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Kentland VFD featured in The Washington Post. PGFD’s 33 on Christmas Day.

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In Prince George’s County, Maryland, Kentland VFD got some nice press when The Washington Post decided to ride-along. Reporter Michelle Boorstein and photographer Bill O’Leary take a look at life on Christmas Day at the all volunteer Company 33. Here’s an excerpt:

For a certain kind of firefighter, Kentland is legendary. It has a reputation for being tight, efficient and busy — particularly for an all-volunteer outfit. Its Web site gets 60,000 hits a day, and buffs follow its two Twitter accounts and Facebook page, which include routine updates and such goodies as the photo of a cranky, slightly drunk Santa who was extricated from a flipped taxi on the side of the Capital Beltway last weekend.

Seemingly every other inch of the firehouse is decorated with mementos, like plaques and ­T-shirts with such macho slogans as “We finish what others can’t” and “Go tough or go home” — or photos of memorable blazes. The firefighters, too, are decorated, with tattoos of “Kentland” common among those who have been around long enough to earn them.

The district Kentland serves includes rough areas and many needy families. On Tuesday, in between calls for a car that swerved into a highway embankment and smoke in an apartment building, a Kentland engine headed to a small complex with a sack of toys.

The driver, Michael Freeman, a 37-year-old D.C. firefighter, wore an elf hat. Patelis wore a New York Giants Santa hat. A mother, at first afraid to answer the knock on her window, silently cried as four burly men presented her 3-year-old son with trucks and puzzles.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • 8truck

    Boys doin good.

  • Scooter

    Keep up the good work 33 and of course … Strike Da Box! K

  • scba272

    The gang truly reflects a sprite we can all strive too achieve, an i am sure countless others performed this task all over our country, FF are truly Gods heroes.

  • Just Sayin’

    Yes indeed, a JOB WELL DONE to all the FDs who performed this task to brighten
    the Christmas for folks. We had half a dozen FDs in our region doing this
    with only one getting any press coverage. Which, of course, did not matter to them.

    As far as FFs being the heroes of the gods, I have my doubts.
    Since this is a fire service blog, I assume by “gods” you
    mean NYFD, DCFD,CFD, ad nauseam.

    No, with their myopic mas macho worldview, I suspect THEY are their heroes.
    In their minds and culture, THEY are the Varsity.
    Smaller FDs filled with vollies are surely out of the running
    for any consideration of acknowledgement.

    But to all the Junior Varsity FDs filled with both professional vollies and career FFs
    I send a JOB WELL DONE and wish for all a Blessed and Happy New Year.!!!

    Stay Safe and Work Smart in 2013

    • Brian McAllister

      Obviously you feel slighted for not getting some type of news coverage for giving a gift to a needy family. Congrats for doing something nice Just Sayin’. There’s your pat on the back…..happy now? You should not need the attention, but if its what you seek than there you got it.

      As far as 33, I still say good job, and thanks for your service.

      Ps. It’s FDNY not NYFD jerkoff. If you’re going to talk trash on 3 great departments because your panties were in a bunch at least get the names right.

      • JustSayin’


        I think it was Fire21 who not too long ago posted,
        “ … we’re all offering opinions here, and everyone has one.
        Being offended is the reaction of the reader, not the responsibility of the writer.”

        I sometimes offer an opinion that contains a needle of truth
        which will which will burst a BS Balloon.
        This will often cause the immature to howl because they’re now covered in their BS.

        Some might call this “trolling” because it does not kowtow to the party line of tradition held by the majority. Others might agree but wish to hide in the shadows to avoid the tantrums and rants so dramatically provided by boorish children.

        Men of character and courage often see nuggets of truth as a clarion call
        to move away from that which is childish and towards further professional maturity.

        And of course that which might increase blog traffic can’t be all bad…

        • dave statter

          By the way and for the record, I don’t call you a troll because you don’t tow the party line.

  • Jimmy

    Was Ricky Riley there?

  • BrksR4Puzzs

    BMac, that was funny. But, wasn’t even worth your time I know?

    Great job 33! Some people are just “HATERS” (like “just sayin'”)!

  • Warren

    Unfortunately, “just sayin” perceives him/herself as a witty and educated commentator, but the comments come off as sour agitating, just saying as a nonff observer.

    • JustSayin’

      Hey W.

      I, like Dave, appreciate your insights from the bleachers.

      Not to mention that “blog traffic” thing.


    I’m sure if you do a Google search with these key words…fireman, christmas presents, needy and families… pretty sure you’ll find several articles of kindness by Public Safety workers and regular people just trying to make someone’s holiday a bit brighter…..Just because you can’t finish what they can…don’t be disgruntled towards the DCFD’s farm club…ha <<<<just joking…don't attack me with your keyboard…

  • Balsliquem

    Kentland has dealt with more than its fair share of negative news stories. Some of those stories were self inflicted and some were sensationalized by the media. So, this story says a lot about how far 33 has come and how the the media isn’t always out to get you. Well deserved pats on the back for the both of them.