Friday, April 12, 2024

Mayor John Huffman and Lieutenant Frank Molinets Talk Wildland Deployments

Each year, the brutal Texas summer takes its toll on previously manicured grass, AC units, and the water supply. Increased temperatures and little rainfall lead to drought conditions that make way for increased wildfires and grassfires each season; The Southlake Fire Department continues to provide assistance to areas in need.

As temperatures rise, so does the need for extra resources – water, gear, and helping hands, but Southlake Fire, a Northeast Fire Department Association (NEFDA) partner, is no stranger to a bond that begins with one of the golden rules – sharing is caring. This week on Minute with the Mayor, Mayor John Huffman meets with Lieutenant Frank Molinets of the Southlake Fire Department to get an in-depth look at the Wildland Deployment Program.

“Throughout the year, we participate in many deployments throughout the state of Texas, mainly wildland deployments, where we send wildland-trained firefighters out to support local jurisdictions in any time of need. For the last few years, Texas has experienced drought conditions, and these resources have been needed throughout the state on multiple occasions,” said Molinets.

The Southlake Fire Department debuted its new Tender, an apparatus that stores up to 3,000 gallons of water, on a deployment to Fort Stockton this summer. This piece of equipment assisted in extinguishing roadside flames and keeping people and animals who live there safe.

Positions on the Wildland team are highly coveted, and practice with new equipment and tactics continues long after the drought season is over. With firefighters dedicating over 100 hours each of initial training, yearly preparation with regional and state partners, and much more, the Southlake crews are ready to tackle the smoke and flames ahead.

Depending on the severity, deployments can last a few days to a few weeks, but no matter the duration, the Protect Southlake team continues to rise to the occasion.

As he listened in on what the program entailed, Mayor Huffman remarked, “It really speaks to the heart that you have and the heart that your team has, that you guys would take the time to get trained for this, but also take the time to deploy.”

To watch the full episode of Minute with the Mayor, click below.

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