Saturday, August 20, 2022

Demonstrating World Class Performance: A Look Inside Southlake Fire

They are the first responders to arrive on a scene. They assist with the injured, visit our schools and are a beloved staple in the community. Kids look up to them and grownups want to be them. Some would even refer to them as our first real-life heroes. They are our local firefighters.

When it comes to implementing the City’s values of integrity, accountability, innovation, excellence and teamwork, the Southlake Fire Department sets the standard.

The staff is comprised of highly-trained individuals who specialize in fire prevention services emergency response, emergency management, public outreach and education and community risk.

Since firefighters are more than likely to be the first responders who arrive on the scene, training is essential.

In 2020, our firefighters accrued 14,000 hours in fire training, 4,000 hours in EMS training and 6,000 hours in professional development.

“We are required to do a certain amount of training by regulatory agencies once you become certified in both fire and EMS,” Deputy Chief of Operations Kurt Hall said.

Not only does Southlake Fire’s commitment to serving the community speak volumes, but their commitment to excellence is displayed through accolades and award-winning achievements.

“We are internationally accredited through the commission of fire accreditation international. We’ve also been awarded a grade of one through the insurance services office, so we are an ISO Class 1,” Hall said.

Southlake Fire also received the 2020 CPSE/CFAI Accreditation based on internal performance metrics and best practice measures. They were one of 10 agencies in the world to complete this accreditation.

Apart from earning some of the highest credentials in the industry, keeping citizens safe is a top priority.

According to the 2020 Southlake Fire Department Annual Report, Southlake Fire:

  • Responded to fires in under 6.35 minutes 90% of the time, which is above industry standards.
  • Responded to 3,210 calls for service.
  • Saved $5 million in property.
  • Dispatched EMS in 45 seconds, 90% of the time.
  • Battled six structure fires in the City of Southlake.
  • Fought 21 structure fires in other jurisdictions.

Southlake Fire is also a member of the Northeast Fire Department Association (NEFDA), which allows citizens of Southlake to have access to the resources of 14 other jurisdictions.

“We are a member of that association to create and to provide specialized rescue training to the community. Most fire departments require individual teams and these 14 cities have come together to cost share. It gives us access to specialty team rescue type training like high angle rescue, confined space rescue, trench rescue, technical rescue, which is structural collapse,” said Hall. “The additional training allows the employees themselves to focus on what they enjoy. When you do something you enjoy, you always provide a higher quality, a greater focus and you do a better job.”

Our firefighters also offer training and free resources through public education and outreach programs such as CPR training, fire extinguisher training, child safety seat installations and household hazardous waste disposal through a partnership with Fort Worth Environmental.

They also offer station tours for small groups and organizations.

“I think what separates the Southlake Fire Department from any other fire department is the fact that we hire employees that truly care about what they do. They want to provide a high-quality world class service to the community, and they do it in a professional manner,” Hall said.

For more information about Southlake’s Fire Department, please visit www.CityofSouthlake.com/Fire.

 

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