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

Prince George's County Fire Department
Patch md co pg fire ems 2.png
Established historically 1742, incorporated 1966
Staffing Combination (Career & Volunteer)
Strength 1,100 volunteer personnel
720 career personnel
80 support personnel[1]
Stations 7 Battalions
Fire chief Lawrence H. Sedgwick, Jr.

The Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department (PGFD) is a hybrid 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]

History

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 1930's, 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.[3]

List of Fire Chiefs

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

Engine 553 in the foreground, Ladder 55 in the background from the Mount Rainier and Cottage City Fire Companies, respectively

Organization

The current Fire Chief is Lawrence A. Sedgwick, Jr. The PGFD also maintains a force of fire investigators who are certified law enforcement officers dedicated to investigating fire crimes and arresting individuals responsible for the acts.

Equipment

The PGFD is a progressive agency with a full compliment of modern fire training, equipment, and vehicles.

References

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