Eight HVFD Volunteers Recognized with 2016 Maryland EMS Star of Life

Eight members of the Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department along with 11 other area responders were recognized in Annapolis Wednesday with the 2016 Maryland Star of Life for their actions on November’s tragic mass casualty accident on Chillum Road.

Each year the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) recognizes individuals and programs for their efforts in assisting in Maryland’s EMS system.

The members receiving the award were staffing the first arriving units on the scene of the horrific crash.

Rescue Squad 801

  • Capt. Jeff Kraus
  • Lt. Ryan Pidgeon
  • Sgt. Tim Keiling
  • Firefighter/EMT Patrick Williams
  • Firefighter/EMT Nathan Zeck
  • Firefighter/EMT John Tull

Ambulance 801

  • EMS Sgt. Ian Kolmaister
  • Firefighter/EMT Christine Szarko

Incident Command Staff

  • Chief William Corrigan, Incident Commander (College Park)
  • Lt. Josh Reedy, EMS Duty Officer (PGFD)

Paramedic Engine 844 (Chillum)

  • Lt Michael Hayter
  • Firefighter/Paramedic James Harris
  • Firefighter/Paramedic Joseph Gegor

EMS Units

  • Firefighter Matthew Lockwood, Ambulance 834 – Chillum-Adelphi
  • EMT Ini Oyeleye, Ambulance 834 – Chillum-Adelphi
  • Firefighter Ryan Crowell, Ambulance 812 – College Park
  • Firefighter George Thomas, Ambulance 812 – College Park
  • Firefighter/Paramedic Jason Rush, Medic 812 – College Park
  • Firefighter/Paramedic Hayward Kelly, Medic 812 – College Park

Program Overview

On November 8, 2015, a devastating car crash in Hyattsville injured 11 and claimed 5 lives. At about 5:00 p.m., 9-1-1 dispatchers received a call for a vehicle engulfed in flames with its occupants trapped. Upon arrival, responders encountered a two-vehicle crash between a truck and a passenger van with multiple occupants — many of who were still trapped in the burning vehicle. Responders risked their own lives and safety to quickly extinguish the flames emanating from the crash and to treat the comfort the victims. The number of victims injured and the extent of their injuries were staggering, and would heavily tax the first responders from the Prince George’s County Fire Department. However, the bravery and selflessness demonstrated by the responders on-scene undoubtedly saved many lives, including several children, that day.

Photos via Mark Brady, PGFD PIO