Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Two Lifelong Friends and a Story of Heroism and Gratitude

Today the Prince George’s County Police Department extended its most sincere thanks to Seat Pleasant Volunteer EMT Phil Martin for his quick and heroic action in helping to get emergency help to one of our officers.
Deputy Chief Murtha (left) thanks Volunteer EMT Martin (right) for saving POFC. Biddy (center)

In the early morning hours of March 3rd, Police Officer First Class Ricardo Biddy who is also a Seat Pleasant Volunteer EMT was leaving his firehouse after his shift in his Prince George’s County police cruiser.  As PFC Biddy pulled up in front of his home which was 15 minutes away, he was on the phone with his friend, Seat Pleasant volunteer EMT Phil Martin.  While idling inside his cruiser which was parked in front of his home, Officer Biddy’s speech suddenly became slurred and incoherent and then the call disconnected.      
EMT Martin, knowing something could be horribly wrong, immediately called public safety communications who dispatched Police and Fire/EMS.  Martin then jumped in his personal vehicle and traced Officer Biddy’s route home.   Once Martin located the cruiser, he found Biddy unresponsive inside.  Other emergency units soon arrived and rushed Biddy to the hospital where he got the help he needed.  

It was determined that Biddy’s cruiser was leaking carbon monoxide into the car, poisoning the officer.

The Prince George’s County Police Department believes that the carbon monoxide leak in Officer Biddy’s car was isolated to his cruiser alone.  There was repair work performed on the cruiser in January at the dealership which included the replacing the engine’s manifold.  As part of an internal investigation, the department learned Biddy took cruiser to county fleet maintenance after that repair in January and February upon smelling what he thought were exhaust fumes inside his vehicle.  Testing on the vehicle by the county, dealership, and hazmat officials found nothing wrong during those visits. After the medical incident, fleet maintenance workers recreated what Biddy had done on March 3rd and discovered carbon monoxide was leaking into the cabin.  The cruiser was sent back to the dealership which discovered there was a crack in the engine’s manifold.  

 Officer Biddy and Volunteer EMT Martin are lifelong friends having met when they were just 7 years old.     At an interagency press conference today, EMT Martin was given the Prince George’s County Fire Department’s Emergency Service Award for his “quick thinking and immediate action to help save the life of a fellow member and friend.”

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