Tuesday, August 30, 2011

September 11: 10 Years Ago

Ten years ago, 10 members of AFD went to Ground Zero to serve as part of the 9/11 rescue and recovery efforts. Check out the picture below from Division Chief Dawn Clopton of seven of the 10 members of that team. The photo was taken on board the C130 transporting the team to New York.

L to R: Lt. Travis Maher, BC Warren Weidler, DC Dawn Clopton, Ret. BC David Fiero, Lt. Eddie Martinez, Ret. Capt Mark Hair, and Ret. FF Rodger Holtz.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Car Explodes Inches from Firefighter's Face in Los Angeles

From the NBC affiliate in Los Angeles. Our men and women in public safety do an amazing job!

Car Explodes Inches from Firefighter's Face

Despite a car exploding inches from his face, a steadfast Los Angeles firefighter put out the blaze and left the scene with no injuries. The incident happened Aug. 19 in the 5300 block of Wilshire Boulevard, according to dramatic video of the incident posted on YouTube by user Morningstaric.

"As they were attacking the fire, it appears from the video, that an airbag went off, sending sparks," said LAFD Capt. Jaime Moore. "They had their personal protective equipment on, so he was not injured."

"As you can see in the video, he didn't event flinch," Moore said. "He took a step back and continued fighting the fire." (Click on the link below to watch the video.)


Car fires are common occurrences for the LAFD, although thanks to changes in automotive technology, the danger level has risen in recent years, said Moore.

"This is something we're starting to see more of with the permutation of air bags and the permutation of stronger metals in vehicles," said Moore.

Unlike the mostly natural upholstery of older models, cars nowadays include materials, such as polycarbonate plastic, that emit dangerous gases when burning. In the video, the dramatic explosion is most likely amplified by magnesium, which creates bright lights when it burns, said Moore.

Friday, August 12, 2011

9/11 10th Anniversary Events; "The Guys" Play at City Theatre

As you can imagine, there's a whole lot going on this year to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Please check out the list of events here: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B2Z8jcI6iHM-ZTE0MjBhNzUtNDc2Zi00OTAxLTk2NDgtMTJiMWQ1YmIxMGM3&hl=en_US

Additionally, you can learn more about “The Guys”, a play that will be performed at City Theatre on 9/10 and 9/11 to commemorate the 10 years since September 11th (a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Austin Firefighters Outreach Fund), by clicking here: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B2Z8jcI6iHM-MTg0NTRlZTMtMjFkNC00ZWQyLThjMWItODA3YTM1ZDA5YmU0&hl=en_US

Lt. Craig Stiles Featured in CultureMap

Lt. Craig Stiles (E26/C) is featured in CultureMap, a new daily digital publication that focuses on the best Austin has to offer. Check it out here: http://austin.culturemap.com/newsdetail/08-10-11-21-23-an-austin-firefighters-fight-to-be-fit-being-the-best-he-can-be/

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Build-A-Backpack Campaign

AFD showed up in a big way in the City of Austin Build-A-Backpack campaign! Employees from all divisions in the department came together to recreate the front of a fire truck and build backpacks. On Friday, August 5, 2011, AFD presented 53 backpacks and additional school supplies to the COA Build-A-Back Campaign Coordinator; 53 is significant because it represents each of our fire stations and division locations. Because of your kindness and generosity, we were able to provide the following to AISD students.
  • 9 High School Backpacks
  • 35 Middle School Backpacks
  • 9 Elementary School Backpacks
Your response speaks volumes. Thank you for your support! (Check out some of the photos below.)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Annual Men's Day Program Honoring Men in Public Service at Sweet Home Baptist Church (Round Rock)

Dear Austin Fire Department:

This letter is your invitation to join us at Sweet Home Baptist Church (2000 S IH35, Ste J-1, Round Rock) on Sunday, August 28, 2011, at 11:00 A.M. as we celebrate our Annual Men’s Day. This year we have chosen to celebrate our men in public service, specifically: U.S. Military, Police, Firemen, and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) servants.

We often observe other areas of our society honoring your service and commitment “to serve and protect.” As a church, we too desire to pay homage to the daily sacrifices you give in order to preserve the law, guard our freedom and protect the quality of life we enjoy in this country.

As this day and time has been set aside to honor, celebrate, and congratulate you for all that you do, we would be privileged to have you as a part of this service.

Our theme and Scriptural emphasis for this celebration is God’s Servant: United as One from Hebrews 6:10, Contemporary English Version – God is always fair. He will remember how you helped his people in the past and how you are still helping them. You belong to God, and he won't forget the love you have shown his people.

Should you have any questions regarding this invitation, feel free to contact me at 512-619-3521. Thank you for considering this invitation. I anticipate receiving your positive response by Saturday, August 13th.

Serving Him by Serving Others,
Elder Lawrence K. Wesley Sr. (Firefighter, L03/C)
2011 Men’s Day Committee
512-255-3521 church office or
Cell 512-619-3521

Monday, August 8, 2011

Outdoor Cooking Safety Press Conference

This past Friday, August 5, we held a press conference with Councilmember Mike Martinez to launch our public education campaign on outdoor cooking safety. Check out the photos below! And while we were there, KVUE decided they wanted to do a story on what our folks are doing to protect themselves during this heat wave. So off we went to Station 22, where they interviewed FF Robert Sandoval (who was also kind enough to don all his gear in the 100+ degree heat for demonstration purposes!). Special thanks to him, Lt. John Green, and all the folks at Station 22 for making the reporter and cameraman feel so welcome! A couple of photos from that portion of the day are below as well.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Recent Collapse Incident Provides Realism to Summer CE Course

One of our summer CE offerings was a refresher on Building Construction, in which we stressed the weakness and dangers of lightweight truss construction. Reality provided a classic example, when on August 4, this 80’ x 40’ area of roof collapsed in the middle of a scorching summer afternoon. Fortunately the building had been unoccupied for several years and no victims or injuries were discovered.

Notice also the attached two story portion still standing? It was a day care center for children.

When the trusses failed, classic V-pattern collapses were seen down both walls.

Notice how the trusses completely came apart at the gusset plates. And this was with no fire and no impact loads, just a long, hot summer combined with suspect construction methods.

This was the last truss still in place; notice how it is starting to separate as well.

Kudos to E22C, E66C and Q35C for their work at the scene and for the photos, many more of which can be seen at G:\Operations\Batt05\C_SHIFT05\collapse 0811. And thanks to Ed Services who continue to turn out relevant, timely continuing education.

(Editor's Note: Special thanks to DC David Bailey for all this great info!)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ladder 8/B Shift Kudos

A note from our colleagues at EMS. Way to go, folks! (Firefighters from two different shifts and three different stations: Capt. Bunn, FF Daugherty, FF Slusher, and FF Paskos.)

"We would like to express our deepest gratitude for Ladder 8's crew today. They are a little mix of A & B shift we believe. They went above and beyond their way to help us on a very difficult call with a psych patient today.

"We were called by a female who wanted help from EMS. When we arrived, the patient did not believe we were EMS and asked that we would leave her apartment. We tried to explain several times and different ways that we were the paramedics she called for, but she refused to listen or talk to us. When Ladder 8 showed, we told them what was going on and they immediately went in and made patient contact. To our surprise, the patient responded very well to them. The patient had questions in which Fire attempted several times to refer to us for answering, but she would not listen. Finally David (the Lieutenant) made the suggestion that they (AFD) could ride with her to the hospital if that made her feel more comfortable since she could not ride in the fire truck with them. After a long talk, the patient finally ok'd. AFD assisted the patient to the stretcher, transported her to the ambulance. The patient still would not let any of us obtain vitals or do an exam on her, but we got her somewhere she felt safe and could get the proper medical attention she needed.

"Thank you for your patience and for going above and beyond. We appreciate your teamwork!"

Nancy Monson 2109 & Keri Cinquina 2234

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Inaugural Pupapalooza: August 14, 2011

Throw your dog a bone and join Austin's inaugural Pupapalooza 2011! Booqoos and FirePit Ceramics invite Austin community members to join them for a family- and dog-oriented play day benefiting the Austin Humane Society and Animal Trustees of Austin. Local vendors will provide food, games, activities, and live music. Pupapalooza will bring fun and education to families in the Austin area and give back to great non-profits who do so much for our four-legged friends. Pupapalooza is August 14 from 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. at the Balcones Woods Shopping Center (11150 Research Blvd.). All proceeds go to the Austin Humane Society and Animal Trustees of Austin.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Trip to Central Station


"Thanks again for looking after us at the fire station yesterday (July 31). Kelly (Wacker) was wonderful with the girls and it was great for them to meet some enthusiastic female firefighters. Julia was crouching on the floor last night to show my wife how to get out of a fire, and Georgia kept saying 'Daddy, you have to be really brave to go into hot fires and save people.' So I guess they learned something!

"Keep us on the list for any upcoming fundraisers, we would be happy to contribute."

Craig Millikin

{Note: Georgia (yellow shirt) is 4 and Julia (pink shirt) is 3.}