Friday, September 21, 2012

Austin Midnight Basketball Competition

Attention all firefighters: The Athletes Services Network of America (ASNA), is a non-profit organization who provides sports outreach and education programs to at-risk youth through their Austin Midnight Basketball Program. This year, a three-point and free throw competition is being held among APD, AFD, Travis County Sheriff's Office Travis County Constables. The event will take place tomorrow, September 22 at the Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex, 1156 Hargrave Street. Please contact James Silas at (51) 630-3054 for more details. They are looking for at least two firefighters to participate.

(This event is not officially sponsored or supported in any way by the Austin Fire Department. This post is informational only and is not an implied endorsement of the event.)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Round Rock Fire Truck Pull Benefitting Special Olympics: August 26, 2012

If you're interested in getting a team together, click the link for all the info:

Friday, August 3, 2012

Come Run with the Heroes: September 16, 2012

The annual 5K Run with the Heroes will be held on September 16, 2012 at Southpark Meadows. This year's event will honor fallen APD Officer Jaime Padron. You can find all the information about how to sign up by clicking here:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Austin Fire Department on Facebook!

The Austin Fire Department is now on Facebook! You can find us at www.facebook/AustinFireDepartment. Be sure and "like" us!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Bowl for a Cause: Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Central Texas chapter of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators is holding its annual “Bowl for a Cause” event on Saturday, July 28 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the Millennium Entertainment Complex. The AFD Executive Team will have a team competing. If you’re interested in putting your own team together, go to or contact Assistant Chief Doug Fowler at 974-0136 (

Friday, July 13, 2012

Playing with Fires Cookbook

See the flyer if you're interested in contributing a recipe. Deadline is August 1, 2012.

Friday, July 6, 2012

2012 Boots vs. Badges Blood Drive: July 8 - 14

The annual Boots vs. Badges blood drive competition between AFD and APD starts on Sunday, July 8 and runs through Saturday, July 14. You can find all the details here:

C'mon, people, roll up your sleeves and donate in honor of your favorite department! AFD took the trophy last year BY JUST ONE UNIT, so call your friends, family, and neighbors, and ask them to donate in honor of AFD! It's a friendly competition but the ultimate winner is The Blood and Tissue Center of Central Texas.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cabela's Hometown Hero Sale: June 27 - 29, 2012

Cabela’s is saluting our hometown heroes and inviting you to celebrate with us! Our Hometown Hero sale is June 27, 28 and 29, 2012 and we are proud to extend to you our employee discount (up to 25 percent, depending on manufacturer and yes, firearms and ammo are included).

All Hometown Heroes are invited--these include law enforcement, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and all active duty and retired military personnel.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Family Eldercare Fan Fare Friday Celebration: June 22, 2012

The Austin Fire Department is a proud partner of the Family Eldercare annual Fan Drive, whereby new fans are accepted at area fire stations and donated to the elderly during the hot summer months. Each year, the drive culminates in a celebration at Threadgill's called Fan Fare Friday and this Friday, June 22 is that time again! Come out between 6:00 a.m. and midnight and enjoy live music and refreshments. Please contact or visit for more information.

Monday, June 18, 2012

FF John Drummond: "Awesomest" Dad of the Year!

Congratulations to FF John Drummond (Engine 37/A shift) on being the "awesomest" dad of the year! Check out the great story below that ran in yesterday's Statesman.

'Awesomest' Travis County dad wins national contest
As an Austin firefighter for the past eight years, John Drummond puts his life on the line every day and often works overtime, his family says. But even when he comes home exhausted, he makes time to play with his two sons and two daughters and helps them with homework.

Those are some of the reasons why — "between saving lives and changing diapers" — his wife, Ana, said she and their four children set out to prove he is America's Most Deserving Father.

In a one-minute video, they used drawings and photos to tell his story, and their entry took the winning prize: a one-week stay at a Destin, Fla., beach house sponsored by ResortQuest; a 2012 Jeep Wrangler; and $500 in spending money.

The contest, organized by Northwest Florida's Emerald Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau, had more than 5,000 registered applicants nationwide and received more than 180 short film entries.

The bureau's marketing team chose the Drummonds' entry out of the 10 videos that had the most likes on the bureau's Facebook page. And on Sunday, a spokeswoman with Emerald Coast and a group of reporters met John Drummond at his southwestern Travis County home to deliver the surprise. He answered the door with a puzzled look on his face.

"This is awesome," he said with tears in his eyes after a few seconds of confused speechlessness. "I have never won anything in my life. I do not know what to say. I can't believe it."

His daughters, Layla, 4, and Maya, 6, bubbly, little girls with big, bright eyes and their mother's brown locks, beamed smiles at the cameras. His 8-year-old son, Joseph, told reporters his father deserved the recognition because "he is the awesomest."

Ana Drummond said that her husband watches the children while she takes classes in preparation for nursing school and that he puts in overtime to help pay for her education.

"He is just a great dad, and I am really proud of him," she said.

The holiday had already been going well, John Drummond said. He had received artwork from his children Sunday morning and was looking forward to dinner at his favorite barbecue restaurant.

He had noticed his wife had been acting strangely all week but never saw this coming, he said.

"I just want to thank my family," he said.

Photo credit: Alberto Martinez, Austin American-Statesman
Austin firefighter John Drummond – with his children Layla, 4; Maya, 6; and Joseph, 8; and his wife, Ana – displays his awards for being selected America's Most Deserving Dad after his family touted his qualities in a contest.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

60th Anniversary of Station 14

In celebration of Flag Day, a ceremony was held at Station 14 today, June 14, recognizing the 60th anniversary of the station and changing out the worn, tattered US flag hanging from their flagpole with a new one that flew over the United States Capitol Building specifically for this honor. Neighbors from the surrounding community joined us, and even brought a "Happy 60th Anniversary" poster. Check out the photos below.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

FF Coitt Kessler Recognized by State VFW

FF Coitt Kessler (Engine 18/C shift) was presented with the state "Firefighter of the Year" award yesterday by the Department of Veterans of Foreign Wars, who received more than 200 nominations statewide for the honor. Coitt now moves on to the national competition. Check out the photos below. Congratulations Coitt!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Program Aims to Assist Firefighters with Home Buying, Selling

From the Austin American-Statesman, June 8, 2012:

The State Firemen's & Fire Marshals' Association of Texas and Austin-based Goldwasser Real Estate say they have teamed up on a new program to help firefighters buy or sell a home. The program also benefits the Texas Wildfire Relief Fund, which helps fire departments across the state, mostly volunteer ones, buy needed equipment and gear, officials said.

Here's how it works: Goldwasser Real Estate agents contribute 20 percent of their commission for every firefighter who buys or sells a home through their firm, said David Schneider, a sales manager and partner with Goldwasser Real Estate. Schneider said 15 percent of that amount then goes to the individual firefighter buying or selling a home, and 5 percent is earmarked for the Texas Wildfire Relief Fund.

Real estate agents typically make a 3 percent commission on a home sale.

On the sale of a $250,000 home, for example, that would amount to a $7,500 commission. Goldwasser would contribute 20 percent — $1,500 — of its commission, rebating $1,200 to the firefighter buying or selling a home, with the remaining $300 going to the Texas Wildfire Relief Fund.

Dallas-based Proficio Mortgage Ventures LLC, a subsidiary of Proficio Bank, also is participating in the program through its State Heroes program, in which the company waives or discounts closing costs on home loan purchases or refinances nationwide for firefighters, as well as law enforcement and emergency medical personnel, Goldwasser and Proficio officials said.

In addition, Austin-based Capital Title Co. has agreed to donate $500 for each closing to the Wildfire Relief Fund, "so it makes it even more significant," Schneider said.

Schneider said he expects the program to benefit roughly 20 firefighters in the Austin area this year and many more as word of the program travels around the state. He hopes to eventually expand the program to help police officers, corrections officers and veterans who buy or sell a house through Goldwasser.

The idea to help firefighters become homeowners originated in 2006 with Sue Shearer, a local real estate agent who was working on her own at the time. When Goldwasser hired her in 2011, Shearer said she finally had the resources to make her goal of helping firefighters get into a home a reality.

Shearer is fond of firefighters, in part because she is friends with Chris Barron. Barron is executive director of the State Firemen's & Fire Marshals' Association of Texas, which represents 22,000 firefighters statewide — mostly volunteers — who generally have to buy their own equipment and gear. Barron also is fire chief at the Manchaca Volunteer Fire Department.

"I've been an underdog and have a passion about helping people," Shearer said. And firefighters, who put their lives on the line for others, topped the list of people Shearer said she wanted to help.

Shearer and Barron are spreading the word about the program at the association's annual convention this weekend in Houston.

The group had about $1 million worth of requests for equipment and gear, before raising more than $500,000 during the past year in private funding, Barron said.

"Now we've got about half a million (dollars' worth) of outstanding requests for clothing or gear from departments all over the state, both volunteer and paid, but primarily volunteer," Barron said. Volunteer firefighters make up 78 percent of all the fire service in Texas, he said.

It costs about $200 for a set of lightweight gear such as the type used in fighting grass and brush fires, he said. "We hope the program has a great impact to get firefighters in the much-needed gear they lack," Barron said.

Shearer and Schneider said they aren't aware of any similar programs in other states where a real estate firm rebates a partial commission to homebuyers or sellers who are firefighters.

Schneider said Goldwasser as a company shares his passion to help others. He said he's teaching his 4-year-old twins about giving.

"I tell them it's the essence of life: The more you give, the more you get."

Congratulations FS MaryAnn Hubbard!

AFD Fire Specialist MaryAnn Hubbard (Community Outreach) has been selected to serve as the South Central Division Trustee for the International Association of Women in Fire & Emergency Services (iWomen). iWomen is a resource for Fire and EMS professionals regarding the issues and interests of equity in the fire service workplace relating to policy guidance, educational opportunities, mentoring, and networking.

The mission of iWomen is to give voice to women in fire and emergency services. Firefighters all share the core values of courage, professionalism, integrity, unity, and respect: This is a critical time in the fire service, as Fire Departments proactively adapt to the steady pace of growth, cultural change and fiscal realities.

Congratulations MaryAnn!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Austin Fire Explorer Post 370

Special thanks to the Austin Fire Explorer Post 370 for supporting the Safety Fair at Nelson Field on Saturday, April 28, 2012. Your contribution and help with the Austin Fire Department's equipment displays were very instrumental to the success of the event. Way to go!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

Next up on YNN's "Science Break": BC Palmer Buck and meteorologist Burton Fitzsimmons demonstrate the proper way to use a fire extingisher.

Friday, June 1, 2012

"Flood Ball" Demonstrates Power of Water

Check out this segment from YNN that BC Palmer Buck did with meteorologist Burton Fitzsimmons to illustrate the power of water:

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ribbon Cutting for Prevention

Congratulations to the Prevention section, who held a ribbon cutting/open house yesterday for their new space on the 8th floor of One Texas Center. Check out some of the photos below...and the great view!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Station 10 Improvements

A big round of applause to the crews at Station 10, who have gone above and beyond to make their station's exterior look great! Lt. Justin Talentino and Firefighter DJ Martinez (Engine 10/B shift) were the masterminds and dipped into their own pockets (although they've since been reimbursed) to make the changes happen. Lt. Talentino tells us that he feels like the community supports the station and wanted to give back by having a better looking exterior. It also provides opportunity for the crews to talk to the neighbors while outside working. And, they didn't leave the four-legged neighbors out--they also set a bowl out each shift for dogs to get a drink of water. Check out the photos below; nicely done, folks!

(Special thanks to DC Dawn Clopton and BC Todd Pomroy for the photos and information.)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cadet Entrance Exam

Yesterday, 2,679 eligible candidates sat for the written entrance exam at the Austin Convention Center. Check out the photos below and you'll get a small idea of just how BIG a deal this is! An interesting bit of trivia--more than 9,000 pencils were sharpened and made ready for the test-takers...WOW! Good luck to all of the candidates!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Photos from Lt. Bill Walsh's Funeral

Special thanks to DC David Bailey and BC David Brietzke who took these shots, the crews from Engine 2 and Engine 5 who served as pallbearers, Firefighters Jason Paez and Jason Bryant from the AFD Honor Guard who presented Lt. Walsh's family with the Last Call Medals, and Fire Specialist Andre de la Reza from ESPADA, who did a beautiful job on the pipes.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

MDA Night at the Dell Diamond: Monday, May 21

Join MDA on May 21 at the Dell Diamond for Firefighter Appreciation night and Muscles on the Mound!  Visit to buy your tickets and enter special offer code: MDAaustin (case sensitive). A portion of the ticket sales will go to help MDA in our mission to fight muscle diseases. Please click here for the flyer:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Retired Lt. William (Bill) Walsh Funeral Information

Viewing/Visitation: Tuesday, May 15, 5-7 p.m. at Weed-Corley Funeral Home, 3125 N. Lamar. Rosary to follow at 7 p.m.

Funeral Service: Wednesday, May 16, 9:30 a.m ., St. Mary’s Cathedral, 203 E. 10th St. Interment following the service at approximately 10:30-10:45 a.m., Mt. Calvary Cemetery (located on northbound frontage of I-35 between Manor Road and Dean Keeton).

Since Lt. Walsh outlived his family, AFD Honor Guard members Jason Paez, Jason Bryant, Engine 2, and Engine 5 will serve as Pallbearers.

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Day in the Life of Station 5: Circa 1953

A day in the life of an Austin firefighter in 1953 as filmed by the station captain, Victor Eugene Tiemann. The home movie features Driver Willie Walsh, recently deceased (5/11/12), Firefighter Willie Ray Davis, and Firefighter Marvin Douglas. Captain Tiemann wanted to portray a typical day at an Austin fire station. The men check out the truck, train on some ladders, have territory school, and respond quickly to a fire. They also are shown registering local children's bikes. The final scene even includes a little horse play, tricking the rookie into serving them their food. Pay attention to when the truck is backing into the station--on the left side, you'll see their dog jump off the truck and run beside the engine as it backs into the station. The dog's name was "5's," after their fire station number.

Special thanks to Division Chief Mike Frick, Lt. Josh Miller (E18/C shift), and the Austin Fire Museum for sharing!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Turn Around, Don't Drown!

Heavy rains moved through Austin last night, May 10, 2012. This gentleman was swept from the road while trying to drive through a low-water crossing on Bull Creek. Ladder 31/B shift and AFD Special Operations personnel brought him to safety. Please, don't put our first responders in danger by violating low-water crossing warnings! Just an inch or two of water can sweep your car--and you--away before you know it.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

AFD Fishing Tourney Results and Pics

The Austin Fire Department held its annual Bass Fishing Tournament on Lake Travis last month It was an overcast day with winds gusting to 30 mph, but everyone caught fish and had a good time. There were nine teams who competed ,with a total of  50 lbs. of black bass being caught on a multitude of artificial bait (Texas rigged worms, jigs, crank baits, and drop-shot rigs). It was nice to see some new faces on the water for the first time. Although there were 19 guys fishing that day, they all got out-fished by the one gal in the tournament. So the BIG BASS honors went to FS Carrie Stewart (Engine 14/A shift) with a largemouth bass weighing in at 5.6 lbs.

We hope to see a lot more teams next year competing for bragging rights as the best angler in the department! Special thanks goes out to Local 975 for being a sponsor of this event.

(Editor's Note: Gratitude to Captain Marcus Faske (Rescue 20/B shift) for the write up and photos.)

1st Place: Richard Meyers/Steve Nardecia (11.9 lbs)

2nd Place: Carrie Stewart/Marcus Faske (9.9 lbs)

3rd Place: Lloyd Zmeko/Todd Zoch (6.8 lbs)

4th Place: Sandy Castillo/McGary (6.7 lbs)

Group shot!

Big Bass: Carrie Stewart (5.6 lbs)

Not pictured: 5th place winners Mario Gonzalez/Jim Gibson (3.9 lbs) and 2nd place Big Bass winner Richard Meyers (4.9 lbs). 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Lemonade Day: Sunday, May 6

This Sunday is Lemonade Day throughout Austin, but last weekend, Chief Kerr participated in the "Best Tasting Lemonade Contest" at the Austin Children's Museum. Check out a couple of great photos below!


Monday, April 30, 2012

AFD Awards Ceremony/San Jacinto Night Photos

Check out all the great photos from the AFD Awards Ceremony and San Jacinto Night last Friday, April 27, by clicking here:

A Plethora of Updates!

We've been so busy lately that we haven't had time to update this blog, so instead of making multiple posts, here's a few things we've been collecting for you to peruse. Enjoy!

Austin Fire Department Does Shattered Dreams: Check out some of the coverage of AFD's participation in a "Shattered Dreams" event a couple of weeks ago at Anderson High School. This program graphically illustrates, through a real-world accident re-enactment, of the dangers of drinking and driving. Special thanks to the C shifters on Engine 21, Ladder 31, and Rescue 28 who represented AFD so well in the exercise!

Kitchen Fire Safety Demonstration: At the Boy Scouts of America Local Heroes Funday, held at the Public Safety Training Campus on Saturday, April 14, Lt J.B.Valentine and FF Gabe Thompson (both with Education Services) joined forces to instruct attendees on the hazard of attempting to apply water to a grease fire. If you have ever been one to forget that you were frying something on the stove and returned to find your food in flames, please follow this path and watch the worst possible outcome that could occur if you forget and try to use water to extinguish a grease fire. Check out the video here:

Austin Fire Explorers Off to a Great Start: Our very own AFD Explorers also hit the ground running at the Boy Scouts Funday on April 14. They were a huge asset to the event where they taught the Fire Safety Merit Badge. They also assisted with the Fire Safety House and Static Engine display. They worked hard to represent the Fire Department by even staying after the event to clean up. They are excited about the program and look forward to more opportunities to serve the Austin community and AFD. Learn more about the event here: And check out the group photo!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Helmet Camera Rescue

Check out this amazing rescue caught by a firefighter's camera helmet! (Special thanks to FS Lyzz Donelson for sharing.)

Friday, April 13, 2012

First Responders Night at Texas Stars: Saturday, April 14, 2012

As a thank you to our First Responder community, we want to offer all Fire, Police, and EMS staff members a chance to attend our home finale on Saturday, April 14 at 7:00 p.m. at a discounted rate. We will be offering our Executive level tickets at $12/each and Luxury at $17/each, with a chance to purchase discounted parking at $5/each ($10 regularly). This game will also be our Fan Appreciation Night where all fans will receive a complimentary Texas Stars team poster and commemorative poster upon entry. We will also be having random lucky seat drawings throughout the game, including a chance to win 2011-12 game worn jerseys.

Tickets and parking can be purchased to the event by clicking below:

Tickets: (use promo code: stars)


This offer is valid through the online link or by calling Matt Luce, Texas Stars Account Executive, at 600-5019. Ticket or parking discounts will not be recognized at the box office.