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PGFD report into 2009 fire that critically burned Firefighter/Paramedic Daniel McGown now made public. Read the entire report.


Jim Davis has written us an email insisting we tell you the above video, from a video player, that he sold to 9NEWSNOW/, was shot by him.  

Read entire 103 page report 

Earlier coverage from here, here, here, here and here.

The Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department has publicly released its Safety and Investigative Team (SIT) report from the fire that critically injured Firefighter/Paramedic Daniel McGown. Two other firefighters were hurt in the April 8, 2009 fire at 87 Herrington Drive. PGFD Spokesman Mark Brady says that SIT completed its investigation in December 2009, but until now it had not been made public.       

According to Brady, the following issues were identified:       

  • Failure to establish an initial water supply
  • Incomplete size-up reports
  • Improper tactics
  • Lack of company-level supervision
  • Lack of effective crew integrity
  • Inadequate communication on the fire ground
  • Failure to provide adequate ventilation
  • Lack of training and experience in fire fighter survival skills

Here’s more from the PGFD press release:       

From the findings of the investigation, the SIT developed a total of nine (9) recommendations. Five (5) of these recommendations were identified as “primary recommendations” as they relate directly to actions, inactions, or factors that contributed in a direct way to the resulting injuries. The remaining four (4) recommendations were identified as “ancillary recommendations” because they were discovered in the course of the investigation and identified as issues, but did not contribute directly to the resulting injuries.
Prince George’s County Acting Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor commented on the public release of this document by saying, “In the interest of communicating the lessons learned to prevent occurrences of a similar nature, I am officially releasing this report. Lessons learned by our department can be of value to others in preventing injury and death to firefighters across the country.”  He concluded by saying, “I would like to thank the team that compiled this report.  One of our most challenging tasks as an organization is to pause and conduct a through and honest critique of ourselves in an incident such as this.”

Andrew Pantelis, President of the Prince George’s County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics Association, IAFF Local 1619, stated, “The intent of such reports are not to cast blame or second guess split second decisions that are made on the fire ground but rather to provide a tool for members to use to apply in training and future incidents.”        

Comments - Add Yours

  • John Mitchell

    “The intent of such reports are not to cast blame or second guess split second decisions that are made on the fire ground but rather to provide a tool for members to use to apply in training and future incidents.”……

    I would agree, but also add

    …… so that they would make the better decisions necessary on the fireground.

    Why are we (the US fire service) still making the same mistakes? Because we aren’t transferring what we learn to what we do.

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  • Anonymous

    Dear Chief Bashoor-

    Now that you published a report the only question that remains is; what changes now? I am betting my next paycheck that the answer is nothing. When it happens again, and it will, should the people involved be held “blameless?” Good Luck, frankly I believe you were better off in W. Va.

  • southsidetruck

    Inadequate Ventilation!
    They bust our balls for cutting holes in roofs with smoke and fire visible…….wow!

    • SouthsideEngine

      Incident Commanders bust the balls of certain volunteer truck companies because while most of their responsibilities (i.e. Placing Ground ladders, Controling Utilities, Primary Search!)are still waiting to be done, every member of the truck company is climbing over the top of each other trying get to the roof. There is a such thing as horizontal ventilation, and it does work. Before you’re so concerned with getting your picture taken on the roof, learn how to properly clear a window, and when to do it. I have seen certain volunteer companies on the Southside, who have no business having a truck, cutting an 8X8 in the roof of a single family home, after a kitchen fire that was out before they even arrived. Instead of trying to mimic every “big city” firefighter they drool over on youtube, why not learn why they are doing what they do.

      There were screw ups on both sides of the fence at this fire. Thankfully some quick thinking saved the life of one of our members. Unfortunately, If things don’t change in this department, It WILL HAPPEN AGAIN, only next time we may not be so lucky.

  • mike

    It is a very thorough and detailed report but if you look at the other reports that were mentioned of past incidents, it is basically the same thing repeating itself. At what point does somebody stand up and say “enough is enough”? My hat is off to the investigative team, but unless the department is ready to buck up and realize there needs to be change in holding people accountable whether they are career or volunteer officers and devoting more time and funding to train the personnel.

  • Devon Totnes

    The response route for the first Engine Co. is still a quandry with me. Going 2.2 miles vs 0.8 miles just to avoid three speed bumps out of a total of five seems a bit a bit excessive. From what I’ve seen in other reports and video, this was probably an lame excuse by young eager bucks who like screaming through the neighborhood with the Q wound out and airhorns ‘a blastin’. Is ther an “in cab” video of the response,because 6 minutes makes for better watchin’ than 2 minutes now doesn’t it.

  • Sick of the BS

    Yes. Im sure thats it. They drove through neighborhoods so people sittin in their houses could hear their airhorns and sirens. Maybe if they looked out their window, they might, just might see a glimpse of their faces glowing in the red in-cab light. And maybe, just maybe they may have taken a picture at that exact moment. And then, theyll send it to Dave to post on his blog so they can be famous.
    Get a grip.

  • Oh you make me sick

    I’d like to offer a brief synopsis of the previous posts and of future posts to be made.

    “Bash, Slam, Bash, Cheap shot, left field, arrogance, stupidity, nonsense, mean, and idiotic”

    Oh Great Gods of Fire, continue to spew your wisdom for the rest of our entertainment.

    Quick children, carry on, its soon beddie bye time.

  • Anonymous

    @devon. career driver and Lt.(veteran) on this call

  • Anonymous

    Ok enough of the vile words bashing whatever/whomever was on the scene. The Report clearly points out a failure of not the PGFD/SOPS, not the ICS. The breakdown obviously occurred with
    people. The lack of Fireground Communications. The sole individual responsible was the Incident Commander. Giving the benefit of the doubt to everyone, the 700mzh Radio System wasnot in service at that time. The importance of this is, “There are Individual Talk Groups’ This 21st Century upgrade to Public safety does work well. The people assigned to manage an individual Sector/Division is where the primary concerns of the fire ground operations will either be successful or the incident will escalate. In this particular
    Incident a May Day May Dreaded call surfaced during operations.
    The Volunteer Staffing on Engine Company 33 recognized the distress call and went inside to effect the safe extrication of the severely burned Firefighter. The bottom line here is,
    TRAINING, TRAINING,TRAINING, sceduled PGFD Training Academy and MFRI. The everyday In Service Training Evolutions are as equally important/critical. The TAUGHT/LEARNED Basic Body of Knowledge with Practical Evolutions is what it is all about.
    The Terrible result of the young Firefighter getting Burned,
    was and is the overall question that needs to be adhered to
    “ACCOUNTABILITY, ACCOUNTABILITY, by everyone. This young Firefighter fortunately Lived to work another day. PROFESSIONALISM is every Firefighters Responsibility, Job. The National Fallen Firefighter Foundation (NFFF) Safety Measures

    Thank You

  • Rickey Reilly

    Anonymous 11:24

    Thank you for the shameless 33 plug.

    Yes 33 saved that man, BUT it was not the engine, it was the Squad. They did not charge in at the mayday, they were already inside when the pass activated, found him and called the mayday.

    The 700mzh radios STILL are not in service at this time either.

    Excellent job trying to look self important, but you don’t know what is what in this county at this time, and didn’t read the report.

    Better to remain quiet and have people wonder if you are a fool, then to speak and remove all doubt.

  • Anonymous

    The only thing that I don’t understand about this county being from here and growing up in the fire service is the downward turn this department took after Cheif Estepp left…. and after 6 years here as a member the department isn’t improving yes we may have a new radio system coming but this talk has been going on for 2 years too long and now there putting mobiles in the appuratus but were not receiving portables until sometime this summer one of the most vital needs on a fire ground and they can’t provide them…and as for the rest of the report i think it brought to light some very important issues that have plauged this department for far too long as while one being the staffing problems 2 firemen on a wagon or truck isn’t going to serve anyones needs in this county seeing that we run 500 calls a day county wide and finally everyone in this county needs to be accountable for there actions because beating around the bush and trying to be hush hush about things isn’t working and it won’t EVER!!! oh and another thing the training in this county is a joke…training throughout the county has been forgotten, maybe its cause were too busy or were just lazy but it needs to change cause its starting to show in a bad way on fires and having someone that was a paramedic his or her entire career isn’t helping the matter cause there preventing us from doing what were trained to do and thats to save lives and property.

  • Anonymous

    Rickey Reilly, Your comments speak of you as being a sarcastic
    self centered individual. I respect the fact of your experience
    and knowledge. I do not nor did I have any thoughts nor preconceived intent of my comments reflecting self importance.
    I grew up in PG County. I am a Life Time Volunteer member in one the busiest Stations in PG County. I am a Retired Lieutenant with another Local Jurisdiction. Yes I read the Report perhaps not being active in the County today, doesnot always mean I donot know what is what in PG County. As far as my comments about Company 33 and the effect of the Rescue of the Firefighter. Ok it wasn’t Engine Co. 33. I knew it was 33′s personnel. As far as my comments about 33′s crew coming inside. Ok I honestly didnot know if they may have been outside as part of a RIT or just awaiting orders.Direction from the IC. My comments were not based on criticism towards anyone individual. The facts speak for themselves “ACCOUNTABILITY” was lost or over looked in the FireGround Operations. This is unacceptable by any Standards or knowledge of what is what. It almost cost the Life of a young Firefighter. For someone who is and has been a Training
    Professional your smart mouth comments are unwarranted. As far as the new 700mzh I was under the impression that PG County has in place. Hopefully the complete transition with the coming Portables will enhance the overall beliefs and operations.

    Thank You

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  • me

    As far as this incident; The problems start with the lack of supervision by the engine comapny officer. Also a very poor decision making.

    PGFD needs to implement a training program and standard. As much as Kentland runs roughshod sometimes, they are a well trained company. The horseshoe will fall out and this incident was a perfect example.