TCC expands Fire Service Training Center

Tarrant County College Northwest is growing its Fire Service Training Center to expand opportunities for the next generation of first responders. On Friday, Jan. 11, at 11 a.m., the Fire Service Training Center will officially open the campus’s Fire Station 2. The event will include a ribbon cutting, remarks by TCC Chancellor Eugene Giovannini and TCC Northwest President Zarina Blankenbaker and opportunities to tour the new space.

With the addition of Fire Station 2, a two-bay structure, the College has adequate space to house all its fire trucks. The 50’x60’ station has dedicated

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Enjoy the holiday season with fire safety in mind

As you deck the halls this holiday season, the Fort Worth Fire Department encourages you to be fire smart. A small fire that spreads to a Christmas tree can grow large very quickly.

When selecting your live tree, choose a tree with fresh, green needles that don’t fall off when touched.

Placing the tree

  • Before placing the tree in its stand, cut 2 inches from the base of the trunk.
  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
  • Add water to the tree stand. Check the water level daily.

Lighting the tree

  • Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for the number of light strands to connect.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate a tree.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

After Christmas

  • Get rid of the tree after Christmas or when it’s dry. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage or placed outside against the house.
  • In Fort Worth, trees can be placed curbside for recycling or taken to one of the drop-off stations.
  • Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and to make them last longer.

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Southlake Deputy Fire Chief Kurt Hall Becomes Designated CEMSO

Southlake Deputy Fire Chief Kurt Hall successfully completed the International Designation Process for “Chief EMS Officer” CEMSO, making him one of 134 CEMSOs Worldwide.

This Designation was recently granted by the Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC), a program that provides guidance and career planning assistance to enhance the professional development of fire and emergency service personnel.

The Designation program is voluntary and is designed to recognize individuals who demonstrate their excellence in seven measured components. They include: experience, education, professional development, professional contributions, association membership, community involvement and technical competence. The program also considers broad professional accomplishments and recognizes lifelong career excellence and achievement.

“By accomplishing this designation, Deputy Chief Hall has set a standard for his peers and has displayed he understands the importance of the knowledge he received from this designation,” said Chief Mike Starr, “This achievement signifies Hall’s commitment to his career in the fire and emergency service.”

CEMSO’s must have a minimum of 10 years emergency medical services field or system experience as an Emergency Medical Technician, Paramedic, Registered Nurse, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner or Physician. They are also required to identify a future professional development plan.

For more information, please visit the Center for Public Safety Excellence.

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Southlake Fire Sends One of Our Own to Help Battle California Blaze

The Southlake Fire Department is sending a firefighter, Driver/Engineer-EMT Vann Wakefield, to assist with the wild land firefighting efforts currently under way in Southern California. Engineer Wakefield is being deployed as part of a larger group of Texas firefighters from municipalities across the region (Fort Worth, Parker County, Weatherford, Stephenville, Roanoke, Cleburne and Somervell County).
Personnel and firefighting apparatus from these departments make up a single wild land strike team which is one of three strike teams being deployed from the North Branch of TIFMAS (Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System).
Dallas, Plano, Denton, Frisco, McKinney, Little Elm, Flower Mound and Lewisville Fire Departments make up the other two strike teams.
Please keep these firefighters in your thoughts and prayers as they travel a very long distance to help preserve life and property in the affected areas of Southern California.

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National Fire Prevention Week Awareness & Safety Tips

Look. Listen. and Learn. Be aware – fire can happen anywhere, is the theme for the 2018 Fire Prevention Week, which is October 7-13.  The theme was announced by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a global non-profit organization that works with local fire departments to promote fire safety.

The program focuses on three essential steps the public can take to reduce the possibility of having a fire and how to escape safely in the event of one.

City of Southlake Fire Prevention Officer Renni Burt takes another look at the call-to-action sequence and explains how residents can apply them.

LOOK-Look for places fire could start. “Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.”

LISTEN-Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm. “You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet.”

LEARN-Learn two ways out of every room.  “Make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter,” stated Burt.

The theme works to remind the public that fires can happen anywhere, anytime.

The city strives to educate the community by keeping them abreast of information and providing resources.  Within the last week, city firefighters sported Home Depot aprons and made fire boats with local kids. “We want people to be aware all year and not just this week,” said Burt.


About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information, visit All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at

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Southlake Fire Deploys Three Firefighters to Fight Blazes in California

The State of California has requested wild land firefighting resources from Texas to address their dire wildfire situation and the Southlake Fire Department will be sending three of their own to assist in fighting the blazes as part of TIFMAS (Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System).

Our specially trained firefighters will land in Sacramento tomorrow evening.  From there they will join up with local efforts and be deployed to either the Carr Fire or other fires in Orange County.  Each strike team will have fire trucks as part of their team, and will then drive into high risk areas, setting up a base camp with tents, MREs, and medical supplies, and then hike on foot in full gear up to five miles a day.

California is experiencing very high temperatures, consistently strong winds, and an abnormal statewide drought which has resulted in multiple very large fires burning across the state.  Tens of thousands of residents have been displaced and more than 1,000 homes have been destroyed.  Firefighters were requested to bring both wildland gear and structural gear, as their mission may shift during their time deployed.

Southlake firefighters will be deployed for 14 days, and then return home and be replaced by three more Southlake firefighters, as we are committed to assisting for 28 days.  These personnel will provide fresh resources to support the current efforts to preserve life and property.

Please keep these brave heroes in your thoughts over the next month.

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Foam Home: Southlake Fire Trains for Hazardous Materials

This past week, the Southlake Fire Department continued their trend of excellence by training in basic Haz-Mat response both in the classroom and in the field.

Firefighters use a program called HazMat IQ that identifies different types of hazardous chemicals and then shows the make up of it and how best to contain it.  “This particular piece of equipment and software allows us to better understand the type of chemical we could be dealing with and its associated hazards,” Chief Ryan Arthur said.

In the field, Tri-Dal LLC (a local Southlake chemical manufacturing company) loaned the department an International 4700-DT466 diesel truck to make the scenario as real as possible.  When the FTO (field training officer) gave the word, firefighters used the foam to form a barrier between a possible fuel spill and the air, preventing the chemical from igniting.  By using the proper movements of the nozzle, the firefighters can push the foam blanket farther and farther away from the danger so that they can eventually get in and safely clear the hazard.

The Southlake Fire Department conducts this quarterly training to make sure firefighters use the correct type of nozzles, appliances, and hoselays, as well as the correct type of concentrate and proper application.  They must spray the foam so that the fuel is not splashed onto people or into exposures.

“I’m proud to represent an organization that maintains focus on providing the highest level of hazard mitigation while ensuring excellent customer service,” Chief Arthur said.

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Two final candidates remain for Fort Worth fire chief

The pool of candidates for the Fort Worth fire chief position has been narrowed to two: Columbus, Ohio, Fire Assistant Chief Jim Davis and District of Columbia Deputy Chief John Donnelly.

Both candidates will return to Fort Worth in early July for final interviews. City Manager David Cooke will make the final hiring decision.

Fire Chief Patrick Vasquez and Assistant City Manager Valerie R. Washington traveled to Columbus and Washington, D.C., to visit onsite with both candidates and to learn see their leadership styles in action. IAFF Local 440 President Michael Glynn also made the trip.

Here are some quotes from the two finalists:

Columbus, Ohio, Fire Assistant Chief Jim Davis

“As the fire chief in Fort Worth, I want to make a strong effort to build off the foundation that exists within the Fort Worth Fire Department. I want to be an ambassador and cheerleader to the great work these firefighters do every day in this community. I hope to create a future within the fire department that respects the past yet embraces the future. That future involves becoming a learning organization that develops staff through education and training, executes at the highest level to serve the residents and guests of Fort Worth and conducts itself with professionalism and positive labor-management relationships.”

“In my short experiences, Fort Worth has a small-town feel within a large, rapidly growing community. The growth offers challenges that can turn into great opportunities for a fire chief to lead the organization into the future by developing strong community partnerships and seeking new opportunities to serve the community.”

District of Columbia Deputy Chief John Donnelly

“As the fire chief, I hope to be a leader and manager who earns the respect of the community, city managers and rank-and-file members of the Fort Worth Fire Department. I will work hard to be a visible leader who emphasizes communications within the Fire Department and community. As the chief, I want to educate the community about the needs of the fire department and to provide feedback to the department from the community. Through this engagement process, I will lead the Fire Department in a strategic planning process to be sure the department is prepared to meet the present and future needs of the Fort Worth community.”

“There are many fire chief jobs open throughout the country. In my opinion, the Fort Worth fire chief’s job is a unique opportunity. The new Fort Worth fire chief will inherit a large and successful fire department that is growing and is well-positioned to be successful in the future. I would like to have the opportunity to take the department to the next level. I believe the history and traditions of the department and the commitment of the members I have had the opportunity to meet and talk with will allow us to accomplish that together.”

Six candidates for the position visited Fort Worth in late April. The position became available when Chief Rudy Jackson retired earlier this year after more than 10 years in the position.

“Fort Worth is a great city that deserves great leadership to join the ranks and guide our Fire Department,” Washington said. “We want to thank all of the residents, employees and stakeholders who were engaged and shared their thoughts and visions during this hiring process.”

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