Tag Archives: Austin Fire Department

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Fire and police response times lagging due to low staffing

In an effort to serve citizens as quickly, efficiently and proficiently as possible, Austin public safety departments have response time goals. For the Fire Department, this means response times of eight minutes 90 percent of the time, while police should…

Friday, February 1, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Firefighter off for one day for ‘disrespect’

After finding that a male firefighter under his command spoke in a disrespectful manner to a female firefighter, Austin Fire Chief Joel Baker suspended the firefighter for just one day, to the dismay of the female firefighter. Baker did not…

Thursday, December 20, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

2019: AFD’s new chief prioritizes communication

After just over five months with an interim chief, the Austin Fire Department finally has a permanent leader. As the year winds down, Joel Baker assumes his role as fire chief at the department amid an environment of transition and…

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

‘Mega-fires’ are real, but their size is anyone’s guess

When representatives from the Austin Fire Department spoke at the last meeting of the Public Safety Commission, they alluded to a “mega-fire” they said was imminent in West Austin.Although the term may sound alarming, Justice Jones, wildfire mitigation program manager…

Tuesday, October 2, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Low morale in Austin’s public safety departments requires attention

The Public Safety Commission heard a variety of concerns at its Oct. 1 meeting in regards to the chronic low morale that public safety officers are experiencing within their respective departments.“It is pretty unanimous the officers are really getting tired…

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 by Nadia Hamdan

Rising insurance costs reignite push for new fire stations in Austin

Homeowners in a Del Valle suburb learned last month that their insurance rates could go up as much as $1,000 this year because they’re too far from the nearest fire station.Concerns about the rising rates have jump-started a push to…

Thursday, April 5, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Lack of fire station pushes some insurance rates up

Some Southeast Austin homeowners have been receiving bad news from their insurance companies – the rates on their homeowners insurance are projected to rise as much as $1,000 this year.District 2 Council Member Delia Garza told her colleagues at Wednesday’s…

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 by Jack Craver

What happens when top public safety officials are accused of harassment?

Members of the Public Safety Commission expressed concern and befuddlement over policies that the Police, Fire and EMS departments rely on to hold their top officials accountable for harassment.“It doesn’t make sense to me that the policies are so different…

Friday, January 19, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

AFD aims to weigh in on developments sooner rather than later

The Austin Fire Department could soon start reviewing individual development plans much earlier in the process than it currently does.Fire Marshal Rob Vires told the Public Safety Commission at its Jan. 8 special called meeting about ongoing discussions to allow…

Friday, September 29, 2017 by Jo Clifton

Council OKs firefighters’ contract 7-3

City Council approved a five-year contract with the Austin Firefighters Association Thursday on a vote of 7-3, after a heated exchange between Council Member Ora Houston and Austin Firefighters Association President Bob Nicks.Houston criticized the firefighters association for not doing…

Thursday, August 24, 2017 by Jo Clifton

Fire Department overtime soars to $21 million

Overtime pay for firefighters at the Austin Fire Department will reach about $21 million by the end of this fiscal year on Sept. 30 – a 206 percent increase since Fiscal Year 2013-14 – according to a report put out…

Friday, June 16, 2017 by Jo Clifton

Auditors to look at firefighters’ overtime

After considerable complaint from its newest members, Jimmy Flannigan and Alison Alter, City Council voted last month to amend the city’s General Fund budget by transferring $3.5 million from a stabilization reserve fund into the Austin Fire Department’s budget to pay…

Tuesday, June 6, 2017 by Jack Craver

Public safety agencies envision big staff increases

In presentations to the Public Safety Commission Monday, leaders of the Police Department, Fire Department and Emergency Management Services called for significantly boosting staff in the coming years, both to make up for existing shortages and to keep up with…

Monday, February 27, 2017 by Jo Clifton

Austin to take over some county firefighting

On Feb. 16, City Council unanimously approved negotiation of a contract with Travis County Emergency Services District 4 to transfer firefighting duties to Austin firefighters within the ESD’s area in eastern Travis County.The parties will have to come back to…

Monday, August 15, 2016 by Cate Malek

City Council sounds alarm over locker rooms for female firefighters

A multiyear project to provide locker rooms for Austin’s female firefighters has stuttered past its deadline, causing frustration among both firefighters and City Council.At a budget work session on Aug. 10, Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr promised to redouble her…

Thursday, July 7, 2016 by Jack Craver

Fire Dept. on Barton Creek drownings: There’s only so much we can do

There is only so much the city can do to prevent people from putting themselves at risk in Barton Creek or other area waterways, an Austin Fire Department official told members of the Public Safety Commission on Tuesday.“Water is always…

Monday, June 6, 2016 by Jo Clifton

Fire Department to seek new stations

Wednesday was the 100th birthday of the Austin Fire Department, so, naturally, the members of City Council had to sing “Happy Birthday” to AFD Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr during their work session.Kerr noted that the department started with 27 men,…

Thursday, May 26, 2016 by Jack Craver

City considers providing fire service to Travis County ESD4

After years of city annexations, Travis County Emergency Services District 4 (ESD4) should no longer have its own fire department, ESD4 Fire Chief David Bailey told the City Council Public Safety Committee on Monday.When it was founded as Travis County Rural…

Thursday, April 21, 2016 by Audrey McGlinchy

Austin Fire Department could soon be using drones

The drone idles on a small runway at the Austin Radio Control Association, just east of the city. It has a gray body and a white nose, across which someone has painted a sinister smile. The controls are tested, and…

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