Central PA Bravest


Thursday, October 11, 2012  Today at 1549 hours units from Station 40 were dispatched to their first due to 4508 Cannes Lane for a reported fire in a town home. First in units arrived to find a well involved middle of the row townhome.

Box Alarm - Engines 740, 728, 704, 725, 717. Trucks 725 and 703. Rescue 703 and Ambulance 740

Rapid Intervention Dispatch - Tower 718, Rescue 742 and Medic 704

2nd Alarm - Engines 703, 721, 723. Trucks 723 and 715 and Medic 708





Monday, October 8, 2012  Around 0300 hours on October 8th, Truck 715 and PE715 were alerted to 4805 Odell Rd in the Beltsville area of Prince George's County for the house fire. Units arrived on scene to find a one story, single family home with fire in the basement. The truck crew performed a primary search of the 1st floor and secondary searches of the rest of the structure with all searches negative.





Friday, October 5, 2012  At approximately 1945 hours on October 5th the 1st Battalion units were alerted to 10135 Colesville Rd in Company 16s area for smoke in the building shortly after arrival Battalion Chief 1 (Carrigan) dropped the Rapid Intervention Dispatch (RID) due to heavy smoke in the basement area. Initial units on scene found a challenging fire in lower levels of a strip mall due to the older building being cut up over the years. A Taskforce was later requested bringing in additional manpower on this stubborn, smokey fire.  




Thursday, August 30, 2012  At approximately 2100 hours on August 30th, 1st Battalion units were alerted to Lexington Dr in Company 16's for a working house fire. Initial units arrived on scene to find a bedroom fire on the second floor of the residence.





Friday, July 20, 2012 1757 This evening at around 1757 hrs units were dispatched to 14909 Talking Rock Court in Box 31-13 for reported smoke from a house.  PE731 (Lipp) arrived within minutes of dispatch reporting a working fire.  Units found a working fire in the attic and quickly knocked the fire.  Crews worked for about 2 hours with extensive overhaul and investigating the fire.  DC700 (Graham) had the Command.

Unit Rundown:  1st - PE731 PE708 E753 PE703 PE733 T731 PAT708 RS703 M731 BC703 BC705 DC700  RID - AT703 AT723 RS729 M708B

Story and Photos by Staff Correspondent Tim Knepp





Friday, July 13, 2012 0723  This morning just after shift change units were dispatched to an apartment fire at 14005 Castle Blvd, Box 15-27.  First arriving units were met with heavy fire conditions and multiple rescues.  The fire escalated to 3 alarms and units worked the scene for several hours.  Good work to all involved.  




Friday, June 8, 2012 1516  This afternoon at 1516 units were dispatched to I270 SB just south of Falls Road in the Main Lanes for a garbage truck on fire.  This incident as well as a PIC with entrapment and 2 traumas in the Germantown area at the same time on I270 SB caused significant traffic problems in Montgomery County for the Friday afternoon commute.  




Friday, June 8, 2012 1010 This morning at 1010hrs the direct line at ECC rang from Station 14 advising they had a fire in the basement of the building.  ECC then dropped box 14-17 for the building fire at Station 14 at 19801 Beallsville Road.  It was reported that the furnace in the basement of the building had exploded.  The fire was knocked by the building's sprinkler system and mop up and extensive ventilation was performed by units.  It should be noted that in box alarm in fire houses in Montgomery County the station that is on fire is not due on the box, because they may be incapacitated or need to get the apparatus out of the building.

Unit rundown:  E709 PE722 PE735 PE729 E928 AT735 T731 RS914 W709 W722 EW717 BC705 BC703 SA700





Friday, June 1, 2012  With Major Thunderstorms approaching it may be necessary to use chainsaw in a fashion we are not regularly accustomed to in the fire service. Cutting trees and branches that are under stress or have a load on them is extremely dangerous.


Some information to think about before you even pick up a chainsaw:

A chainsaw with a 20 inch bar running at full speed (about 10,000 rpm) will run a chain at almost 55 mph. That means that in one second 1166 cutters will go past any given point on the bar(72 teeth). So, if you touch your thigh (about 10 inches wide) with a saw at full speed for 3 seconds (reaction time) about 16,000, yes, that’s correct sixteen thousand cutter teeth will go over your leg before you can stop it.


Pre-storm checklist:



Check the safety features of the equipment are functioning properly.

Do a visual inspection of the equipment for any necessary repairs.

Check the air filter.

Start the equipment and make sure it runs properly.

Sharpen or replace the chain on your saw if necessary.

Have extra fuel and oil for equipment.

If you refill the fuel, refill the bar oil, EVERYTIME. General Safety tips

* Never let the chain come in contact with the ground while cutting. This will instantly dull the chain and it will need to be replaced or re sharpened

*Never try to cut with a dull chain, if you smell wood burning from your cut, your done.

*Never allow someone to stand at the opposite end of the bar while cutting. Chain failure will result in the chain coming off the bar at over 70 mph!!!

* Assure the saw's chain is properly tensioned before each use and all fasteners, controls and safety features are functioning properly.


* Make sure the bar and chain are always lubricated to prevent the saw from wearing out or cutting poorly. Never let the oil reservoir run out or it will ruin your chain.


* Start the saw while standing on the ground and always hold the handles securely

* Clear debris and small tree limbs from the saw's chain path, and beware of nails and other metal before cutting.


* Avoid saw "kick back," to prevent a serious chain saw injury. Never let the tip of the bar come in contact with anything. Always reference the operator's manual for proper chainsaw operation.


* Wear protective gear


* Chain saw use is a high-risk activity and requires focus, awareness and patience to avoid injury or further damage. Take your time and take breaks when you feel tired or your muscles are fatigued.


* Eliminate hazardous areas - Use a chain saw to remove branches weakened by the storm but still attached. Examine upper canopies for irregular branches and remove these branches with extreme caution. Bowed or stressed branches can easily snap and cause severe injury. Make sure to cut in a location that will eliminate exposure to unexpected breaking limbs.



* Use common sense - Prevent serious or fatal injuries, never use a chain saw when your balance is compromised. Extreme caution and total concentration should be used while up in a tree or on a roof. Don't risk your safety, we are professional, lets act that way.


Five step plan for working with storm damage.

1.     Are there any power lines twisted in the debris?

2.     Analyze wood before cutting - where will it fall? Is there pressure on the wood that will make it move when cut?

3.     If there is an incline, will debris slide when moved or cut?

4.     Be sure of an escape path if a cut tree or debris moves unexpectedly.

Take regular breaks and rest. Many chainsaw injuries can be traced back to fatigue.


Always read your owner’s manual for your particular saw. If in doubt call an authorized dealer or distributer to clarify any issues before saw use.

Be efficient, be trained and do your best,




Pictures and Story by Staff Correspondent Dan Rothermel







Wednesday, May 30, 2012  Today at 1300 hours units from the 3rd Battalion were dispatched to box 03-12 for one trapped under a light rail car at the METRO SHADY GROVE YARD @ 15903 SOMERVILLE DR. The PT was trapped by his leg for about 1 hour before he was extricated and flown to a local tauma center.

Initial alarm: PE703 T703 AT708 RS703 M708B D3 BC703 RAIL DFRS M708B D3 BC703 RAIL DFRS

Additional Units: AT723, PE723, DFRS, E753, FS03, RS729, RS717




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