At approximately 10:20 am on Saturday, October 5, as BCCRS volunteers were preparing the station for its annual open house, M741, RS741B, and C741 were dispatched to the Middlebrook Apartments (5015 Battery Lane) for an unconscious person to the rear of the address. Upon arrival, Paramedics Jason Gill and Alex Baden found an adult male unconscious who had been pulled from the building. After learning from a member of the maintenance staff that the patient was found unconscious after working on the building’s generator, BCCRS members suspected a possible carbon monoxide incident and the squad crew immediately donned breathing apparatus to check the atmosphere within the structure.
Simultaneously, the medic crew treated the first patient and prepared him for transport to a local trauma center. After discovering exceedingly high levels of carbon monoxide within a few feet of the building entrance, BCCRS rescue squad crew members activated the fire alarm to quickly alert the apartment’s residents of the emergency and aid evacuation. The BCCRS chief established command and requested a full hazardous materials assignment, bringing units from surrounding Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS) stations, as well as volunteer stations, including Kensington and Wheaton Rescue.
BCCRS firefighters began a rapid and thorough search of the building, finding and rescuing numerous unconscious victims located on the lower levels of the building. As BCCRS personnel performed each rescue, the victims were carried from the building to be triaged by awaiting EMS crews. Arriving units from the MCFRS hazardous materials assignment met up with the Rescue Squad crew to complete the building wide search, further removing more victims to the exterior.
The initial medic crew assumed the role of triage and began requesting more resources as needed. Victims were categorized by severity of exposure and were treated and transported to local trauma centers by numerous BCCRS and MCFRS units and the Maryland State Police helicopter. The BCCRS station was used as a staging area for those displaced by the incident. In total, fifteen patients were rescued and transported to hospitals. BCCRS units operated on the scene for approximately four hours prior to returning to service. In total, BCCRS sent eight separate units to this incident with more than twenty personnel. All of this, from the initial response to the rescues to the transports to the provision of shelter, were conducted at the same time as BCCRS’ annual open house – a testament to the organization’s ability to provide exceptional and unparalleled service to the community.
Units and Personnel:
Chief – Chief Edward Sherburne (Incident Command)
Assistant Chief – Chief Rich Fleischer
Medic 741: Dr – Paramedic Alex Baden PMIC – Paramedic Jason Gill
Rescue Squad 741B: Dr – MFF Keith Stakes OIC – Lt. Aaron Webster Axe – FFII Brian Starin Hook – FFIII Robert Dinkelspeil Bar – Capt. Joseph Kurry
Ambulance 741C: Dr – Dean Ho Aid – Jonathan Chu 3rd – Emily Ferraro
Ambulance 741D: Dr – Rachel Singley Aid – Ann Golightly
Medic 741D: Dr – Barbara Bryniarski PMIC – Paramedic James Hamilton 3rd – Ashley Sabet
Ambulance 726: Dr – Nate Hollis Aid – Chris Libeau 3rd – Christian Heneghan
Ambulance 741F: Dr – Michael Simpson Aid – Lauren Rarick
Triage: Alex Baden (Initial Officer), Rita Theodoridis, Rachel Singley, Ann Golightly, Emily Ferraro, Wilder Leavitt (Final Officer)