Friday, February 26, 2010

GTC Conference Follow Up

Last week, we told you that AFD would be sharing some of our data analysis tools at the Government/Technology Conference that was in Austin recently. We thought you'd like to see the great summary below from Elizabeth Gray who was on hand at our booth and gave a terrific summary of just how valuable our presence there turned out to be.

Our booth was a success! We showed our QlikView applications to several dozen State agencies, cities, ISDs, and numerous City of Austin employees. Points of interest:

  • "Why is the Fire Department at a technology conference?" Some conference goers were drawn to our booth because they were intrigued by what a Fire Department could contribute in the area of technology.
  • "Wow, you have a lot of customers." The exhibitors at several adjoining booths came over to see what we had, and why it was so popular.
  • "We could really use this." Several municipalities and divisions of state agencies were clearly interested in what we had to offer. One woman said, "This [learning about what AFD has done with QlikView] is worth the whole price of admission to this conference."
  • Several people came back for more in-depth demonstration and discussion.
  • In addition to teaching about QlikView, we also handed out a good deal of fire safety information.
This was a great team effort, and many people contributed to its success:

Booth staffing: Scott Moon, Chas Randal, Lisa Clifton, Eugene Balaguer, Reggie Williams, Kathy Burke, AC Ken Crooks, DC Dawn Clopton, DC Duke Turpin

Pub Ed materials and staffing: Eli Santiago, Tim Lafuente, Bruce Odems

Booth design, technology, setup, and breakdown: Liz Hargrove, Christine Thies, Alec Anzaldua, Ralph Villella, Adrian Rodriquez, Chester Williams, Albert Banda, Michelle DeCrane

Thanks to all for your help. AFD benefits from the positive exposure, and other organizations benefit from knowing about technology that can help solve their problems.

AFD folks in action!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It's a, it's a, it's a snowman...

Yesterday's snowfall in Austin of more than an inch provided the opportunity to make snowmen, something that doesn't happen here very often (and let's remember this in July when it's 105 degrees)! Noted below are a couple of pictures of Station 28's efforts. The third photo was submitted by a reader of Station 21 that found its way to

L to R: Steve Hinojosa, Eric Pederson, Edgar Kneupper, and Jerome Estrada with "snowman/firefighter" Colin Camp at Station 28.

"Snowman/Firefighter" Colin Camp at Station 28.

Station 21 builds their snowman.

City of Austin Awarded Gold Medal Recognition in State Heart & Stroke Healthy Program

The city of Austin has been recognized by the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas Council on Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke with Gold Medal recognition. The Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas Council on Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke coordinate a state-wide recognition program called the “Heart and Stroke Healthy City Program.” The recognition program is an assessment of 10 different community-based policy and environmental change indicators that are vital to reducing the burden of heart disease and stroke. Heart disease is preventable and yet it is the leading cause of death in our city, county, state, and nation.

Multiple organizations in our community collaborate to provide prevention programs, effective response systems and policies, and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. More than 21 organizations participated in the assessment, including the Austin Fire Department, EMS, and hospitals to Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services, Sustainable Food Center, and Austin Parks and Recreation, to name a few. The indicators assessed include the following topic areas:
  • Ongoing Public Information Campaigns
  • Physical Activity
  • Access to Healthy Food
  • Healthy Schools and Healthy Worksites
  • Comprehensive Tobacco Control
  • Addressing Disparities
  • CPR and AED Use
  • Cardiac Event Response
  • Stroke Event Response
  • Health Care Quality
We should all feel very proud of our city, and its health care and wellness providers!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

More Kudos to AFD

Thought you'd like to see this note from the next door neighbors of Joseph Stack:

"We live at 1821 Dapplegrey Lane, directly next door the Joe Stack's house. By the time my fiance, Adam and I received word that our neighbor's house was on fire, your team was on the scene. After discovering that our dogs were safe, we stood on our front lawn and watched your team fight diligently to save our home. Amazing does not fairly describe the work they did.

"Since putting out the fire, your team has been so incredibly nice and responsive to our questions and needs. Not only are they a well-trained team, they are great people.

"I write this e-mail sitting on my couch, in my home, with my dogs by my side. My home that sustained only minimal damage because of the hard work of your team. Words cannot express how thankful we are that your team responded so quickly and effectively.

"We are forever grateful to the men and women of the Austin Fire Department."

All the best,

Melissa Peters and Adam Auchter

Friday, February 19, 2010

Kudos to the Austin Fire Department

If you'd like to see some of the kudos we've received regarding our handling of yesterday's incident, click here:

They are worth sharing. Outstanding job everyone!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fire Chief's One Year Anniversary

CityView, the City of Austin's new magazine-style news show, interviewed Chief Kerr earlier this month about her first year on the job and her goals for 2010. If you'd like to watch it yourself, you can do so by clicking here:

AFD at Government/Technology Conference

The annual technology conference for state and local government is being held February 17-18 at the Austin Convention Center. Various AFD members, including Chiefs Crooks, Clopton, and Turpin, will present our use of technology tools as they relate to data management. Other AFD business managers will be there as well, including HR, Warehouse, Business Technology, and Finance. Specifically, we will be showcasing BattView. If you get a chance, go by and check us out!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rip Esselstyn on "Dr. Oz" Show

Last week, our very own Rip Esselstyn appeared on the "Dr. Oz" show to help three Chicago firefighters whip themselves into shape. If you'd like to see it for yourself, click here:

Friday, February 12, 2010

Run Report #2: From the Austin Fire Museum

Check out the latest "Run Report" from the Austin Fire Museum, with information about San Jacinto Night!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Straight Talk from the City Manager

From City Manager Marc Ott:

"I'd like to announce that my office has scheduled a 10 month long series of 'Straight Talk' sessions with me. These are opportunities for me to be able to talk with you on matters that are important to you as you perform your jobs with the City of Austin. We have scheduled four live Webcast sessions and six onsite workplace visits. This year we added the webcasts as a way for me to reach and talk with a greater number of employees.

"The first session will be a live webcast on Friday, February 12 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. You can access the webcast session from the homepage of CitySpace, the City's intranet Web site. The live webcast session will be interactive, allowing you to submit questions or comments directly through the web site. You can also e-mail your questions in advance to 'Straight Talk' in Outlook, or you can call or text your questions to 512.539.0070. You can leave your question as a voicemail, or you can text it to that number.

"The six onsite workplace visits will focus on field employees within numerous departments. I have informed all department directors of these sessions and have asked that they allow all employees the time to view and or attend the sessions.

"I've attached the flyer which has the complete schedule (

"Thank you all for your commitment to the City and I look forward to talking with you."

Friday, February 5, 2010

Controlled Burn Video Footage

If you didn't get a chance to see it yourself, here's a short video of the controlled burn done along south Mopac last week by Austin Water Utility (assisted by AFD). Thanks to Randy Denzer for sending this link along!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Austin Monthly Bachelor Search

If you are a single guy age 25 or over and would like to be considered for Austin Monthly’s annual Bachelors of Austin issue, please send your name, age, occupation, and photo to no later than March 15 for consideration, along with the qualities that you think make you a great catch. If you are chosen, please let Michelle DeCrane, our PIO, know ASAP. You might remember that our very own Reggie Tait was part of this group a couple of years ago, which led to an appearance in People magazine shortly thereafter (see below)!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Kudos from Austin Police Department

The following came from Sgt. Jason Mutchler with APD's Highway Response Team with regard to Station 30 and Station 23 on the B shift.

"At 6:20a today we had a multi car crash on I35 in about the 9000 block SB. I don't think conditions couldn't have been any worse with the cold downpour and the entire SB lanes of traffic blocked. I want to give a thanks to your troops. They assisted with clearing the roadway by pulling a heavily damaged dually pickup with a 14,000# trailer attached from the left lane of traffic off to the exit lane with their Engine. This allowed us to open up 3 lanes of traffic very quickly and restore some traffic flow. Without their assistance it would have been awhile before we would have been about get the necessary equipment there to move it off the roadway."

Great job everyone!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Two AFD Members Featured on San Antonio TV Station

Firefighter Angel Perez and Firefighter Jeff Deane were recently featured in a piece that aired on San Antonio's KSAT 12 (ABC) re: their roles as water rescue swimmers for Texas Task Force One. You can watch the piece here:

Great showcase of our folks and their special skills!