Monday, September 26, 2011

Kudos for Cindy Lyons, Our New OHN!

"I'm currently going through the light-duty process from an injury I received while on duty. I've had little luck with the process up until yesterday (September 21). I met with Cindy Lyons in the morning, and discussed my case and the issues I was experiencing with it. Within an hour of our conversation, she had called me and gotten me the information I needed to move forward with the process. Today I will be back in physical therapy thanks to her. I don't know what her job is but having a professional review IOJ claims on a weekly basis would sure help get people back out to operations."

FS Derek Herring (Ladder31/B)

Editor's Note: Cindy is AFD's new Occupational Health Nurse (OHN). She will be officed at Wellness, and will manage and coordinate the department's Workers' Compensation program and activities. Cindy is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of work experience, the majority of which has been in the workers' compensation and occupational health field. Prior to joining AFD, she was the Disability-Health Services Manager for General Electric in Houston, where she managed, coordinated, and facilitated all personal and workers' compensation disability cases and case management for the U.S.-based oil and gas population. Cindy is a graduate of McNeese State University, Lake Charles, Louisiana with a degree in Nursing. Cindy has lived, traveled, and worked with companies throughout the United States, and has an extensive background in public safety.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Free Sports Classes For AFD Families

Sportball is offering free sports classes to AFD families. Below are the class descriptions, times, dates, etc. Spaces in these classes are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

What is Sportball?
Sportball is sports instruction program that teaches fundamental sports skills to young children. Our program is non-competitive, which means the kids learn step-by-step instruction that focuses on building skills and confidence. Scrimmages and game schedules are not our primary focus. Our primary goal is to give each child a boost in athleticism, awareness of the game, and a chance to discover their sports potential. At Sportball a certified coach will lead your child through sports drills, scrimmages, and other fun motor-skill and teamwork games.

Class Locations
Sportball offers sports classes in every season at several locations across Austin. Free classes to Fire and Rescue familes are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the following locations. Classes last one hour. Your child will need tennis shoes and a water bottle for the soccer class (shin guards are "nice to have" but not required), and a baseball glove and tennis shoes for the baseball class. The only thing needed for the mutil-sport class is tennis shoes.

Dick Nichols Park (Southwest Austin)
Ages 4-5
Soccer and baseball class
12:15 pm on Saturdays
Sept 24 to Nov 12

Ages 6-7
Soccer and baseball class
1:15 pm on Saturdays
Sept 24 to Nov 12

Eanes Elementary (Westlake)
Ages 4-5
Soccer and baseball class
10:00 am on Saturdays
Sept 24 to Nov 12

Mueller (East Austin)
Ages 5-6
Soccer and baseball class
11:15 am on Saturdays
Sept 24 to Nov 12

Ages 7-9
Soccer and baseball class
12:15 pm on Saturdays
Sept 24 to Nov 12

Pepper Rock Park (Round Rock)
Ages 4-5
Soccer and baseball class
10:15 am on Saturdays
Sept 24 to Nov 12

Trailhead Park (Canyon Creek)
Ages 2-3
Soccer and baseball class
11:30 am on Saturdays
Sept 24 to Nov 12

Ages 4-5
Soccer and baseball class
12:15 pm on Saturdays
Sept 24 to Nov 12

Lakeway Activity Center
Ages 3-4
Multi-sport class
10:15 am on Tuesdays
Oct 26 to mid-Dec

WAYA (Central Austin)
Ages 3-4
Multi-sport class
2:00 pm on Wednesdays
Oct 27 to mid-Dec

Ages 16mo-3yr
Multi-sport class
9:30 am on Tuesdays
Oct 26 to mid-Dec

Clay Madsen (Round Rock)
Ages 3-4
Multi-sport class
3:15 pm on Wednesdays
Oct 27 to mid-Dec

Ages 5-6
Multi-sport class
4:00 pm on Wednesdays
Oct 27 to mid-Dec

To register for the free classes: Contact the Sportball director, Shannon Taylor at (512) 608-2634 or e-mail More information about Sportball can be found at Call or e-mail to reserve your space!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Firefighters Tell Their Wildfire Stories

Dimitri Nichols (on the first-in brush truck to the Pedernales fire):

TIFMAS deployment to Bastrop:
(This story also ran on Fox, but a link was not available.)

Monday, September 19, 2011

AFD Captain's Daughter "Patient Champion" at Scottish Rite Children's Hospital

Please read below:

"My name is Toby Heidel, and I’m currently assigned to AFD Ed Services as the C-Shift Field Training Officer. My daughter, Maya, has a disease that affects the bones in her hip joints called Legge-Calve-Perthes disease. For the last 2 ½ years, she’s been receiving treatment for her condition at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas. The hospital is an amazing facility with some of the best doctors in the world for her condition (one of them literally wrote the text book on her disease!). Perhaps the most amazing thing about Scottish Rite Hospital is the fact that they charge their patients absolutely nothing. ALL the care and surgery that Maya has gotten there has not cost us a dime. It’s pretty incredible.

"Each year, the hospital is the beneficiary from funds raised at the Dallas White Rock Marathon. For the event, 5 'Patient Champions' are chosen from the thousands of patients that Scottish Rite serves to represent the hospital at various fundraising and PR events. This year, Maya was chosen as the Central Texas Patient Champion! We’ve been delighted at the opportunity to help the hospital out in any way we can in light of the free care that Maya has received there.

"As part of the event, we’ve been able to set up a fundraising site in conjunction with the marathon. I’d really like the opportunity to get the word out to other members of AFD who might like to donate to Scottish Rite on Maya’s behalf.

"Here’s a link to the Patient Champion page on the marathon website (scroll down for Maya’s information):

"And here’s a direct link to Maya’s fundraising page:

"If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. My mobile number is 512-694-5868."

Toby Heidel
Field Training Officer - C Shift
Austin Fire Department

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Honoring America's Fallen Firefighters This October

Please take a few minutes to view the clip below from the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. You'll learn how to show your support in October as those Firefighters who lost their lives in 2010 serving their communities are honored.

Monday, September 12, 2011

9/11: Profile of DC Dawn Clopton and Photos

  • HEB's magazine, "My Texas Life" focused on three hometown heroes from throughout Texas. Our very own Division Chief Dawn Clopton was one of those featured! You can read the piece that was done on her by clicking here and going to pages 6-7:
  • Check out this photo of Lt. Travis Maher and BC Warren Weidler at the World Trade Center site, who were in NYC over the weekend and attended mass for the 343 firefighters who died on September 11. They also marched in the review parade. Chief Weidler tells us that the FDNY was very appreciative of the AFD presence in NYC, especially given all the wildfires we have been dealing with.
  • Photos from the Tower Climb and ESPADA Capitol Rotunda performance, courtesy of Lt. Pete Constantine (E12/C):

  • And here's some great photos from the Memorial Ceremony and Tower Climb from the Statesman's photographer, Jay Janner:

Friday, September 9, 2011

Lt. Travis Maher Featured on KEYE

As part of their 9/11 coverage, Lt. Travis Maher was featured last night (and will be again this Sunday at 10 p.m.) on KEYE. If you don't get a chance to watch the story on your own, you can check it out here:


Centex Charity Hockey Game This Sunday: Fundraiser for Cole Meadows

At 2:00 p.m. this Sunday, September 11, the second annual Centex Charity Hockey game will be held. The Central Texas Alliance is a non-profit organization, made up of local police, fire, EMS, and active military personnel. The event will remember those who gave their lives on 9/11, and at the same time, help someone in need. This year, money will be raised for 9 year old Cole Meadows, son of AFD Fire Specialist Alan Meadows (Q27/B), who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2009. Please click here to read Cole's story:

The GAME is FREE to attend, but DONATIONS will be accepted at the door by the Auxiliary to Local975. Please thank them for all their hard work. There will be FREE PUBLIC SKATING for everyone who wishes to skate after the be sure to bring your kids. If you do not have skates, you can rent them at the rink for $4 a pair.

Location: Chaparral Ice, 14200 North Ih 35
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Date: Sunday, September 11

Thursday, September 8, 2011

YNN Austin Features AFD Members in 10th Anniversary of 9/11 Coverage

AFD Division Chief Dawn Clopton and AFD Battalion Chief Warren Weidler, both members of Texas Task Force 1 who went to Ground Zero 10 years ago, are featured in this piece by YNN Austin's Paul Brown. It will air numerous times this Sunday, September 11, but here's a sneak preview:

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Headed Toward Houston

If you've ever made the drive from Austin to Houston via Highway 71, you'll recognize this shot: headed east, coming into Bastrop.

Austin Skyline Photo

Check out this photo from Deanna Roy of the Austin skyline with the smoke from the Bastrop wildfire:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Lt. Kevin Kalmus Receives Award at Fire-Rescue International

Last week, Lt. Kevin Kalmus traveled to the Fire-Rescue International Conference in Atlanta to accept their Company Officer of the Year award. As part of his recognition, Lt. Kalmus was awarded $1,000. In typical Kevin fashion, he chose to donate those funds in the name of AFD Engine 16/C to the family of recently deceased Dallas firefighter Lt. Todd Krodel, who died in the line of duty on August 14.

And while he was in Atlanta, Lt. Kalmus asked various vendors and manufacturers to match AFD's donation--he managed to raise another $6,000 for Lt. Krodel's family! This is just another example of why Lt. Kalmus was the perfect choice for the Company Officer of the Year award. In his words, "My opinion about the award is that, while it has my name on it, it's really about my crew and how we became successful as a team. If they didn't see value in the things I asked from them, then I would have failed as a leader. As far as the money goes, I never felt that it was mine and I just saw it as an opportunity to do something meaningful."

Check out the photos below taken by Chief Kerr. Way to go, Kevin! We're so proud of you!

L to R: Fire Rescue magazine Editor in Chief Tim Sendelbach; Lt. Kalmus; IAFC President Chief Al Gillespie (North Las Vegas FD)

L to R: Fire Rescue magazine Editor in Chief Tim Sendelbach and Lt. Kalmus

L to R: The AFD contingent! Fire Chief Kerr, Lt. Kalmus, Asst. Chief Evans, Division Chief Frick