Tuesday, May 31, 2011

LBJ Fire Academy Graduation

This past Friday, 25 students graduated from our Fire Academy at LBJ High School! Check out the photos below, courtesy of Captain Hunter Pomroy/Ed Services.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Fort Hood Firefighters' Association Kickball Tournament: July 22, 2011

This is a fundraising event for the Fort Hood Firefighters' Association. Please see the flyer for more information.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

AFD Basketball Game This Friday

The Austin Fire Department's basketball team will be playing the faculty of Gus Garcia Middle School this Friday afternoon to celebrate the end of the school year...and for bragging rights! Come out and cheer our folks on!

Friday, May 27
2:00 p.m.
Gus Garcia Middle School
7414 Johnny Morris Road

Questions? Contact Darren Hyson at 913-9768. Or check it out on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/event.php?eid=105141632902616

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Congratulations to Division Chief Mike Frick

Congratulations to Division Chief Mike Frick (Shift Commander/A Shift) who was recently selected to become a Task Force Leader (TFL) for Texas Task Force 1! Chief Frick will serve on the White Team and was chosen after a selection process that included a written application/resume and questionnaire, and an interview with the current Task Force Leaders, TEEX Program Managers, and a Task Force Leader from another state.

Chief Frick I has been involved with the Task Force for more than 10 years as a Planning Team Manager on the Red Team. There are six TFLs divided up to allow two TFLs for each of the three teams (Red, White, Blue) on Texas Task Force 1. The two-TFL concept is to allow for 24-hour operations, one Day Shift and one Night Shift, if the mission requires this type of model. The normal Federal Type 1 Urban Search and Rescue Team works for FEMA and is comprised of approximately 80 personnel, and all associated equipment, subdivided into specialties such as Rescue (shoring, breaching, etc.), Search (canine and technical), HazMat, Logistics, Safety, Medical, and Plans.

Texas Task Force 1 is also a State response team for events that occur within or adjacent to the State of Texas. This allows a great deal of flexibility in the team composition to include Water/Boat assets, Helicopter Rescue crew, Quick Response Forces (a smaller profile mobile 'light' US&R team), the larger Type 1, and Texas Military Forces. They work in partnership with local authorities when requested by the Texas Department of Emergency Management.

With Chief Frick's appointment, there are  now two active AFD TFLs (Chief Weidler, Chief Frick), and one retired AFD (Chief David Fiero). Along with two TFLs from Houston FD, and the retired Chief from Grapevine, this group comprises the six TFLs.

Way to go, Chief Frick!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Thanks from the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association thanks all the firefighters and AFD personnel who participated in the "Victory Climb" of Frost Tower last Saturday, May 15. Because of you, our event was an overwhelming success, with more than 500 climbers and close to $140,000 raised to help fight lung cancer, asthma, and other lung disease. It was truly impressive to see so many firefighters climb the tower in full gear and we received many compliments from participants who were amazed at the level of community support from the AFD. We really value our partnership with AFD and it just gets better every year - here's to the 2012 Tower Climb!

A special thank you to Scott Bartell, AFD 1; Gabe Thompson, AFD 18; Harold Mican, AFD 15; and Jim Keys, Oak Hill - for taking time from their busy jobs to help us get out the word and recruit more than 50 firefighters for this event!

Congratulations to the following prizewinners: Fastest Firefighters: ANDY LEE, OAK HILL and ROGER DAVIS, AFD 1 Fastest Firefighter Teams: OAK HILL and AFD 1 (AFD/Velocity) Firefighter Animal: JIM KEYS, OAK HILL (for climbing the Tower TWICE) Top firefighter fundraiser: JOHN SEEL...$815 to date! Top firefighter fundraising team: AFD 18.

To view your individual CLIMB TIMES go to: http://www.cadencesportsonline.com/results.cfm
View PHOTOS at: http://backprint.com/view_event.asp?PID=bp%1F%7B%40u&EVENTID=85071

Friday, May 13, 2011

Lt. Kevin Kalmus Wins Fire Officer of the Year Award

Congratulations to Lt. Kevin Kalmus (E16/C) who has been selected to receive FireRescue magazine’s Company Officer of the Year Award! The award presentation will be at Fire-Rescue International in August in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Company Officer of the Year award is open to active lieutenants, captains, first-line supervisors and company officers in both career and volunteer agencies. Created in 2004, the award is given annually.

Winners are selected based on the following criteria: leadership, innovative training, incident command effectiveness, commitment to safety, interpersonal communication and community involvement.

Monday, May 9, 2011

AFD Featured in "Firefighter Nation"

Check this out--our use of QlikView made Firefighter Nation!


A special "shout out" of thanks to the folks mentioned in the article:
  • Lisa Clifton: Took the screen shots shown in the article and developed the user screens;
  • Liz Hargrove and Yesua Cuellar: Took pictures for the article;
  • Scott Moon: Developed the back-end of BC Dashboard featured in the article;
  • Ken Crooks: Executive Sponsor for BC Dashboard;
  • Karyl Kinsey: Verified validity of response times; and
  • ALL company officers, who use the application every day, showing that it is valuable!
Great teamwork!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

AFD Assists at Recent Fire Service Survivors Conference

This conference, held recently in San Antonio, offers survivors of firefighters who have died in the line of duty a variety of workshops focusing on wellness, healing, and practical concerns. The organizers were having trouble getting enough help to transport families from the airport to the conference. They called Chief Kerr at the last minute and AFD stepped up to the plate. Education Services provided three vans and six personnel to assist in moving the folks. Please see the note below from Battalion Chief Thayer Smith:


The assistance we provided to the Fallen Firefighters Foundation went very well. With our 3 vans and 6 personnel we reportedly had the largest contingent of assistance. Each group made approximately 4 runs between the airport and the hotel. They moved people and luggage. The “airport” Lieutenant would meet his group of people and then assist them and their luggage to the van driver for transport to the hotel. Between airport runs the vans also shuttled attendees to various events downtown.

"All returned safely to Austin around 10 pm last night. The guys report that the participants were astounded and much appreciative that it was Austin firefighters that did the majority of the work in San Antonio.

"Sounds like we got some great national PR for the assistance our folks provided."

Chief Kerr's response: "Thanks to AFD – I am so proud of our department and our ability to respond to a short notice request. Another example of  'Our Mission Goes Beyond Our Name'!!! Like you said, Thayer – it gave me pleasure to know that the AFD logo and patch was in San Antonio!!!"

Thursday, May 5, 2011

American Lung Association's "Fight for Air": One Week Left


The ALA is proud of our ongoing partnership with the AFD and other Austin area Fire Departments. We dedicate this year's event as a “VICTORY CLIMB” in honor of the brave firefighters who gave all to rescue others at the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001.

WHO: American Lung Association


WHEN: Saturday, May 14, 2011, 8:00 am – Noon (Opening Ceremony at 8:30 a.m.)

WHERE: Frost Bank Tower Building, 401 Congress Avenue, Austin, TX 78701

REGISTER: http://austinclimb.org/

Type in the following code to waive the $25 registration fee:

Austin FD = AFD1

CONTACT: Cat Nawawi (cnawawi@breathehealthy.org) 512-689-2349
Sara Wilson (swilson@breathehealthy.org) 512-467-6753 x234

Firefighters are disproportionately affected by all types of lung disease. In the line of duty, firefighters may experience exposure to gases, chemicals and other substances. This exposure can lead to increased incidence of lung cancer, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and other lung diseases. Funds raised from the Climb support the ALA with lung disease education, advocacy and research programs.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

MDA Final Total...Or Is It?

Folks from the central Texas chapter of the MDA came by earlier this week and presented Chief Kerr with a plaque (see photo below) that announced Austin firefighters had raised more than $108,000 in this year's Fill the Boot campaign!! Although that didn't meet the goal of $150,000, it is significantly more than was raised last year.

But wait, there's more...literally! Several deposits have yet to be made, so we expect that grand total to go up a bit. In the meantime, give yourselves a pat on the back...outstanding work!