The Friday Report
  April 22, 2022
SOURCE: San Marcos Corridor News
San Marcos Fire Chief Les Stephens was recently honored by the Texas Fire Chiefs Association with the Fire Chief of the Year award during a ceremony at the Texas Fire Chiefs Association Annual Conference in Waco.

Stephens was named San Marcos Fire Chief in 2009. Since then, the department has improved training, increased diversity, expanded fire prevention programs, and modernized fire stations and equipment to serve the city’s growing population.

Stephens began his career in 1988 as a Firefighter/Paramedic with the River Oaks Volunteer Fire Department. He joined the Garland Fire Department in 1991 and held several positions before he was selected as Chief of the San Marcos Fire Department in 2009.

Follow the link here to view a tribute to Stephens produced by Flower Mound Fire Chief Paul Henley.

Join hosts Geoffrey Tumlin and Cindi Baldi as the Management Muse podcast delivers smart strategies and interviews with cool people to inspire better work performance.

Management Muse recently released three episodes about crisis management featuring Gen. Jeff Howell — Season 1, episodes 4, 5 and 6. 

Episode 4 features Howell's tale of the time his soldiers pulled a mutiny on him, while Howell discusses nearly losing his military command after a mid-air collision Episode 5. Episode 6 centers on the Shuttle Columbia disaster, which took place when Howell was Commander of the Space Center.

Follow the link below to listen to these episodes. 

The IAFC is now accepting nominations for the IAFC Ben Franklin Award for Valor.

Since 1970, the IAFC’s most prestigious award has recognized the spirit of service, courage and heroism that is a proud tradition among the world's fire and emergency service. The program is named for one of the first fire chiefs in the United States, Benjamin Franklin. An inventor, statesman and humanitarian, Franklin was a prime contributor to the wealth of tradition that symbolizes the fire and emergency service worldwide.

Presented annually at Fire-Rescue International (FRI) by the IAFC and Motorola Solutions, the award honors a firefighter(s) for their expert training, professional service and dedication to duty displayed in saving human life. More than that, the program helps raise public awareness and support for the fire and emergency services.

An individual or a team of up to four may be nominated, and all active firefighters — career or volunteer, whether on or off-duty — are eligible for award consideration; They need only to be nominated by their chief for an incident in which they saved a human life.

The chief must submit the nomination via the nomination link, which can be found below. The incident must have occurred between April 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2021, to qualify for consideration. 

The 2022 nomination period closes June 15, and winners will be announced on Aug. 22, 2022.

Providing Protection for Those Who Protect Us
Casco Industries, Inc.®
Casco Industries, Inc. has been in business for over 72 years. Casco is a family-owned business and is in its third generation of ownership. Casco covers 8 States with 6 offices and warehouses, with two office locations in Texas with 18 salesmen and 6 service tech’s covering the State. Casco is the exclusive dealer for MSA SCBA, Globe manufacture, and many other Fire Service Products in most of the states it covers.
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2022 Spring Academy – Grapevine
June 5-10, 2022
Embassy Suites by Hilton - DFW
Airport North 2401 Bass Pro Drive
Grapevine, TX 76051

2022 Fall Academy – San Marcos
Sept. 25-30, 2022
Embassy Suites - San Marcos

Click here for more information about the Embassy Hotel.

Follow the link below to register.  

Sugar Land 
May 1-4, 2022

This will be an extended program with additional networking opportunities provided by the Sugar Land Fire Department.

Follow the link below to register. 

Martinez Architects, LP
Casco Industries, Inc.

SOURCE: The Rogersville Review (Tennessee)
Kira Jones, A Tennessee high school student, recently received a plaque from the Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association in recognition of her essay “Firefighters: Are they the Ones Who Need Saving?”

The essay describes the mental trauma experienced by many, if not most, firefighters and the importance for "these brave men and women to find ways to cope in order to deal with their traumatizing mental experiences."

It goes on to provide some alarming statistics regarding deaths by suicide among firefighters and offers warning signs for loved ones to look out for. Ultimately, it impresses the importance of talking to those exhibiting such signs and seeking help for them.

"These important members of society are crucial to ensuring a safe community for everyone because in the moment of crisis, these are the first people there to help" the essay states in closing. "Therefore, instead of waiting on them to save the members of the community, it is time for the members of the community to stand up to save the firefighters."

In March 2022, the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) awarded its 300th accreditation. With a current total of 301, this is the highest ever number of accredited agencies. Formed in 1996 to award accreditation to fire and emergency services agencies worldwide, today CFAI, along with the Commission on Professional Credentialing, operates within the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE).

Agency accreditation is a process by which departments undergo a voluntary and thorough self-assessment focused on identifying strengths and areas for improvement. The accreditation process provides a framework for determining community needs and demonstrating that they are being met. CFAI awards accredited status to agencies following a peer review of agency documents and a site visit.

To help meet the needs of the nation during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra renewed the COVID-19 public health emergency declaration, which went into effect on April 16. The first U.S. public health emergency declaration for COVID-19 was signed in January 2020 as the global pandemic response began and has been renewed every 90 days in adherence to the law.  

Renewing the public health emergency declaration ensures health care providers and state and territorial health departments have continued flexibility to respond to the pandemic, helping save lives. These flexibilities support efforts such as rapid patient care during emergencies, including waivers from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for certain requirements under section 1135 of the Social Security Act.

Investigators have determined that a 911 center fire dispatcher error led to the deaths of a husband and wife in Waukesha, Wisconsin, last month.

Originally officials stated that a software malfunction caused the fire department delayed response. But an in-depth investigation discovered the delay was due to human error in the Waukesha City Communications Center.

Investigators released their findings last week in a 284-page report, which can be found by following the link below.

SOURCE: Jesse Roman, NFPA Journal 
As the number of people over age 65 continues to rise across North America, falls and fires affecting that demographic — as well as related deaths and injuries — have skyrocketed. NFPA and its partners are taking a new approach to try to stem the tide.

Follow the link below to view updates about the ongoing Texas wildfires disaster. The TDEM website provides an overview of the ongoing disaster, offers resources for affected citizens and features an up-to-date wildfire map.

Emergicon , LLC.
TFCA is starting its legislative process and needs your input. Please take the time to share your concerns for current, upcoming and potential legislation by following the link below, which will take you to the legislative interest and concerns form.

This presentation by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), in cooperation with the TFCA, provides an overview of what to expect from the Texas Legislature interim session. It is intended to provide helpful information and to increase awareness about the processes of the Texas Legislature.

Fort Worth Fire Department Training Center
509 W. Felix St.
Fort Worth, TX
May 5, 10 a.m.

These meetings are held so that TCFP stakeholders can have an opportunity to ask questions of TCFP Leadership and receive updates on agency activities affecting the Texas Fire Service. They are designed to allow face-to-face conversations between agency staff and those regulated by TCFP to improve relationships and ensure the transparency of TCFP operations.

Meetings typically provide an overview of the following information:
• Update on commission actions.
• Pending rule and/or curriculum changes.
• Update on committee opportunities and activities.
• Identifying areas where the agency could improve services.

Follow the link below to register for CE credits and to view the full list of upcoming TCFP Regional Meetings. You can also click here to be taken directly to the myTEEX Student Portal, where you can register for CE credits.

There will be a combined TFCA Northeast Regional Meeting and TCFP Regional Meeting on Tuesday, April 26, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., at the Triple Creek Ranch, 2115 FM 450 S., Hallsville, Texas.

Facilities and lunch, which will be provided during the event, are sponsored by Raymond Murray and CASCO Industries.

If possible and you’ve not already done so, please RSVP to Northeast Regional Director J.P. Steelman at

We hope to see you there!
While the TML Leadership Academy's Course I and Course II are sold out, the organization has a few upcoming events, trainings and webinars planned.

Public Funds Investment Act Training
April 25-26

Newly Elected Webinar: Governing Ethically — Understanding Your Influence 
April 26
2-3 p.m.

TMUA — Leadership and Management Conference 
April 27-29
College Station

Small Town Conference 
May 19-20
The Hangar Hotel
155 Airport Road
Fredericksburg, TX

Budget and Tax Rate Workshop
May 20

June 30

Follow the link below for more event details, including links to webinars. 

After a one-year hiatus, TEEX’s Leadership Development Symposium will return to San Marcos, Texas, on May 17-19, 2022.

The Symposium offers an unmatched environment for leadership education, including development in budgeting and finance, health and wellness, personnel management, mentoring and more. Speakers from diverse backgrounds — academics, corporate leaders, veterans, medical professionals, entrepreneurs and motivational speakers — offer a wide range of fresh perspectives on leadership, benefitting everyone in public service. Beyond education, the Symposium provides top-tier networking opportunities for emergency responders in Texas.

Attendees of this year’s Symposium will hear from speakers such as YouTube influencer Jason Patton; business professor, veteran and entrepreneur Dr. Bridgette Chambers; Texas A&M University Director of Athletics Ross Bjork; Rob Mendez, coach, inspirational speaker and author; and Ron Derrick, Corporate Emergency Manager for Whataburger Restaurants. Some topics covered will include deployment leadership, mental resiliency, energizing a tired workforce and bridging the gap between generations.

The Symposium is free for residents of Texas and $150 for out-of-state residents. First responders, including law enforcement, fire and EMS, receive continuing education units for attending. To find out more or to register for the Symposium, please visit the Leadership Development Symposium Newsletter or the Leadership Development Symposium Registration.

The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service Emergency Services (TEEX) Training Institute announced that the 15th Annual Leadership Development Symposium has been scheduled for 2023 in Frisco, Texas. The symposium is a two-and-a-half-day event attended by hundreds of emergency responders who come to listen to presentations that focus on how to improve their leadership and management skills.

TEEX is seeking speakers interested in sharing their expertise during breakout sessions, which are scheduled in two-hour blocks, though speakers may present the same one-hour session repeated back-to-back or have a two-part session. 

Some areas of expertise where TEEX is seeking presentations include:
• Motivational Leadership  
• Leadership Strategies
• Financial Management
• Physical and Mental Fitness and Wellness
• Organizational Development
• Personnel Management

Applications are due by July 15. Follow the link below to apply. 

Each year, in conjunction with the Texas Annual Fire Training Schools, TEEX hosts three vendor shows, which draw thousands of attendees. Come see the products and services that are available, including fire and EMS apparatus, tools, apparel and technology. More than 130 exhibitors will be on display over the three shows, the largest of which is the Municipal Vendor Show at Reed Arena on the campus of Texas A&M University. ​ 

Industrial Vendor Show
July 17
10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Brayton Fire Training Field
College Station, TX

Municipal Vendor Show
July 24
9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Reed Area, Texas A&M University Campus
College Station, TX

Spanish Vendor Show
July 10

There is no admission fee, and shows are open to the public. 

This episode of Fire Law Roundup covers the dismissal of an Alabama lawsuit alleging military and race discrimination; an appellate decision upholding the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by a man who jumped out of the back of a moving FDNY ambulance; the conviction of a Virginia firefighter charged criminally with use of a vehicle without permission for driving a fire truck to a fire when he was not approved to drive it; the filing of a union harassment lawsuit in Idaho by IAFF officials; and a lawsuit against several New Jersey fire departments that deployed AFFF at a fire scene.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has designated April as Emergency Communications Month to recognize the critical role of emergency communications personnel in public safety.

Throughout the month, CISA will highlight emergency communicators and how they serve the American public, the role of cybersecurity in emergency communications, and the role CISA's partnerships and stakeholders play in helping the agency achieve its goals. 

SOURCE: Barry Furey, Firehouse Magazine

 In 2020, according to the NFPA, firefighter deaths doubled compared with deaths in 2019, with more than half of 2020’s fatalities attributed to COVID.  A search of the U.S. Fire Administration database reveals that another 48 firefighters succumbed to the disease in 2021, as of press time. Put another way: Dozens of first responders who survived 9/11 failed to survive the coronavirus.

Of course, in a service that’s predicated on public contact, contracting a communicable disease is sadly, and quite obviously, a potential risk. For one group of members of the team — dispatchers — this source of exposure is reduced and often nonexistent. Still, this group has suffered struggles of its own during the pandemic.

Dispatchers aren’t shielded from the damage that’s caused by COVID. In fact, their isolation might contribute to their dilemma.

In this segment, Jeff Shupe and other members of Strategic Fire Training look forward to FDIC International 2022, which is hailed as the "biggest firefighter convention in the world." Click on "Learn more" below to watch this video. 

In addition, follow this link here to view the most recent #HumpdayHangout, in which Mike Dugan, Bill Gustin, Clark Lamping and Jimmy Davis consider fires that originate on and spread up the exterior of buildings as well as their impact on faux stucco insulated cladding, among other topics.