Several volunteer members of the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department received an Emergency Service Award for their actions during the evacuation of the County Fair during a strong summer storm. Prince George’s County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor issued the awards and they were presented to the deserving members at a monthly meeting of the Prince George’s County Volunteer Fire/Rescue Association meeting held at the Capital Heights Fire/EMS Department on Wednesday, January 9, 2013. The awards were presented by Deputy Fire Chief Frank Underwood.
The letter that accompanies the award states:
You are hereby awarded for your role in the evacuation and mass casualty incident at the Prince George’s County Fair, September 8, 2012. Event organizers at the Fair ordered an evacuation of the fairgrounds as strong storms were approaching the Upper Marlboro area. At about 4:30 pm, Saturday, September 8, estimated crowds of 400 to 500 patrons were heeding orders to evacuate the infield area of the Equestrian Center and to make their way to the nearby Showplace Arena for shelter. The crowd started to converge to the one exit closest to the Showplace Arena. Congestion at the exit of the infield and the entrance to the arena occurred causing some people to panic. In the rush to exit, some people fell to the ground and sustained injuries as the crowd continued to push through the exit and into the arena.
As the evacuation was still in progress, the storm was now starting to enter the area bringing heavy rains and high winds further complicating the evacuation. Several volunteer firefighters were at the fair and immediately went to aid the injured. As they surveyed the crowds looking for anyone injured, the number of people claiming injury grew to about 12 and additional emergency medical resources were summoned to the scene. Firefighters moved the injured people into an empty hallway and initiated a triage process whereas the injuries were categorized with the most serious being treated and transported first. A Mass Casualty Incident was declared and several ambulances, paramedics units, Medical Ambulance Bus and incident commanders responded to the scene. There were about 25 personnel on the scene that had all patients triaged, treated and transported within 20 minutes of the storms arrival.
Of the 12 patrons treated on the scene, 4 required transportation to the hospital by medics. A young girl experienced an asthma attack and three others sustained bumps/bruises and sprains/strains. All injuries were non-life threatening and all patients were in good condition. The remaining 8 patients declined transportation to the hospital.
Your role during this incident helped to calm the crowd, identify the injured and provide treatment. Your actions are commendable and held in the highest tradition of the fire service. Congratulations on receiving an Emergency Services Award. Keep up the good work.
Member’s receiving an Emergency Service Award are:
Volunteer Chaplain Elaine Huttenloch, PGCVFRA Ladies Auxiliary
Volunteer Fire Fighter Robert Russell, Capital Heights Volunteer Fire Department
Volunteer Chief James Busi, Marlboro Volunteer Fire Department, Inc.
Volunteer Assistant Chief Timmy Clark, Marlboro Volunteer Fire Department, Inc.
Volunteer Lieutenant Chris Hunter, Marlboro Volunteer Fire Department, Inc.
Volunteer Fire Fighter Glen Walton, Marlboro Volunteer Fire Department, Inc.
Volunteer Fire Fighter Yates Clagget, Marlboro Volunteer Fire Department, Inc.
Volunteer Fire Fighter A. Harper, Marlboro Volunteer Fire Department, Inc.
Volunteer Fire Fighter Sara Russell, Accokeek Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad
Volunteer Fire Fighter Donnie Busi, Accokeek Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad
Volunteer Fire Fighter Brian Clements, Volunteer Fire Department of Brandywine, Inc.
Volunteer Sergeant Matt Stewart, Volunteer Fire Department of Brandywine, Inc.
Volunteer EMS Captain Deborah King, Bunker Hill Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association, Inc.
Volunteer EMS Lieutenant William Broadus, Bunker Hill Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association, Inc.
Volunteer Fire Fighter Steven King, Bunker Hill Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association, Inc.
Volunteer Probationary Fire Fighter Anthony King Jr., Bunker Hill Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association, Inc.