Southlake Firefighters Train to Hone Skills

Southlake Firefighters never slow down. Whether it’s responding to a medical emergency, a fire call, a major traffic accident, or attending a public education event for the community, the men and women who make up the department are always on the go.

Even with this busy schedule, crews make time to hone their skills through ongoing training. Recently, firefighters received hands-on training for Street Level Airway Management (SLAM). “It’s important for every firefighter to be able to care for a patient in various difficult scenarios,” said EMS Battalion Chief Ryan Arthur.

In most situations, firefighters are going to be able to place a patient on a level surface like the floor or ground, but in some cases it’s just not possible. For example, what if firefighters respond to a patient who suffers a medical condition while working underground beneath a manhole? It’s a cramped space with low visibility. Firefighters are trained to lower personnel crew into the manhole, stabilize a patient; including making sure their airway is open, before securing them to the stretcher and bringing them to the surface for transport to a hospital.

Firefighters from A, B, and C shift spent several hours over three days perfecting techniques and learning from the best in their field. The classes are taught by the department’s experienced Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Field Training Officers (FTOs). “The FTOs are experts in their field and do an amazing job. Training in this type of environment is so important and helps firefighters think outside the box,” said Fire Chief Mike Starr.

The SLAM course uses hands-on training aids to help firefighters get the most accurate experience before utilizing their skills on patients. “It’s more realistic than working with only plastic tubes that are made to mimic a human’s trachea or lungs,” said Arthur.

The SLAM training also includes use of a special camera that’s inserted into a mannequin’s trachea. During training, obstructions are put in place to allow firefighters to problem solve. It allows them to see what they normally can’t see in a real situation. The camera can also be used in treating a real patient with an airway obstruction. “Time is critical when you are trying to clear an airway and restore breathing in a patient,” said Arthur.

Ongoing training is an important part of the mission of the Southlake Fire Department and why it has a #1 rating with the Insurance Service Office (ISO) and the State Fire Marshal’s office. The highest rating a Fire Department can receive.

Southlake residents can breathe easy knowing firefighters and the Southlake Fire Department are dedicated to the safety and protection of your community and are always working to serve you better.

To learn more about the Southlake Fire Department visit their website at


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Southlake Firefighters Help Battle Deadly Wildfires

A two-man team from the Southlake Fire Department has joined other firefighters across North Texas to help battle deadly wildfires.

The Texas Forest Service put out a call for help and the Southlake Fire Department answered by sending two specially trained wildland firefighters, Engineer Brent Nobile and Firefighter Seth Corder. Nobile and Corder joined firefighters from several local cities including, Fort Worth, Dallas, Weatherford and Stephenville. The teams have been working long hours to try to help control and contain the wildfires that are burning in the Texas Panhandle. The largest wildfire is burning north of Amarillo in Canadian, Texas.

This cluster of late-winter prairie fires has already burned approximately 478,000 acres of land and killed six people including three ranch hands, two of whom were a young couple in their 20s trying to move cattle away from the flames. Engineer Brent Nobile said, “There was devastation everywhere. You could drive for miles and miles and see nothing but scorched land in every direction.”

The Southlake Firefighters left on Monday, March 6 and are expected to be on the ground battling the wildfires for seven to ten days. Brent and Seth are part of a group of nine individuals within the Southlake Fire Department that have received specialized training in wildland firefighting. Fire Chief Mike Starr says, “The specialized training our firefighters receive allows us the opportunity to provide assistance to any agency facing devastating and fast-moving wildfires like these. It is critical to have a rotation of firefighters that are able to provide relief to crews that have been battling raging fires for days or even weeks.” Chief Starr adds, “This is a great partnership that allows us to come to the aid of any anyone that needs our help and support.”

The State of Texas reimburses all expenditures and any overtime incurred while Southlake resources aid in saving the lives and property of our neighbors in the Texas panhandle.


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Firefighters: change smoke, carbon monoxide detector batteries

Colleyville firefighters urge residents to change smoke alarm batteries around the house while winding clocks back this weekend.

Daylight Saving Time ends at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 6, and firefighting agencies around the nation believe this is a great time for people to test and replace the batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 71-percent of smoke alarms that failed to operate had missing, disconnected, or dead batteries.

Colleyville firefighters are also reminding the community to replace smoke alarms every 10 years. While replacing batteries, residents should look for the smoke alarms manufacture date located on the back of the device.

Smoke alarm statistics

Three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms
More than one-third, 38-percent, of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present
The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.

Source: National Fire Protection Association

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Southlake Firefighters & Police Officers Participate in the 6th Annual Dallas 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb

On Saturday, September 10, 2016 seven firefighters from Southlake’s Fire Department and nine police officers from the Southlake Police Department will participate in the annual 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb in Dallas.

Southlake firefighters and police officers are climbing to honor the 343 fallen firefighters, 70 police officers, and nine EMS personnel who were killed on September 11, 2001 when the World Trade Center Towers fell. Each climber will be wearing full firefighter, police gear and equipment, just like the New York first responders did on that day.

Southlake Fire Chief Mike Starr, Lieutenant Ryan Sessums, Firefighters Jody Keeler, Will Mayer, John Jackson, Billy Vogler, and Daniel Lyons will be representing the Southlake Fire Department. Assistant Police Chief Ashleigh Douglas, Lieutenant Randy Thomas, Lieutenant Jose Luna, Sergeant Tyler Sewell, Sergeant Jason Henninger, Sergeant Jonathan Macheca, Corporal Blas Hernandez, Officer Weston Wood, and Officer Stefan Petrovich will represent the Southlake Police Department. Each member of the Southlake DPS team, along with the other climbers, will wear the name and picture of a fallen firefighter, police officer or EMS worker.

The 9/11 Dallas Stair Climb is held at the Renaissance Tower in Dallas.  Saturday, hundreds of firefighters and police officers will join together to climb 110 floors, the same number of floors the first responders were faced with at the Twin Towers more than a decade ago.

Participating in the 9/11 Stair Climb is incredibly meaningful for all of the first responders. Fire Chief Mike Starr said, “It is an honor for us to pay tribute to the fallen firefighters and their families. We climb to remember them and to honor their memory.”

The 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb was organized following 9/11 and continues to grow each year. Assistant Chief Ashleigh Douglas said, “Participating in the stair climb is a very humbling experience. The climb allows us the opportunity to make certain these brave men and women will never be forgotten.”

Opening ceremonies begin at 8:00 a.m., followed by a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., the time the first plane (Flight 11) flew into the North Tower.  Firefighters and police officers will start their climb at 8:50 a.m., the same time first responders began arriving at the Twin Towers.

If you would like to show your support, you can come to the Renaissance Tower in Dallas to cheer on the climbers and/or if you would like to donate you can do so by going to the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb.

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