BHVFD Handles Damaging Storm
On Tuesday, July 12th, 2022, at around 6pm, the Town of Berwyn Heights, College Park, Greenbelt, Lanham, and surrounding communities were hit with a sudden and devastating storm with heavy rains and strong winds clocking near 90MPH, equivalent to that of a low-end EF1 tornado. The storm brought down dozens of large trees, power lines, and many houses were hit with trees. Within minutes afterward, the Prince George’s County 911 center received hundreds of 911 calls from the area that overwhelmed available Fire/EMS units.
BHVFD volunteers staffing Rescue Squad 14 and Ambulance 14B were the first units out, with additional volunteers quickly responding to the station to staff Ladder Truck 14, Utility 14, and several chief SUVs and begin heading out to handle the dozens and dozens of calls in the Town of Berwyn Heights and surrounding areas.
About 30mins after the storm, Prince George’s County Fire/EMS requested a large-scale mutual-aid response into the area, including a collapse rescue team from Washington DC Fire/EMS and additional fire units from Montgomery County. The Berwyn Heights VFD Station was quickly set up as the County Fire/EMS command post and resource staging area.
Units spent the evening and following day responding to over 360 calls for service in the area ranging from trees into structures, wires down, gas leaks, vehicle accidents, and reported structure fires. Berwyn Heights Public Works crews and police worked for several days on the cleanup effort. BHVFD volunteers were kept busy over the next few days handling the higher-than-normal call volume and investigating wires down, all while the station was without power.