Just after 1500 hours, communications alerted south side units for a reported garage on fire in the 2000 block of Kirtland Avenue in 23’s first due. Engine Co.37 (county reserve) was dispatched as the fourth due engine on the box. First arriving units found a detached garage with fire showing and an exposure problem. Engine Co.37 arrived as dispatched, securing 5’s line and establishing the RIC. (Photo Credit to Wagon Driver FF D.Butler)
Around 1300 hours PSC transmitted a 37 box for a reported house on fire in the 1300 block of Waterford Drive. Engine Co.37 was initially assigned as the 2nd due engine on the box due to another company being on the air, however arrived first and assumed the first due responsibilities. Engine Co.37 laid out and found a two story single family residence with smoke showing from the roof. The engine stretched the 150′ to division two to find a fire in the attic space that was quickly opened up and extinguished.
The Ritchie Volunteer Fire Department Truck Co.37, along with members of Squad 20 and others were given an honorable mention in Firehouse Magazines Unit Citation Awards section. The award stems from an incident that happened last year in which one of the members from our Truck Co. fell through the roof during a house fire. Below you will find a synapsis of the incident. The Ritchie Volunteer Fire Department is proud of its members actions that day and extends its congratulations to the others involved.
On January 5, 2016, fire and EMS units responded to a reported house fire at 9400 Old Marlboro Pike. Firefighters arrived on the scene to find smoke coming from the home and bystanders advising that someone might still be inside. Crews quickly initiated an aggressive interior attack to support searches for a possibly trapped occupant, but none was found. By this time the fire located on the first floor had extended into the attic space, tasking the crew with opening the roof in support of the interior operations.
During the roof operation a firefighter fell through a weakened portion of the rooftop, and crew members immediately deployed to assist. He had fallen through up to his shoulders and was exposed to high heat and smoke. Ritchie Volunteer Assistant Chief Cunningham reached out and grabbed hold of his comrade’s self-contained breathing apparatus harness, preventing him from falling deeper into the attic. Battalion Chief Fletcher, Lieutenant Blackistone, and Fire Fighter Philpott ascended ground ladders and reached the firefighter very quickly. Together the four firefighters lifted their entrapped crew member up and out of the attic. The stunned firefighter was then assisted from the roof to the ground and placed in the care of EMS personnel, who evaluated him on the scene. Due to the wearing of full personal protective equipment and swift support from his crew members, the firefighter did not sustain any injuries and was consequently released to full duty.
For unusual personal risk and judgment, Volunteer Assistant Chief William Cunningham, Jr., Battalion Chief Donald V. Fletcher, Jr., Fire Fighter/Medic Lieutenant Christopher B. Blackistone, and Fire Fighter William Philpott L. Jr., are awarded a Bronze Medal of Valor.
Our thoughts & prayers are with active life member Randy O’Sullivan and his family today as we wish him a speedy recovery. Randy, was injured yesterday while at work and was transported to an area trauma center. He is in stable condition and expected to make a full recovery.
Randy is well known with his nearly 50 years of service to Prince George’s County Volunteer Fire Service. He’s as tough as they come and will be back wheeling in no time.
Special Thank you to the Morningside Volunteer Fire Department Co. 27 for stopping by the station last night.
Just before 0800 this morning, PSC transmitted the 37-04 box for a reported house on fire in the 7400 block of Kipling Parkway. Engine Co.37 responded as the first due engine and arrived on scene with smoke showing from a two-story single family dwelling. The engine crew made quick work of a bedroom fire on the second floor.