Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Hodge Podge of Stuff to Share

  1. Congratulations to Fire Specialist J.J. (Janpalach) Gonzalez (Eng20/C). This Friday, September 24, he is being sworn in as a U.S. citizen at the Joe C. Thompson center on the UT Campus. The ceremony time is 2:00 p.m. for anyone who'd like to go and support him.
  2. Chief Kerr was invited to address the UT football team after practice last week and presented Coach Brown with an AFD Challenge Coin (see photos below)!

3. In case you haven't heard, the Public Safety Hockey Benefit game on September 11--which benefited FF Brien Brown's (Eng20/A) son--was a huge success! Almost $8,000 was raised so hats off to all of you who gave and supported this family in their time of need.

4. Engine 8/C was recently called to the cardiac cath lab at NAMC to use their Lucas device on a patient there. Dr. Hinchey sent the following note to Chief of Staff Harry Evans recognizing the crew and their efforts:

"I explained to the crew that they had taken part in a very significant 1st step for the system. As far as I know this was the first attempt in Austin to use the device. I am hoping this paves the way to increased use in the future. I told the crew that to my knowledge the use of a Lucas device during cardiac catheterization had only been reported 20-40 times in the world. As it turns out this may have been erroneous. I was looking up some literature to send the cardiologist (to keep him enthusiastic about it) and I came across some articles that indicated a study published in June that had 43 patients in it. This proves you can't look away from the literature for a minute without something changing...If you speak with the crew please send them my thanks again. They were part of what I hope will be an historic moment for the system, even if it has been done more times than I told them."

5. Todd Bircher, a member of the Austin Police Department's Pipe and Drum Corps, sent the following note to Chief Kerr in recognition of the efforts of several of our members at a recent funeral. Read on:

"Due to the tragic death of Cedar Park Police Officer Leonard Reed, the Austin Police Pipe and Drum Corps (PDC) was asked to perform at his funeral services held on Wednesday, August 25th. The PDC would have been unable to properly fulfill its role without the participation of three of your firefighters and musicians: Fire Specialist Andre De La Reza, Fire Specialist Don Caldwell, and Firefighter Coitt Kessler. Their dedication to duty, as well as the honor they brought to Officer Reed and the Austin Fire Department, was beyond reproach. We have one chance to provide the proper tribute and reverence befitting our fallen brothers and sisters. Your firefighters ensured those honors will endure in the hearts and minds of Officer Reed’s wife, two sons, family, and friends forever. For that reason, I cannot thank them enough or you for allowing them to assist us in this effort."