Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department

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Not to be confused with Prince George County Fire Department (Virginia)

Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department
"Semper Eadem" Ever the Same
Agency Overview
Established Historically 1742, Incorporated 1966
Employees 1,100 volunteer personnel
720 career personnel
80 support personnel[1]
Staffing Combination (Career & Volunteer)
Fire chief Marc S. Bashoor
Facilities & Equipment
Stations 46 Stations Organized into 7 Battalions
Engines 71
Trucks 22
Squads 11
Fireboats 1
EMS Level 38 BLS 16 ALS

The Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department (PGFD) is a combination career/volunteer county-level agency that provides "..fire prevention, fire protection, emergency medical services, and community outreach programs" for residents of Prince George's County, Maryland.[2] The Department is composed of volunteers from 33 different fire companies throughout the county, as well as career firefighters affiliated with The Prince George's County Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Association, IAFF Local 1619. According to the Firehouse Magazine 2010 Combination Fire Department Run Survey The Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department covers a response area of approximately 580 miles, protects approximately 900,000 people, and has an annual operating budget of 132 million dollars. The same survey attributes 29,038 fire calls to the county along with 104,680 EMS calls for a total of 133,718 calls for service in 2010, making the PGFD the busiest combination department to submit statistics.[3]

History[edit]

In 1742, the town of Bladensburg became the first governmental entity to pass a fire prevention ordinance. The simple ordinance stipulated that all residential and commercial buildings had to be equipped with a smoke chimney. In 1886, the town of Hyattsville organized the first volunteer fire company in the county. With a donated budget of $27, the fire company bought a two-wheeled hand truck equipped with a barrel, pump, and hose. Two years later, in 1888, the town of Upper Marlboro organized the Marlboro Fire Association following two major town fires. John C. Wyvill had the first fire station built at a cost of $342.

It wasn't until the 1930s that the County organized its fire services at is known today. The University of Maryland created a Fire Service Extension to train firefighters and is widely regarded as a focal point for fire training for departments located east of the Mississippi River.

In 1966 the county incorporated paid firefighters within its volunteer force based on the Yarger Study which stated:

  • At least two "paidmen" at each station.
  • All paid firefighters should be county employees.
  • A unified command structure should be developed under the direction of a County fire chief.
  • Fire communications should be consolidated under the County fire chief.

The Department of Fire Protection was created on June 14, 1968 which consumed all other previous fire organizations under a single command.[4]

In May 2009, the PGFD received local media attention following a massive natural gas explosion at a Forestville stripmall. PGFD Captain Robert Rouse (Engine 823) was one of 8 firefighters and 1 gas worker injured during the event.[5][6]

List of Fire Chiefs[edit]

Lawrence R. Woltz
Frank Briguglio
M.H. (Jim) Estep
Steven T. Edwards
Lemuel A. Roberts
AD. Bell, Sr.
Ronald J. Siarnicki
Ronald D. Blackwell
Lawrence H. Sedgwick, Jr.
Eugene A. Jones
Marc S. Bashoor

Organization[edit]

The Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department is composed of 4 distinct commands, Emergency Operations, Administrative Services, and Support Services, and Volunteer Services. Each of the commands are headed by a Deputy Fire Chief (formerly known as Lt. Colonel) who reports directly to the Fire Chief.[7]

Operations[edit]

The Emergency Operations Command (EOC) is the largest and most visible to the public. The EOC includes daily operations and of all emergency services, both Fire and EMS. The EOC incorporates both sworn career and volunteer Fighterfighter/EMT's. The EOC is further split into Northern and Southern Divisions. The dividing line between North and South within the fire department is Central Avenue or Maryland Route 214 Within each division there are a set of battalions, Battalions 1,2,4,and 6 are located in the Northern Division and Battalions 3,5,and 7 are located within the Southern Division. "The PGFD's busiest service areas are located within Battalions 1,3,and 5 which includes the area commonly bordered by the District line to the west, Central Avenue to the north, the Capitol Beltway to the east, and Allentown Road to the South. These areas represent better than 60% of the PGFD's total calls for service, as they contain the highest population densities."[7]

Battalions[edit]

The Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department is organized into seven battalions. A breakdown of the battalions into communities and stations within the county is as follows:

Battalion 1 serves the communities of Capitol Heights, Landover, Seat Pleasant, and Largo. It includes stations 5, 6, 8, 30, 33, 37, 38, and 46.
Battalion 2 serves the communities of New Carrollton, Lanham, Bowie,and Glenn Dale. It includes stations 16, 18, 19, 28, 39, 43, and 48.
Battalion 3 serves the communities of District Heights, Morningside, Hillcrest Heights, Suitland,and Forestville. It includes stations 17, 23, 26, 27, and 29.
Battalion 4 the communities of Langley Park, Chillum, Brentwood, College Park,and Riverdale. It includes stations 1, 7, 9, 12, 13, 34, 44, and 55.
Battalion 5 serves the communities of Accokeek, Camp Springs,and Oxon Hill. It includes stations 21, 24, 32, 42, and 47.
Battalion 6 serves the communities Laurel, Greenbelt, Beltsville,and Berwyn Heights. It includes stations 10, 11, 14, 31, 35, 41, and 49.
Battalion 7 serves the communities Upper Marlboro, Clinton,and Brandywine. It includes stations 20, 25, 36, 40, and 45.

The Administrative Services command includes Human Resources, Logistics and Supply, Fiscal Affairs, Facilities and Resource Planning, and Apparatus Maintenance. The Administrative services command incorporates both sworn career firefighters and career civilian employees.

The Special Operations Command includes The Office of the Fire Marshal, Risk Management and Safety, Professional Standards, The Fire/EMS Training Academy, and Technical Services. Technical Services includes, but is not limited to the department's HazMat Team, Bomb Squad, and specialty rescue companies.

Fire Stations and Apparatus[edit]

Station Company Battalion Engine Special Service EMS Other
1 Hyattsville VFD 4th E11 TK1, RS1 A17, A19 C1, C1A, C1B
5 Capitol Heights VFD 1st E51, E52 A58 U5, C5, C5A
6 St. Joseph's Drive (PGFD) 1st E61 RS6 PA6, A6 TR6, Collapse Response 6, BC1, NEMSDO
7 Riverdale VFD 4th E72, E73 TW7 A77 C7, C7A, C7B
8 Seat Pleasant VFD 1st E81, E83 A88 C8, C8A, C8B
9 Bladensburg VFD 4th E92, E93, E94 TK9 A99 C9, C9A, C9B
10 Laurel VFD 6th E101, E103, E104 TW10 M10, A108, A107 C10, C10A, C10B
11 Branchville VFD 6th E111, E112 A118, A119 C11, C11A, C11B
12 College Park VFD 4th E121, E122 TK12 M12, A128, A129 F12, HMSU12, U12, C12, C12A, C12B
13 Riverdale Heights VFD 4th E131, E132 A139 C13
14 Berwyn Heights VFD 6th TK14, RS14, RS14R A148, A149 TS14, B14, C14, C14A, C14B
16 Northview (PGFD) 2nd E161 PA16 HMU16, BC2, Safety Officer
17 Boulevard Heights VFD 3rd E171, E172 A179 U17, C17, C17A
18 Glenn Dale VFA 2nd E181, RE18 RS18 M18, A187, A189 C18, C18A, C18B
19 Bowie VFD 2nd E191, E192 TK19 A199
20 Marlboro VFD 7th E202, E204 TW20, RS20 A209 BR20, C20, C20A, C20B
21 Oxon Hill VFD 5th E211, E212 TK21 PA21 C21, C21A, C21B
23 Forestville VFD 3rd E233, E235 A239 BR23, U23, Tanker 23, C23, C23A, C23B
24 Accokeek VFD 5th E241, E242 TW24 A249 MP24, BR24, C24, C24A, C24B
25 Clinton VFD 7th E251, E255 TK25 M25, A259 Water Supply 25, C25, C25A, C25B
26 District Heights VFD 3rd E261, E262 TK26 M26, A268, A269 BC3, C26, C26A, SEMSDO
27 Morningside VFD 3rd E272, RE27 RS27 A279 C27, C27A, C27B
28 West Lanham Hills VFD 2nd E281, E282 TK28 MP28, C28, C28A, C28B
29 Silver Hill VFD 3rd E291, E292 TK29 M29, A298, A299 U29, C29, C29A, C29B
30 Landover Hills VFD 1st PE30, E302 M30, A309 Medical Ambulance Bus 30, C30, C30A
31 Beltsville VFD 6th E311, E312 TK31 A319 U31, BR31, C31, C31A, C31B
32 Allentown Road VFD 5th E321, E322 TK32 A329 BR32, BC5, C32, C32A, C32B
33 Kentland VFD 1st E331, E332, RE33 TW33 A33 MP33, C33, C33A, C33B
34 Chillum-Adelphi VFD 4th E341, E343 TK34 A348 C34, C34A, C34B
35 Greenbelt VFD 6th E351, E353 A358 C35, C35A, C35B
36 Baden VFD 7th E361, E362, ET36 A369 BR36, Tanker 36, C36, C36A, C36B
37 Ritchie VFD 1st E371, E372, E373 TK37 MP37, C37, C37A, C37B
38 Chapel Oaks VFD 1st E381 TK38 PA38, A389 C38, C38A, C38B
39 Bowie VFD 2nd E391, E392 TW39 A399 BR39
40 Brandywine VFD 7th E401, RE40 RS40 M40 BR40, C40, C40A, C40B
41 Beltsville VFD 6th PE41, E412 A419 U41, BC6, C41
42 Oxon Hill VFD 5th PE42, E422 A429 C42, C42A
43 Bowie VFD 2nd E431, E432 TW43 A439 BR43, Tanker 43
44 Chillum (PGFD) 4th PE44 M44, A44
45 http://www.marlborofire.com/news/index/layoutfile/home Marlboro VFD 7th E452 M45 HMSU45, Tanker 45, BC7, C45a
46 Kentland (Largo) (PGFD) 1st PE46 M46, A469 C46, C46A
47 http://www.allentownroadvfd.org/ Allentown Road VFD 5th E471, E472 RS47 M47, A479 TS 47, B47, C47, C47A
48 http://www.wlhvfd.com/news/index/layoutfile/home West Lanham Hills VFD 2nd E481, E484 A487, A488, A489 BX48, C48A, C48B
49 Laurel VRS 6th RE849 RS849 A849, A849B WR849, U849
55 Bunker Hill VFRC 4th E552, E553 TK55 A559 MCSU55, MP55, BC 4, C55, C55A, C55B

Abbreviations:

Glenn Dale Station 18
Bowie Station 19
Laurel VFD Engine 103
Beltsville VFD Truck 31
Laurel VRS Engine 49
  • E - Engine
  • PE - Paramedic Engine
  • RE - Rescue Engine
  • ET - Engine Tanker
  • TK - Truck
  • TW - Tower
  • RS - Rescue Squad
  • M - Medic Unit
  • A - Ambulance
  • PA - Paramedic Ambulance
  • BC - Battalion Chief
  • C - Chief
  • TR - Technical Rescue
  • TS - Technical Support Unit
  • F - Foam Unit
  • HMU - HazMat Unit
  • HMSU - HazMat Support Unit
  • B - Boat
  • U - Utility
  • BR - Brush
  • MP - Mini Pumper
  • MCSU - Mass Casualty Support Unit

Special Designations[edit]

Co. 15 - Fire Investigators & Bomb Squad

Co. 56/57 - Water Rescue & Recovery Team
Dive Unit, Dive Support Unit, 22' Boston Whaler, (2) 14' Support Boats, 2 Fireboats

Co. 58 - Fire Boat "Lawrence Woltz"
36' Metalcraft[8]

Co. 62 - Apparatus Maintenance

Co. 65 - Fire/EMS Training Academy

Consolidated or Disbanded Fire Stations/Companies[edit]

Co. 2 - Cottage City Volunteer Fire Company
Consolidated into Company 55

Co. 3 - Mount Rainier Volunteer Fire Company
Consolidated into Company 55

Co. 4 - Brentwood Volunteer Fire Company
Consolidated into Company 55

Co. 6 - Hillside Volunteer Fire Department
Disbanded in 1999. This station was located at 1234 Larchmont Avenue in Capitol Heights. When the new station on St. Joseph's Drive in Largo opened it was given 6 as its number designation

Co. 22 - Tuxedo-Cheverly Fire Station
Closed until further notice, all units have moved to Station 6 on St. Joseph's Drive.

Co. 53 - Special Operations Division (Haz Mat/Bomb Squad)
Services relocated to other stations/offices.

Equipment[edit]

A PGFD EMS Ambulance

The PGFD is a progressive agency with a full complement of modern fire training, equipment, and vehicles. PGFD utilizes county owned 2006 & 2012 Freightliner ambulance and medic units. Other fire departments within PGFD can purchase their own ambulance unit. Ambulance units respond to Basic Life Support calls and are staffed with certified Maryland EMTs. Medic units respond to Advanced Life Support calls such as trouble breathing or cardiac arrest, and are staffed with certified Maryland Paramedics. Engines respond to both medical calls and fire calls. Trucks respond generally to fires and odor of gas within a structure. Rescue squads and rescue engines respond to incidents generally described as more life-threatening such as car accidents or accidents with one trapped. A special service (Truck/Tower/Rescue Squad/Quint) can act as RIT (Rapid Intervention Team) on a working fire if needed. The Rapid Intervention Team is used to search for firefighters or any other people on the fire scene if lost or trapped.

PGFD issues every Firefighter/EMT a Cairns Metro 660C helmet, but firefighters can purchase their own Cairns Sam Houston, Model N6A1, leather helmet with shell liner and approved eye protection, Cairns Classic 1000 and 1010, Cairns 1044 w/EES Innerzone 2 goggles, standard, the Kevlar or fiberglass composite version of the Sam Houston style, and the Morning Pride Ben 2 Plus Fire Helmet if they choose. Every Firefighter/EMT is also issued a coat, Nomex hood, pants, gloves, rubber boots, and face piece. PGFD uses Scott Safety 4.5 Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) for their breathing tool, and the Scott AV-3000 for their individual firefighter face piece. They generally use Seagrave and Pierce as their fire trucks, as most of them are owned by their respective volunteer companies throughout the county.[citation needed]

Blue Helmet - EMS Only

Red Helmet - A Firefighter that does not have a Firefighter I certification from MFRI yet; they can do anything except go into interior fires.

Yellow/Black Helmet - Firefighter/EMT

White helmet w. regular coat - Lieutenant, Captain

White helmet w. white coat - Chief Officer

Basic Response Guidelines[edit]

  • Local Alarm
    • Local Alarm(Respond/Proceed): 1 Engine
    • Rescue Local: 1 Engine, 1 Rescue Squad or Rescue Engine, 1 Ambulance
    • Rescue Local with Entrapment(Upgrade): 1Engine, 1 Rescue Squad or Rescue Engine, 1 Medic Unit, 1 EMS Supervisor, 1 Battalion Chief
    • Ambulance Local: 1 Engine or 1 Ambulance
    • Medical Local: 1 Engine or 1 Ambulance, 1 Medic Unit
    • Medical Local(Shooting/Stabbing): 1 Engine, 1 Ambulance, 1 Medic Unit
    • Working Code: Report of CPR in progress. 1 Engine, 1 Ambulance, 1 Medic Unit, EMS-Duty Officer
    • Haz-Mat. Local: 1 Engine, 1 Haz-Mat. Unit
  • Street Assignment: 2 Engines, 1 Truck/Tower, 1 Special Service(Tower, Truck, Quint, Rescue Engine or Rescue Squad), 1 Battalion Chief
    • Street Assignment(In Non-Hydrated Areas): 2 Engines, 1 Special Service(Truck or Rescue Squad), 1 Tanker, 1 Battalion Chief
    • Haz-Mat. Street Assignment: 2 Engines, 1 Special Service(Truck or Rescue Squad), 1 Haz-Mat. Unit, 1 Ambulance, 1 Medic Unit, 1 EMS Supervisor, 1 Battalion Chief
  • Box Alarm: 4 Engines, 2 Trucks, 1 Special Service(Truck or Rescue Squad), 1 Ambulance 2 Battalion Chief
    • Box Alarm(In Non-Hydrated Areas): 4 Engines, 2 Trucks, 1 Special Service(Truck or Rescue Squad), 3 Tankers, 1 Water Supply Unit, 1 Ambulance, 2 Battalion Chiefs
    • Haz-Mat. Box Alarm: 4 Engines, 2 Special Services(Truck or Rescue Squad), 1 Haz-Mat. Unit, 1 Ambulance, 1 Medic Unit, 1 EMS Supervisor, 1 Haz-Mat. Coordinator, 2 Battalion Chiefs
  • Working Fire(Upgrade): 1 Medic Unit, 1 Safety Officer, 1 EMS Duty Officer
  • Task Force Alarm(Optional Upgrade): 2 Engines, 1 Special Service(Truck or Rescue Squad)
  • 2nd Alarm: 4 Engines, 2 Trucks, 1 Special Service(Truck or Rescue Squad)
  • 3rd Alarm: 4 Engines, 2 Trucks, 1 Special Service(Truck or Rescue Squad)
  • 4th Alarm: 4 Engines, 2 Trucks, 1 Special Service(Truck or Rescue Squad)
  • 5th Alarm: 4 Engines, 2 Trucks, 1 Special Service(Truck or Rescue Squad)
  • Airplane/Train Crash: 2 Engines, 1 Rescue Squad, 1 Haz-Mat. Unit, 1 Foam Unit, 1 Brush Unit, 1 Ambulance, 1 Medic Unit, 1 EMS Supervisor, 2 Battalion Chiefs


A Street Assignment is an odor of natural gas inside of structure, investigation of something burning inside of structure, electrical socket sparking, chimney fire, and other similar things.

A Box Alarm is the report of smoke or fire in ANY structure, such as a house, building, apartment, condo, townhouse, or school.

References[edit]