Monday, November 28, 2011

TCFP ARFF Certifications

Thirteen Austin firefighters have completed a TCFP ARFF Certification class presented by the ARFF Section at ABIA. The 120-hour curriculum started October 3 and was completed on November 10, 2011. They are:

Front row L to R: William Wade, Kevin Fees, Lance Williamson, Don Barthlow, Maurice Gonzales, Andrew Thomas, Mark Harris

Back row L to R: David Girouard, Loren May, Everett Thomas, Glasco Martin, Quinn Izard, Carrie Pritchard (not pictured)

(Special thanks to BC Tom Thies for the info and picture!)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Recent Recognitions

Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr and the AFD Executive Team recently recognized several individuals for significant accomplishments:

  • Battalion Chief Palmer Buck, a member of AFD for 18 years, who graduated from the Executive Fire Officer Program (EFOP) at the United States Fire Administration Academy based in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The EFOP is a four-year intensive curriculum that examines how senior authority figures can exercise leadership when dealing with difficult, adaptive programs within their jurisdictions. Chief Buck was one of 107 students from across the country to graduate from this elite program in 2011.

  • Firefighter Rhonda Harms (E17/C Shift) who recently returned from a two-year tour in Afghanistan with the US Navy. Rhonda presented Chief Kerr with a flag that her unit had flown there in honor of the Austin Fire Department.

  • Adrian Rodriquez, AFD's Warehouse Stores Coordinator, who was chosen by Stanley Tools as part of their nationwide "Builti for Life Unsung Heroes" contest. This contest pays tributes to the unsung heroes who make our country great and keep us going. Stanley chooses unselfish men and women who take action and don't expect thanks in return. As Stores Coordinator, Adrian is a crucial member of the team who keeps the department running smoothly every day. His diligence and "get it done" nature guarantees that the crew is always well-equipped and prepared to fight fires. The AFD constantly relies on him to have the necessary safety equipment stocked and organized.

  • 2011 COACCC Committee: Battalion Chief Bruce Station and civilian employees Mandy Ray, Phillip Lybrand, Alisha Weskamp, Kimberly Costello, and JoBeth Prentice were recognized for their outstanding creativity in making this year's City of Austin Combined Charities Campaign for AFD the best ever! Our goal was $75,000 and although the funds raised are still being tallied, we know we are very close to meeting that goal.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Survey: City Services Appreciated

A majority of Austinites are happy with many city services, according to a new survey. The ETC Institute, a national research corporation, presented a survey last Thursday to the City Council. Among the findings: 80 percent of respondents were either "very satisfied" or "satisfied" with public safety!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fallen Firefighters Memorial Ceremony

On Saturday, October 29, the George Washington Carver Museum & Cultural Center unveiled a memorial bronze sculpture (commissioned through the City's Art in Public Places program of the Economic Growth and Redevelopment office) honoring Austin's first three African American firefighters--Willie Ray Davis, Roy Greene, and Nathaniel Kindred, Sr. Prior to 1952, no African American had been hired under civil service law to work as a firefighter in the state, making the City of Austin the first municipality in Texas to do so.

It was a great event! You can see for yourself by clicking here:

Friday, November 4, 2011

"Fall Back" This Sunday and Check Your Smoke Alarms!

On Sunday, November 6, 2011, Austinites will “fall back” with the end of Daylight Savings Time, moving their clocks back one hour until the spring. This is an excellent opportunity to remind you to also check—and, if necessary, change—the batteries in your smoke alarms. The number one reason that lives are saved in a fire is the presence of a working smoke alarm.

Remember, a working smoke alarm is the cheapest life insurance moeny can buy! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Special Olympics Texas Fire Truck Pull

It's the ultimate tug of war challenge... and a GREAT team-building event! Gather a team of 12 and join in the 2nd Annual Austin Fire Truck Pull Challenge. Your team will play "tug of war" with a 55,000 lbs. fire truck. The teams with the Fastest Team Pull and Most Money Raised will be named the 2011 Fire Truck Pull Challenge Champions! This event is hosted by Travis County Sheriff's Department, Austin Police Deptartment, and Austin Firefighters. Registration fee is $300 per team.

Date: November 12, 2011
Time: 8:00 a.m.
Location: Kreig Softball Complex, 517 South Pleasant Valley Drive
Contact: Melissa Matherne, 512-491-2927,

More information: