

Crews Battle House Fire in Jessup

 

Jessup, MD – At 10:23 PM, on September 23, 2020, firefighters and paramedics from the Howard County Department of Fire & Rescue Services (HCDFRS), along with mutual aid resources from the Anne Arundel County Fire Department, were dispatched to a reported house fire in the 7300 block of Cedar Avenue in Jessup. Crews arrived on location within four (4) minutes of the 911 call and reported fire on the back side of the single-family home. The fire was quickly extinguished.  


Four residents, three adults and one child, were inside the residence when the fire started.They were able to evacuate safely. No firefighters were injured. Fire investigators from the HCDFRS Office of the Fire Marshal and are working to determine the origin and cause of the blaze. Damage estimates are pending.

 

Apartment Fire in Elkridge Displaces Residents, Pets Rescued

Elkridge, MD - Just after 4:25 PM on August 25, 2020, firefighters and paramedics from Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) and the Baltimore County Fire Department responded to the 6300 block of Green Field Road for a report of a balcony fire. Upon arrival, crews found a fully involved 3 story garden-style apartment building with heavy smoke and fire showing from the rear of the structure. All residents safely evacuated the structure prior to HCDFRS arrival.

Immediately, HCDFRS began to get the fire under control but the fire quickly reached the roof and all personnel evacuated the structure and pivoted to a defensive strategy putting water on the fire from the outside. While still actively fighting the fire, HCDFRS successfully rescued 1 cat and 1 guinea pig and supported their breathing with Pet Oxygen Masks. To our knowledge, they are both in good health. 

The fire took approximately 2 hours to extinguish and there were no fire department injuries. One resident was evaluated for smoke inhalation but refused transport. Approximately 15 residents have been displaced and 12 condos have been posted.

 

 

 

Howard County Announces Passing of Firefighter Brad Scott

Ellicott City, MD – Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) announced the passing of firefighter and heavy vehicle operator Brad Scott. Scott was battling cancer for the last six years and passed away yesterday surround by family and loved ones. 

“Our hearts are heavy over the loss this weekend of Howard County Fire and Rescue Services Firefighter, Brad Scott,” said County Executive Calvin Ball. “Our condolences are with his family, friends and all his brothers and sisters in HCDFRS. For the past 13 years, he dedicated his life as a public servant and heroic first responder. We are eternally grateful to him and his family for their dedication to our safety and security.”

Scott served with HCDFRS for 13 years and was a proud graduate of Recruit Class 23. He spent most of his career at Banneker Station 7, where he was responsible for driving Truck 7. Scott also volunteered at Claymont Volunteer Fire Department in his hometown of Claymont, Delaware. He is survived by his three daughters and wife, Charlene. Memorial service arrangements will be made available when finalized.

 

“Brad was a 13-year veteran of our department and certainly left his mark of professionalism,” said Fire Chief William Anuszewski. “He cared for the art of firefighting and was an excellent Heavy Vehicle Operator. More importantly, Brad was an incredible human being who cared for others and loved his wife Charlene and his three girls immensely. He will be missed by all who had the fortune to meet him.”

Apartment Fire in Columbia

Columbia, MD - Just before 7 PM on Sunday, May 31, 2020 firefighters and paramedics from Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) were dispatched to the 11300 block of Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia for multiple reports of a multi-family occupancy fire. Crews arrived to find fire showing from the 3 balconies on the rear of the structure. The fire was upgraded to a second alarm. All residents safely evacuated prior to HCDFRS arrival. Six patients were evaluated by paramedics, one patient was transported to Bayview for minor burns to the hand, and 5 Patients refused transport. 

The fire took 50 minutes to control and was completely extinguished a short time later. 24 units obtained either fire, smoke, and/or water damage. The fire also burned through the roof. The American Red Cross is assisting families who were displaced. The HCDFRS Office of the Fire Marshal is investigating this incident.

 

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