Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Flu Shot Make Ups

We're holding flu shot make ups for any City of Austin employee or their immediate family member (age 18 years and up) who wants one...for free! They're available on a walk-in basis at the AFD Wellness Center, 517 S. Pleasant Valley now through November 12 (Monday - Friday), 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Get inoculated TODAY!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

AFD FF Presents at Fire & EMS Expo

FF Dave Williams (E31/C) made a presentation, "Fireground Medical Considerations," at the recent Fire & EMS Expo in Dallas that was covered on You can read the full article here:

Photo: Jamie Thompson
Dave Williams discusses responder health and wellness during the session at EMS Expo.

And Dave will be making a similar presentation at the Texas EMS conference in Austin next month that AFD will be sponsoring. You can learn more about that conference here: 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fireground Survival Training

This quarter’s multi-company drill delivered by AFD Education Services is Fireground Survival training, part of a series of FGS training that Ed Services has been delivering to Operations firefighters during the last year. The pictures below are of Central and Statoin 14 (C shift) personnel going through the H.O.T. this past Monday morning, October 18. Firefighters are taught correct techniques to breach through a wall, and two ways to safely maneuver themselves to a clear space into the adjoining room between the wall studs while wearing full PPE (including their airpack). The second part of the drill is how to remove yourself to safety through "snag" obstructions (wires), if necessary, removing the airpack while on air and putting it in a "defensible" space so the firefighter can clear the obstructions. The other major part of the training is proper radio traffic and Emergency ID activation while going through the drill; two training channels were utilized.

Many thanks to Ed Services for this info and to BC Randell Nations for the photos!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Learn How To Handle Electric Vehicle Rescues

Fire, 9-1-1, EMS and law enforcement leaders and trainers are invited to a three-and-a-half-hour, multifaceted training session on how to respond to the Chevrolet Volt in emergency situations. This training is being offered free of charge to all attendees. To register for a session or ask questions about this training event, please e-mail us at or call 248-860-7552 during standard EST business hours.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010
8:00 a.m. registration/light breakfast, 8:30 a.m.—12:00 p.m. training session
12:30 p.m. registration/light lunch, 1:00 p.m.—4:30 p.m. training session
5:00 p.m. registration/light dinner, 5:30 p.m.—9:00 p.m. training session

Thursday, October 28, 2010
8:00 a.m. registration/light breakfast, 8:30 a.m.—12:00 p.m. training session
12:30 p.m. registration/light lunch, 1:00 p.m.—4:30 p.m. training session

Austin Joint Training Facility
4800 B Shaw Lane
Austin, TX 78744

Duty uniform or civilian equivalent.

TLC Casting Call Deadline Extended!

TLC has extended its casting call to all female AFD firefighters through next Friday, October 29. Please see the previous post below for all of the details, including contact information.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Recruiting Recognition

"Chief Kerr: I wanted to take this opportunity to inform you that the recruiting efforts of Suzanne La Follette, working in coordination with the Lone Star Roller Derby, has prompted a request from iWomen, the International Women’s Firefighting Organization, for Suzanne to write an article for their publication. Word has spread quickly throughout the U.S. of AFD networking with the organization in our efforts to obtain exceptional female candidates.

"For every recognition of effort there are many equally as impressive that go unnoticed. However, I thought this was certainly a spotlight deserving of kudos."

Lt. Andrew Reyes

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Vaccinations Kudos

"I want to take a moment to thank AFD for doing a superb job at St. Elmo this morning providing flu vaccinations. I was impressed this year, just as I was last year, at what a great job this team did. Everyone who attended echoed that same appreciation.

"Thanks for taking care of us so quickly, efficiently, and with such great spirit! Everyone was so comfortable with you all that they did just fine with the injections. I guarantee you have saved numerous employees from suffering through a really bad flu episode (whether it’s H1 or normal flu….both are bad).

"My vote is with AFD for any immunizations we have in the future. We had about 118 shots provided in the short time you all were here…bravo!"

Max Eby
Organizational Development & Training Specialist Austin Transportation
Contract & Land Mgmt, and Public Works Departments

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Calling All Female AFD Firefighters

TLC is putting together a new documentary-style show about female firefighters and has chosen the Austin Fire Department as their department of choice! The Executive Team has given their initial approval for the department to participate, so check out all the information below for the casting call and apply if you're interested.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Congratulations Elizabeth Gray!

The City of Austin recently announced the first class of the Executive Academy, the latest in a series of leadership development programs for the organization. The purpose of the Academy is to develop high-potential City employees so they can compete for future executive vacancies. More than 140 people applied to the Academy for the inaugural class and 43 were selected to participate, including our own Elizabeth Gray! The Executive Academy begins this month and runs through May 2011.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

National Night Out

We had a great time during National Night Out (Tuesday, October 5) this year; 36 companies were involved, 257 addresses were on the master list/128 AFD interactions, and we reached approximately 2,400 citizens! Way to go, AFD!

FF Pat Holman, Lt. Ricky Moore, FS Tim Bosma, and FF Mark Saldana (E37/C) enjoy some snacks at a Neighborhood Night Out gathering.

Photo: Ralph Barrera, Austin American-Statesman

Photo: Ralph Barrera, Austin American-Statesman

Everyone say, "I love my neighbors!"

Thursday, October 7, 2010

AFD's Cave Rescue Team Featured in Firehouse Magazine Supplement

First, the good news: AFD's cave rescue team is featured in this month's Advanced Rescue Technology, a supplement to Firehouse magazine! Now, the bad news: for some reason, all of the quotes that should have been atttributed to FS DJ Walker were attributed to our PIO, Michelle DeCrane, instead. (Many thanks to BC Palmer Buck for bringing this to our attention!). FS Walker deserves all the credit, as he worked very closely with the reporter on providing information, as well as photos from his personal collection.

As such, the following e-mail was sent to the publisher of Firehouse and we expect it to run as a "Letter to the Editor" in the next issue. Following that is a link to the story, which other than the incorrect attributions, is an excellent piece about the outstanding work done by our folks on the cave rescue team. Just substitute DJ's name everywhere you see Michelle's!

"I just finished reading your piece in the Advanced Rescue supplement of last month’s issue of Firehouse. First, let me say again how much we appreciate the opportunity to work with you on this story; it shows AFD in a great light.

"However, I was quite disturbed to see the quotes in your article attributed to me; all I did was get DJ involved, who is the real expert. It was his answers to your questions so it should have been his name attributed to the quotes. He is, understandably, quite upset. I would respectfully request that you issue a correction both in the next print issue and online immediately clarifying this. DJ was very excited about the opportunity to highlight the great work AFD does in this area in a national publication and he, as well as I and the Fire Chief, are very disappointed.

"Additionally, the pictures should not have been attributed to the Austin Fire Department, but to DJ Walker from AFD; as you know, he provided these pictures to you from his personal collection and again, he should have been recognized for that.

"I fully expect that you will do what’s right to rectify these oversights immediately. --Michelle DeCrane, Public Information and Marketing Manager, Austin Fire Department"

Link to the story (go to pages 10/11):!!/dl2/d1/L2dJQSEvUUt3QS9ZQnB3LzZfOFRSSDRGSDIwOE9VQjAyVDI4UUI4QjBPTzc!/

Friday, October 1, 2010

AFD's Social Media Policy Featured in Fire Rescue Magazine

As one of the first fire departments in the country to develop a social media policy, we were recently asked by Fire Rescue magazine to write a story on this topic. You can read the full article here:

Since the issue hit the stands, we have been contacted by fire departments across the country asking for copies of our policy, including DeSoto, TX; Aurora, MO; Northwest Fire (AZ); San Diego, CA; and Oxnard, CA.