News by Professionals 4 Professionals

Security officer aided choking coworker during winter weekend trapped in St. Mary’s building

The blizzard of 2016 in St. Mary s, unrivaled at the halfway point of this winter season, forced many people to shelter in place during the fourth weekend in January, including a crew who didn t make it home on that Friday evening from the Carter state office building in Leonardtown. Amid the camaraderie of the five workers trapped there, getting by on sandwiches and other slim provisions, Jeffrey Winters suddenly found himself called upon to put into play the lifesaving skills he d received as a contracted security officer. On that Saturday morning, they were gathered in a small office in the building s basement.

We were eating lunch, Winters recalled last week, when he noticed that Neil Fischer, a supervisor with the state s department of general services, was in trouble.

I believe he ate too fast. I saw him turn red, that was a sign of him choking, Winters said. When a person stands up, I know they re serious. I was right on it.

Winters immediately got behind Fischer and pulled up on his abdomen, performing the Heimlich maneuver that dislodged the stuck food.

Practice makes perfect. And I m trained to do it, according to Winters, who is employed by KR Contracting in Hagerstown. It s part of the job, he said. Fischer said this week, I m very grateful he was here. Winters didn t make it home to Bryans Road until Sunday night, the day he turned 30. I got stuck [at work] in the snow on my birthday, my birthday weekend, he said, but it did give him an opportunity to provide a gift, that of life.

I couldn t have a person die in the snow, he said.

County warns of bitter cold weekend

St. Mary s officials reported this week that the coldest air of the season is expected to arrive this weekend, late Saturday into Sunday, with bitterly cold wind chills of 10 to 20 degrees below zero. The Department of Emergency Services and Technology reminds county residents to prepare for the unseasonably cold weather, in part by checking on elderly friends, family members and neighbors. Bring pets and plants indoors. Dress in multiple layers if going outside, and watch for signs of frostbite, which could include loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes and the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately.

Watch for signs of hypothermia. They include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. If symptoms of hypothermia are detected, get the victim to a warm location, remove wet clothing, warm the center of the body first and provide warm, non-alcoholic beverages if the victim is conscious. Get medical help as soon as possible. If a home s pipes freeze, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers, and wrap the pipes in rags. Completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they were most exposed to the cold, or where the cold was most likely to penetrate. Maintain ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid a buildup of toxic fumes. Refuel kerosene heaters outside, and keep them at least three feet from flammable objects. Check smoke and carbon dioxide detectors. Enjoy steak, shrimp and fish Feb. 19

American Legion Post 221, located at 21690 Colton Point Road (Route 242) in Avenue, will host a steak, shrimp and fish dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 19. The monthly dinner offers an opportunity to get out and meet people in the community. There are several menu items for the adults and children to enjoy, at a reasonable price. The menu can be viewed online at[1]). For more information, call 301-884-4071, or go online to[2].

Town hall series to begin this month

The Tobacco Free Living Action Team of the Healthy St. Mary s Partnership is conducting a pair of Town Hall discussion events, initially focusing Tuesday, Feb. 23, on underage tobacco use and on Thursday, April 21, on the use of e-cigarettes. Both Town Hall conversations will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Lexington Park library, located on South Shangri-La Drive. The Healthy St. Mary s Partnership, a community-driven coalition of partners working to address health issues in St. Mary s, reports that although selling tobacco to youth under the age of 18 is illegal, nine out of 10 smokers start smoking by the age of 18. According to data collected through the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 19 percent of St. Mary s County high school students use tobacco, which is higher than state and national averages. Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the United States.

The two-part community conversation will discuss the harms and effects of underage tobacco use, information on state and local regulations, myths and facts surrounding e-cigarettes, and strategies to reduce tobacco use among youth. William Tilburg, deputy director of the Legal Resource Center for Public Health Policy based at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, will provide a presentation at the first event, on Feb. 23. For more information about the two events, call 301-475-4391, or go online to[3]. Trio to perform Feb. 26 in Chaptico

The Southern Maryland Traditional Music and Dance HomeSpun Coffee House will present a concert featuring the Steve Gellman Trio on Friday, Feb. 26, at Christ Episcopal Church s parish hall, located at 37497 Zach Fowler Road in Chaptico.

The Steve Gellman Trio, featured online at the website[4], includes Gellman on voice and guitar; Doug Pioplinon on cello; and Margaret Wolfe on vocals, harmonica and percussion. With seven albums spanning more than 20 years, Gellman s music has been lauded by Billboard Magazine as intensely sensitive and impressively intelligent at the same time and essential for fans of sensitive acoustic music. Gellman has performed at folk clubs across the country including the Birchmere in Alexandria, Va., the Ark in Ann Arbor, Mich., the Blue Bird Caf in Nashville, the Tin Angel in Philadelphia and Club Passim in Boston. He has been an opening act for Dar Williams, Cheryl Wheeler, Richie Havens and Richard Shindell. The doors for the show in Chaptico will open at 7 p.m., and the music will start at 7:30 p.m. Refreshments will be available. For more information and directions, go online[5].

Soil conservation nominations due

Nominations for an appointment to the St. Mary s Soil Conservation District Board of Supervisors are being accepted by the Maryland State Soil Conservation Committee, for a five-year term that will expire in March of 2021.

A supervisor must be a resident of the district, and district boundaries are the same as county boundaries. Anyone recommended for the post should be able to attend monthly meetings of the Board of Supervisors, and have knowledge of and a sincere interest in proper land use and the conservation of soil, water and related resources.

Any interested individual or organization may submit a recommendation. Nomination forms are available online at, by clicking conservation and then committees. Forms also may be picked up at the St. Mary s Soil Conservation District Office, at 26737 Radio Station Way, Suite B, in Leonardtown. All nominations should be received by March 1 and should be sent to: State Soil Conservation Committee, Department of Agriculture, Attn: Louise Lawrence, 50 Harry S. Truman Parkway, Annapolis, MD 21401.[6]

For more information, call 301-475-8402, ext. 3. Deadline extended to today for nominating women

The deadline for the St. Mary s 2016 Woman of the Year and 2016 Tomorrow s Woman awards nominations has been extended to today, Friday, Feb. 12, for the upcoming Commission for Women s annual Women s History Month Banquet. The March 16 event will be held at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center, located at 44219 Airport Road in California.

The Woman of the Year award acknowledges exemplary community service, while the Tomorrow s Woman award recognizes a high school-aged, young woman for exemplary community service. Nominations can be submitted for either award, or both, by going online to[7], by sending email to

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