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Thursday, April 24, 2014 7:55 PM

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More than 50 public safety workers honored at valor awards


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Photo by Jim Davis. Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker and Prince George’s County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor present Fire Lt. Jeff Brushwood the Firefighter of the Year award at the 36th annual Prince George’s County Valor Awards on April 24 at Martin’s Crosswinds in Greenbelt.

Photo by Jim Davis. Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker and Prince George’s County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor present Fire Lt. Jeff Brushwood the Firefighter of the Year award at the 36th annual Prince George’s County Valor Awards on April 24 at Martin’s Crosswinds in Greenbelt.

Published on: Wednesday, May 01, 2013

By Jim Davis

More than 50 Prince George’s County firefighters, police officers, corrections officers, sheriff’s deputies and emergency dispatchers received medals of valor Wednesday, April 24, at the 36th annual Prince George’s County Valor Awards held at Martin’s Crosswinds in Greenbelt.

Some stories that were told by emcees Lesli Foster and Derek McGinty, both from WUSA9, on how individuals received valor awards where “unbelievable,” McGinty said.

In one such story, Fire Lt. Michael Morehead, Firefighter Jonathan Sims and Volunteer Firefighter Trey Dalton from Chapel Oaks Volunteer Fire Department responded with other firefighters Aug. 8 to a fire with children trapped inside the burning home in the 6300 block of Carrington Court in Chapel Oaks.

When Morehead, Sims and Dalton arrived on the scene, they encountered heavy fire coming from the first floor of a two-story duplex and two small children were trapped on the second floor.

Photo by Jim Davis. Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker and Prince George’s County Police Chief Mark Magaw present Police Officer Terrence Garrett with the Police Officer of the Year award.

Photo by Jim Davis. Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker and Prince George’s County Police Chief Mark Magaw present Police Officer Terrence Garrett with the Police Officer of the Year award.

Despite heavy fire and smoke conditions, Morehead, Sims and Dalton entered the house to search for the two children. As they were searching for the children and attempting to make an aggressive attack on the fire, their hose line burst — leaving the three firefighters without water.

Unable to locate the two kids and still without water, Morehead and Sims reached the top floor as Dalton went outside to ascend a ladder to a second floor window.

As the fire threatened to extend to the top floor, Morehead and Sims searched for the two children. Within a few minutes, the two firefighters located the two children, who were not breathing and had no pulse.

The two firefighters quickly started CPR on the two children, and, with the help from Dalton, they moved the children outside using a ground ladder that Dalton placed near the window.

The two children were transported to a local hospital, but they succumbed to their injuries.

For their actions that day, Morehead, Sims and Dalton were awarded a Silver Medal of Valor award.

Prince George’s County Police Officer Terrence Garrett received the Gold Medal of Valor as Police Officer of the Year for his actions on April 4, 2012, in Landover.

That evening, Garrett spotted three males acting suspiciously on the grounds of William Paca Elementary School.  As he approached the suspects, they ran away. Garrett chased the suspects and quickly caught one of them. 

As he tried to detain the suspect, the suspect began fighting with him. In an attempt to end the violent struggle, Garrett deployed his Taser to subdue the man, but it failed to incapacitate him. As the violent struggle continued, the suspect reached into his waistband and pulled out a gun. 

Garrett was able to block the suspect’s arm while drawing his own service weapon. The suspect refused to drop his handgun, and Garrett fired his service weapon to end the violent encounter. Garrett put himself in extreme danger and refused to yield to the armed assailant as he fought for his life. 

Fire Lt. Jeff Brushwood received the Firefighter of the Year award for his outstanding skills and ability to lead his crew in rescuing a young man from the Anacostia River.

On Friday, June 1, Brushwood and this crew, along with other firefighters from Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department, were dispatched for three males stranded on the base of a bridge support in the middle of a waterway 100 feet wide.

With the water rising at a fast pace, Brushwood and his crew had to act fast to save the three men. Members of his crew lowered themselves with ropes to rescue the trapped men.

For unusual personal risk, Firefighters Bobby Blevins, Alexander Myers and Glenn Lambert received the Bronze Medal of Valor and Firefighter Joseph Ford received the Gold Medal of Valor.

“I appreciate the award very much, but it was a crew effort,” Brushwood said in an interview. “The crew got recognized, which I  appreciate. I have been on a number of technical rescue calls in my 24 years of service. It only shows you when you get the right (crew) in the right place, it will work out great as it did on this incident.”

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker commended the public safety personnel for their efforts.

“This is to give us an opportunity to salute the men and women who make us safer, who rush into danger,” Baker said. “It’s a small way we in the county say ‘thank you’ for the work they do.”

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