Thursday, April 28, 2011

Miscellanous Kudos

A few kudos we've received in the last couple of weeks we wanted to share with you:

Note from State Representative Donna Howard regarding the Pinnacle fire:

Regarding Lt. Ed Panacci in Prevention:

"Chief Kerr:

"We continue to appreciate the work you and your department do for our community and we especially appreciate the continued professionalism, courtesy, and insightfulness of our Fire Marshal Inspector Ed Pannachi. He continues to provide insightful assistance along with his additional work that provides for a safer and more enjoyable living environment.

"Our sincere thank yous to Ed and your team for all you do."

Scott Dixon Smith
President, Master Homeowners Association
Sabine on 5th

Regarding Firefighter David McGuire (L03/A):

"FF David McGuire, Ladder 3-A, assisted yesterday in retrieving belongings from a burnt out apartment. Once it was determined we could not retrieve everything the residents desired (for instance, a sentimental watch), FF McGuire stayed under relatively hazardous and definitely unpleasant conditions to literally dig through the apartment for any small salvageable item. The residents were surprised at some sentimental items he found which they hadn't remembered in the stress of the moment.

"This is the kind of service we should all provide and David is a credit to our department."

Captain David Leonard
Ladder 19-B
Austin Fire Department

Regarding Teresa Reddy and Olga Brewster, Headquarters/Support Services:


"Want to take the opportunity to brag on Teresa and Olga. After sitting through the question session on the upcoming uniform contract bid it was very evident that the work product was of an extremely high caliber. The entire session was spent on clearing discrepancies on the other agency's spec and bid sheet. There was one question on ours. On hearing the questions and the discussion and answers, it was clear that a lot of them were issues we discussed and clarified prior to putting the spec out to the vendors. I know this has been a ton of work on these two but their skill at their job, hard work and dedication were very evident not only to me but to the purchasing office and the vendors as well."

Dawn M. Clopton
B-Shift Commander
Austin Fire Department

Regarding an Unnamed Austin Firefighter:

"Chief Kerr,

"As I'm sure you hear about the ones that don't go well, I want you to know about one that was above and beyond the call of duty. My mother and aunt were driving from Austin back to Houston on Sunday, 4/10/11. As they got on Hwy 71, they had a blowout that shredded the tire. No sooner had they pulled over when a "wonderful, cleancut, muscular young man" (only description Mom could provide) stopped to help. He blocked traffic with his pickup and went right to work changing the tire. Less than 10 minutes from time of flat tire, they were on their way again. Mom tried to pay the Good Samaritan but he refused to consider it. She asked if he went to college nearby to which he smiled broadly and thanked her for the compliment and explained that he is with the Austin Fire Department and works on the west side.

"I'm sure this off duty firefighter had things to do and places to go, but he did not hesitate to stop and help. He didn't know he was helping a firefighter's mother and aunt, he just knew someone needed help. Thank you, we're very appreciative."

George McAteer
District Chief - EMS
Houston Fire Department

(Editor's note: If you know who the above-referenced firefighter is, please let Michelle DeCrane know so a copy of this note can be placed in his personnel and civil service files.)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Kudos to Station 30

"Greetings Chief Kerr,

"On behalf of Pack 909, I would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Station 30! Christopher Throop, Matt Heck, Chuck Coombs and George Gonzalez went beyond the call of duty in providing a Fire Station tour for the Cub Scouts and parents of our pack.

"They all made us feel at home and welcome! The tour had just begun when a fire alarm sounded. These firemen responded instantly, but promised to return quickly if possible. Our young Cub Scouts got to witness firsthand how firemen respond to a fire alarm.

"We moved outside of the Fire Station to await their return. Just as we were discussing whether to remain or leave, a familiar voice sounded over the Fire Station’s loudspeaker announcing that they were returning. Our Cubs cheered!

"Our Cub Scouts were thrilled and it was well worth the wait! I have attached some pictures for your pleasure. Your firemen took their value time to share their experience and stories with our sons. It was a wonderful experience that we will always cherish!

"Please share our appreciation to these outstanding firemen for a job well done!"

Yours in Scouting,

Wayne A. Courreges Jr.
"Kokon Hahas Haheyaw"
District Commissioner
Armadillo District, Capitol Area Council
Boy Scouts of America

Friday, April 22, 2011

Kudos from Scenic Brook Fire and Some Photos

We've received some wonderful feedback from citizens regarding the Scenic Brook fire that we wanted to share with you.

"My husband and I very much appreciate the care that your department has taken in protecting our property." --Carol Cespedes

"Wow! What a day Sunday.  I live on Covered Bridge Drive and actually evacuated for a while.  I think your department did a great job." --Le Keough

"Thank you to the Austin Fire Department, Oak Hill Volunteer Fire Department any other fire depts., the C-130 Community and all those that kept my family, my car and childhood home from burning to the ground!"  --SSGT James Gayheart, USMC, amp Pendleton, CA

"I am not a resident of the area impacted by yesterday's fire so this is completely unsolicited feedback.  I am a LONG time Austinite (30 years plus) and I can't remember when Austin saw a fire of that magnitude.  I was completely amazed at how well AFD responded - it was literally flawless.  That fire had the potential to destroy so much more.  Hats off for a job extremely well done." --Jason

"I want to thank the Austin FD, Texas Forest Service and all other responding units for saving my house and many others on Scenic Brook April 17 in the Oak Hill fire. A house on the other side of my neighbor burned and other houses within a stone's throw are destroyed. The firefighters on scene apparently dug a trench behind my neighbor's house and I'm convinced that kept the fire out of my yard and in my house. The air support was swift and much appreciated, and the firefighters on the ground have my gratitude for a job well done. Thank you very much." -- Anonymous

Special thanks to Casey Ping from Starflight and Tank Tantaksinanukij from APD for most of the photos shown below!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fires in West Texas/TIMFAS Deployment

Welcome home to all of our folks who were deployed to West Texas during the last few weeks! We had one crew who came home several days ago and their replacements are headed home today as we speak. Special thanks to all of the members noted below who represented AFD so well and especially FF Jimmy Taylor (E22/A) and Capt. Steve Street (L08/A) who provided some of the spectacular photos you see here (others came from the State Firemen's and Fire Marshals' Association). (Note: Look for a first-person report from Captain Street in the next few days!)

On April 10, 2011, AFD provided an Engine (four-person crew), and a Strike Team Leader, Capt Street. The Engine crew was Lt. Josh Portie (E02/C), FS Bruce Mayo (E02/C), FF James Taylor (E22/A), and FF Josh Simpson (E21/C). They returned the evening of April 16, 2011.

On April 15, 2011, AFD sent a replacement crew of Team 2: FS Shawn Clopton (E39/C), FS Don Caldwell (E21/C), FF Sean Cummings (E31/C), and FF Anthony Segovia (E66/A). They returned the evening of April 21, 2011.

(Incidentally, media has been receiving these pictures throughout the deployment.)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Eat at McDonald's Tomorrow

Love McDonald's french fries? Now you have an excuse for eating them! Stop by a local McDonald's tomorrow between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., grab something to eat, and know that you're doing something good--all of the proceeds during that time will go to the 100 Club of Central Texas. The 100 Club of Central Texas leads the community in providing financial assistance and support for the families of first responders who are seriously injured or killed in the line of duty, and provides resources to enhance first responders' safety and welfare.

To find a McDonald's near you, click here:

Friday, April 15, 2011

AFD Annual Bass Tourney Results

The AFD Annual Bass Tournament was held this year on Lake Travis with 11 teams competing for the top prize and bragging rights. With light winds and temperatures in the mid 80s, the bass were very eager to bite and everyone caught a lot of fish. Big Bass honors went to Dennis Derryl with a 5.5 lb. black bass, and he and his partner also took first place honors with a five-fish weight of 14.3 lbs. Second place went to Carrie Stewart and Marcus Faske with 10.5 lbs. Third place went to the team of Richard Meyers and Steve Nardecchia with 9.9 lbs. And the team of Mario Gonzalez and his friend, Jim took fourth place with 8.6 lbs. Everyone had a great time so plan on coming out next year to fish. Here as some of the photos that were taken at the lake.

Third place winners!

Group photo

Second place winners!

First place winners!

Fourth place winners!