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Police and Fire News

Baltimore County Police and Fire News

Official News Blog of Baltimore County police, fire, homeland security and emergency management. Call 911 to report crimes in progress and emergencies.
Keyword: fire

On Sunday, November 2, Baltimore County first responders will be conducting emergency preparedness training exercises at Sudbrook Magnet Middle School, located at 4300 Bedford Road, 21208. The training exercises will be held from 7 a.m. to noon.

Personnel from the Baltimore County Public School system, Baltimore County Police Department and Baltimore County Fire Department will be participating in the exercises.

Motorists are advised to avoid the area if possible.

Nearly three months ago, 16-year-old Elise Fellner of Forest Hill was trying out for volleyball at a school in Kingsville when she collapsed from sudden cardiac arrest. Her coach and the athletic director immediately began CPR; BCoFD EMS crews followed up with defibrillation using an automatic external defibrillator. Elise has recovered fully.

Today, Elise and her family joined Baltimore County Fire, EMS and elected officials at the Parkville Fire Station to raise awareness of the dangers of sudden cardiac arrest and the importance of immediate use of cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation in giving victims a chance at survival.

“It’s incredibly rewarding and moving to see people who are here today because someone cared enough to learn how to provide CPR and use an AED,” said County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

Other local survivors of cardiac arrest also shared their stories at today’s event: Richard Beverage, 61, of Parkville; Chris Malczewski, 32, of Parkville; Bob Pollack, 53, of Middle River; Ann January, 44, of Parkville; and Kim Barranco, 48, of Towson.

“Hands Only CPR”

Today’s event was an opportunity to promote BCoFD’s “hands only” CPR program, “Lend a Hand, Save a Life.”

Hands-Only CPR is CPR without mouth-to-mouth breaths. It consists of two easy steps:

1. Call 911.
2. Push hard and fast in the center of the chest.

BCoFD’s online resource,, provides guidelines and training opportunities around the county.

The use of CPR and AEDs is absolutely essential to preventing deaths from sudden cardiac arrest – the leading cause of death in the U.S. Each year, 350,000 Americans succumb to this condition.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) consists of rescue breathing and chest compressions delivered to cardiac arrest victims. When cardiac arrest occurs, the heart stops pumping blood. CPR can support a small amount of blood flow to the heart and brain to buy time until normal heart function is restored.

Defibrillation sends an electrical current through an erratic heart to restore the normal heart rhythm. The sooner a sudden cardiac arrest patient is defibrillated, the greater the chances of survival.

Local Resources

The Baltimore County Fire-Rescue Academy offers monthly CPR classes, open to the public; a brochure with the 2014 schedule is available at In addition, many volunteer fire companies offer CPR training, as does the American Heart Association,

Today, the Baltimore County Fire Department unveiled $6.8 million worth of new medic equipment, consisting of 21 units.

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Fire Chief John Hohman officially placed the new equipment in service at a press event held at the Woodlawn Fire Station.

Also unveiled were $544,000 worth of Suburbans, for use by field EMS supervisors, division chiefs and battalion chiefs.

The new medic units and Suburbans replace older models and will be assigned to career fire stations. The older models will become part of the reserve fleet.

The medics are in service right now at the following stations: Chase, Brooklandville, Pikesville, Woodlawn, Essex, Towson and Fullerton. Additional medics will be placed at the following stations: Parkville, Edgemere, Texas, Parkville, Garrison, Halethorpe, Catonsville, Dundalk, Hillendale, Golden Ring, Randallstown, Eastview, Middle River and Back River Neck.

Medical calls account for the overwhelming majority of calls handled by the Baltimore County Fire Department. In 2013, the department responded to 118,830 incidents, of which 92,550 were EMS calls.

About the medic units

The medic units are 2014 ambulances manufactured by PL Custom with a Freightliner chassis. The new units are designed with a focus on provider and patient safety and comfort. A Baltimore County Fire Department committee participated in the design process.

Noteworthy features:

  • Stryker power stretcher and power load system. The system has a 700-pound capacity and is designed to increase patient safety when loading and unloading. The new system also is designed to prevent provider injuries.
  • Ferno power stair chair with a 500-pound capacity gives providers greater ability to ascend and descend steps. The stair chair can brake on the steps and is designed to increase provider safety.
  • Increased wheel base and specialized braking system provide a safer and more comfortable ride for the patient and the provider.
  • Safety lighting has been improved. Exterior cabinet doors, when open, include a flashing amber safety light.

About the Suburbans

These sport utility vehicles are used by field EMS supervisors, division chiefs and battalion chiefs. The weight of the vehicles has been reduced from ¾ of a ton to ½ ton, making them more fuel efficient than previous models.

The below photo from Michael Schwartzberg is one of the new medic units.

Photo of new medic unit credit of Michael Schwartzberg.
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