Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Southlake Fire Competes in Grimpday

Three Southlake Firefighters (Lt. Frank Molinets, Engineer Van Wakefield, and Engineer J.W. Stone) and six other North Central Texas Firefighters make up the nine-member Chisholm Trail Rescue Team (CTRT). The team recently competed in Grimpday Competition in Belgium from September 7 – September 10, 2022.

Grimpday is an international challenge that brings together search and rescue teams from around the world (firefighters, civil defense, military, and police). The challenge takes place in Namur, Belgium, where teams compete against each other through exercises involving the unique elements of search and rescue in hazardous environments. This event was created in 2006 by Namur’s regional fire department members.


Southlake Fire Lieutenant Frank Molinets said, “This was one of the most amazing experiences that I was able to be a part of. It is the Olympics of the rope rescue world.” 

The CTRT competed in 10 events total, including the “Dalton,” which was a rescue from a rollercoaster with a 190ft ascent, and patient rescue at 100ft above the surface. They also competed in the “Highline,” which was a water rescue over a canyon at 140ft. The North Central Texas team ranked 16th out of the 24 teams that competed, with a team from Japan taking overall first in the competition.

The CTRT put themselves in the running for Grimpday by competing in the Texas Rescue Competition in late 2021. Since then, they have worked tirelessly in preparation for this event, honing their skills with over 500 training hours since January. The team also was able to fundraise over $7,000.00 for their trip.

The skills the team displayed at Grimpday directly benefit the local community. The Southlake Fire Department and Northeast Tarrant County (NEFDA) are trained and supported by the CTRT, which is now internationally recognized.

“We had the ability to see and learn from the best of the best, and it is now our responsibility to pass that knowledge on,” stated Molinets.

Southlake Fire Department: How Pre-planning Takes Emergency Preparedness to New Levels

During the September 20 City Council meeting, the Southlake Fire Department, along with City Response Personnel and Mutual Aid Response, were recognized for their recent actions and pre-planning efforts regarding the DalDen Corporation fire.

On August 17, crews responded to a fire incident at 4285 T.W. King Road. The DalDen Corporation is a manufacturing company for hazmat chemical filling and packaging.

Due to the severity of the fire and the presence of chemicals, a total of four alarms were requested. Other resources in use that day include:

  • Northeast Fire Department Association (NEFDA) HAZMAT and Rescue companies.
  • Emergency Management for logistical support.
  • Public Works for assistance with the mitigation of HAZMAT.
  • Police for assistance with traffic control, evacuations, and scene security.


Approximately 75 fire personnel arrived at the scene to combat the fire.

“Thanks to the pre-planning process and working with different departments and agencies, the fire was under control within 90 minutes,” Southlake Fire Chief Mike Starr said during the City Council presentation.

The pre-planning process played a significant role in containing the fire at DalDen Corporation. Before firefighters began putting out the fire, crews identified onsite chemicals and investigated how they would respond to water to avoid any reactions. Crews were also able to bring in equipment from Public Works to build dirt damns and stop the flow of hazardous run-off into creeks.

By implementing these procedures, the City and all partners can take precautionary measures and respond to emergencies effectively and efficiently.

“We enhance our response by our mutual aid part of the NEFDA group,” said Chief Starr, “Most of the cities are part of our NEFDA resources, and we trained with them constantly to make sure that we understand their capabilities; they understand our capabilities, and we had those specialty resources.”

“We had everybody from Public Works to PD to the building department,” Chief Starr said. “Our City team really steps up.”

To learn more about the City of Southlake’s Elements for Effective Fire Response, please watch the City Council presentation online.

Southlake Firefighters Respond to Three-Alarm Fire

On September 15, at 3:32 PM, the Southlake Fire Department was called to a possible structure fire in the 1200 block of Fanning Street. The first unit arrived on the scene at 3:39 PM.

Upon arrival, firefighters found smoke showing from the roof. Additional fire units were immediately requested, and a working fire was declared. Firefighters first attacked the home’s attic to extinguish the fire quickly but then had to evacuate due to the instability of the structure’s roof.

Fire crews moved outside to protect surrounding homes and continue fire suppression efforts. The fire was under control at approximately 5:30 PM and was fully extinguished at 10:04 PM. Southlake fire crews remained on the scene throughout the night on fire watch to prevent the rekindling of the fire.

One person was injured in the fire and transported to the hospital. There were no firefighter injuries. The fire is under investigation.

The following cities provided Mutual Aid: Keller, Westlake, Colleyville, Grapevine, Fort Worth, North Richland Hills, Hurst, and Roanoke.

Southlake Deputy Fire Chief Kurt Hall Becomes Designated CEMSO

Southlake Deputy Fire Chief Kurt Hall successfully completed the International Designation Process for “Chief EMS Officer” CEMSO, making him one of 134 CEMSOs Worldwide.

This Designation was recently granted by the Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC), a program that provides guidance and career planning assistance to enhance the professional development of fire and emergency service personnel.

The Designation program is voluntary and is designed to recognize individuals who demonstrate their excellence in seven measured components. They include: experience, education, professional development, professional contributions, association membership, community involvement and technical competence. The program also considers broad professional accomplishments and recognizes lifelong career excellence and achievement.

“By accomplishing this designation, Deputy Chief Hall has set a standard for his peers and has displayed he understands the importance of the knowledge he received from this designation,” said Chief Mike Starr, “This achievement signifies Hall’s commitment to his career in the fire and emergency service.”

CEMSO’s must have a minimum of 10 years emergency medical services field or system experience as an Emergency Medical Technician, Paramedic, Registered Nurse, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner or Physician. They are also required to identify a future professional development plan.

For more information, please visit the Center for Public Safety Excellence.

Did You Know… Southlake Offers Many Self-Serve Features Online?

As many Southlake residents know, life can get pretty hectic and sometimes it’s difficult to appear in person to handle important business matters.

But, we have some good news! The City of Southlake offers numerous online self-serve features to help our residents keep up with their busy lives. From paying your water bill to scheduling a Vacation House Watch while you’re away from home, to signing up for a new health and fitness class for you and your family, information is just a click away.

You can also check out books from Southlake’s Digital Library from the comfort of your own home. Here’s a list of what you can do without ever leaving your home or business.

Online services offered by the City of Southlake:

Utility Billing

Need to pay your utility bill? Visit www.southlakewaterutilities.  Here are some other things you can do from this site.

  • Sign up for new water service. Make sure you have proper documentation, like the deed or a lease agreement, and you can take care of it all online. If you don’t have that, not to worry, we can help you in person with a valid ID.
  • Make changes to your accounts.
  • Apply for leak adjustments.
  • Apply for automatic bank drafts.
  • View your water bill.
  • Want to see when bills are mailed? Check out the calendar here.

Come Fix This!

Notice a pothole, problems with a traffic signal or issues with your water?

  • The Come Fix This! form easily helps you report the problem. The Come Fix This! form is a good start to making contact with the Public Works Department.  The form also lets you request to be contacted, but if you would like to speak to someone, you can call the Public Works Department at (817) 748-8098 or click on this link.

Kids Sports

See a great program for your kids? Sign them up online.

  • All program and athletic registration can be done online, just check out this link.
  • Pavilion rentals do have to be done in person, so come visit us in suite 210 in Town Hall.
  • As always, Southlake Parks & Recreation is happy to help you answer any questions.  Staff can be reached at (817) 748-8019.

Digital Library 

Did you know you have access to a huge digital library?

  • You can check out e-books, e-audio, Flipster Magazines, look at Book Flip, create an account, research digital databases and put books on hold all from your comfy reading chair at home.  Just follow this link. If you have any questions, please call the Library at (817) 748-8234.

Southlake Fire Department

Do you have questions about fire safety in your home? Southlake Fire Department is here to help.

  • You can find life-saving information about kitchen fire safety tips, smoke alarms and the two-minute rule, by clicking on this link.
  • To request a fire inspection or special permit, call the main number at (817) 748-8106.


Vacation House Watch

Did you know your Police Department will check on your house when you are away?

  • To request a Vacation House Watch while you’re away from your home, fill out this form and send it in.
  • To file or request a police report you may contact the non-emergency number at
    (817) 743-4522.
  • To request information about a traffic accident report, or request information by mail, information can be found online here.
  • Want to know who is the District Sergeant in your neighborhood? Just click here.
  • Need help with Animal Control? All the information you need is located here including information about adopting a pet.

If you need information about something that is not listed here, simply log on to the City of Southlake website and type in the item you are looking for in the search bar. You can also call the City of Southlake’s main number at (817) 748-8400 and speak to someone that can assist you.

Facebook Changes – Don’t Miss Important Information

If you’ve noticed that some of your favorite Facebook pages, like the City of Southlake and Southlake DPS pages, are not showing up in your newsfeed as often as they once did, we can help you make sure you receive all of our updates and important information.

In early January, in an effort to “put the social back in social media,” Facebook changed how it ranks the posts, videos and photos that appear in its users’ Newsfeed – putting what friends and family have to say first. It’s great to keep up with family and friends, but we also don’t want you to miss out on important information from the City and the Southlake DPS Facebook pages. Southlake Police Chief James Brandon says, “Providing our citizens with accurate and timely information, especially when it comes to traffic mobility and important crime alerts, are part of our core mission. We want you to help keep you informed.”

Don’t worry we’re here to help. Just follow these simple instructions so you and your family can continue to hear about breaking news and information from the City of Southlake, Police and Fire Department alerts and important traffic and road closure information.

First, go to “Following” under the banner page on our City and Southlake DPS, Library, Parks, Legends Hall and Visit Southlake Facebook pages.

Next click “see first.” This tells Facebook that you actually want to see what we post. Just two clicks and that’s it!

We too want our Facebook pages to be a place for meaningful interactions and information, and we know that as Southlake residents it’s important for you to keep up with all that is happening in your City. So log in and follow those two simple steps or “clicks” so you will never miss an important traffic alert, news about fun City events or anything else.

See you on Facebook!

Renovation Update for DPS West Facility

Renovations are moving forward at the Southlake DPS West Fire and Police Station.

The improvements will enhance the safety and security of the building with a larger community room, updated offices, replacement of the air conditioning rooftop units, as well as updated plumbing and electrical wiring. The renovations will also address the cosmetic and maintenance issues caused by significant foundation movement.

“This is a phased construction project so that our first responders will continue to meet our required response times for emergency situations,” said Fire Chief Michael Starr.

Other improvements include:

  • Replacement of fire bay doors with added auto-close safety feature
  • Installation of a modern exhaust system to capture the potential carcinogens found in fire apparatus’s exhaust
  • Replacement of backup generator
  • Expansion of dayroom and kitchen
  • Gated access to area behind the facility exterior and landscaping improvements

The DPS West facility was originally constructed in 2001 housing both Fire Department and Police Department personnel. Since then, the City has opened the DPS Headquarters facility in 2009 and the DPS North Training facility in 2013.

The City’s proposed plans to update and modernize the west station originally included four bids that were presented and reviewed by the Crime Control & Prevention District (CCPD) and approved by City Council on September 5, 2017, at a cost of $1,961,366.16. The majority of the renovation cost is being funded through CCPD fund with a smaller portion (approximately $300,000) coming from the City’s general fund. The contract was awarded to HCI General Contractors.

“DPS West will continue to house the Police Department’s Traffic Enforcement Section and the Office of Traffic Management.  These teams are vital to ensuring the safety of Southlake’s motoring public as we strive to increase mobility,” said Police Chief James Brandon.

Watch for periodic updates to follow the progress of the DPS West renovation. The project is anticipated to be completed in the summer of 2018.


Southlake Officers and Firefighters Sworn In and Promoted During DPS Promotional Ceremony

New Southlake Police Officers and Firefighters were sworn in Thursday night at the annual Promotional Ceremony at the DPS North Training facility.

After the swearing in of new officers and firefighters, others were recognized for recent promotions and several were honored with the Meritorious Conduct and Lifesaving Awards for their heroic efforts. Southlake Police Chief James Brandon and Fire Chief Mike Starr spoke at the event along with Mayor Laura Hill.  “I’m so honored to be a part of this celebration of commitment, hard work, and dedication. It makes me so proud to be your mayor,” said Mayor Hill.

“Becoming a police officer is a calling,” said Chief Brandon. Like all Southlake first responders, these men and women never shy away from danger. They instinctively run towards it and that’s why their work has life-changing effects that ripple throughout the community. “It is a desire to protect the innocent and serve the community,” added Brandon.

Each officer and firefighter chose a loved one to pin their new badge on them; either their spouse, one of their children or a parent to do the honors. It’s always a very special and emotional ceremony. “We recognize that it’s not just the officer or firefighter who makes a sacrifice. It’s also the employees’ spouse and family who make great sacrifices simply by having a loved one that is a dedicated first responder,” said Chief Starr.

The Meritorious Conduct Award went to Officer Brad Uptmore. On January 22, 2017, Officer Uptmore Officer Uptmore selflessly worked to remove the driver from a burning vehicle by trying to pry the driver’s door free. Realizing that the door was wedged shut due to the damage from the collision, Officer Uptmore then made an attempt to cut the seatbelt in order to free the driver. With the fire encroaching into the interior of the vehicle and beginning to burn the driver, Officer Uptmore used a jacket in an attempt to keep the flames away from the trapped driver.  He continued working until Southlake Fire Department personnel arrived on scene and extinguished the fire.  Officer Uptmore was subsequently treated for injuries he received in his attempt to save the driver’s life.

Fire personnel Cody Brazelton, Chase Sanderson, J. Moloney, and Jason Wise received the Lifesaving Award. On April 8, 2016, these first responders responded to a motor vehicle collision on State Highway 114 service road near the intersection of Dove and White Chapel. Personnel arrived at the scene quickly and found several vehicles involved, some with major exterior and interior damage. Crews rapidly assessed numerous patients and found one to be in dire need of immediate care. The patient was a 1 month old female found unresponsive and not breathing, still secured inside her car safety seat. Fire personnel performed a swift but focused medical and trauma assessment then promptly transported the child to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. The expeditious and advanced emergency care provided by fire personnel helped stabilize the patient which ultimately led to a positive outcome for the patient and her family.

These first responders exemplify the dedication and professionalism of being a Southlake Police Officer and Firefighter.

Congratulations to all of our new staff promoted staff and recipients of the Meritorious Conduct and Lifesaving awards.


New Police Officers           Promoted Officers                                         

Brad Uptmore                               Lt. Jose Luna

Jamie Hannah                              Sgt. Jason Henniger

Kyle Meeks                                   Sgt. Jonathan Macheca

Ricky Holder                                 Cpl. Preston Logan

Raymon Cannon                          Cpl. Chris Milton

Tony Pate                                     Cpl. Robert Briggs

Bobby Cure

Diedre Spears

Stephanie Warren


New Firefighters                  Promoted Firefighters                 


Chris Horne                                   Jimmy Elliott, Engineer

Nicolas Miles                                 Wes Adams, Engineer

Daniel Miller                                  Ricky Davis, Lieutenant

Cody Pierson

Joshua Borsky

Alfredo Del Valle

Kaleb Gilliam

Lester Gomez

Jared Higgins

David Hill

Kurt Hill, Deputy Chief


Lifesaving Award            

Joshua Brady

Cody Brazelton

Chase Sanderson

J. Moloney

Jason Wise


Meritorious Conduct Award

Officer Brad Uptmore



Siren GPS Mobile App available to Southlake residents

Southlake residents now have a new way to reach out for help in the event of a 9-1-1 emergency. Beginning the week of December 12th, Southlake residents will have access to a mobile application called Siren GPS.

The system functions through a mobile app which can be downloaded on smartphones. When called through the app, Siren GPS provides a precise caller location. Northeast Tarrant County Communications (NETCOM), the shared 9-1-1 center for Southlake, Keller, Colleyville, and Westlake is the first 9-1-1 operations center in Texas to be equipped with this new technology.

“This tool will be helpful for our first responders,” said Southlake Fire Chief Michael Starr. “Southlake Residents and business owners should also be assured that regular calls to 9-1-1 will result with immediate service to people in need. Currently, we arrive at most emergency calls in 5 minutes and 33 seconds or less.”

Chief James Brandon also notes, “The safety of our residents and the protection of property is our top priority. We appreciate our partnership with NETCOM and the center’s support of the Southlake DPS mission.”

How to get the App:

    1. Go to the I-tunes App or for android on Google Play and download the free SirenGPS mobile app.
    2. Create an account
    3. Southlake residents: Join NETCOM 911 which allows you to make 9-1-1 phone calls from the Siren GPS App.
    4. Fill out, if desired, the important medical information for emergency responders, such as major health issues, medications, allergies, and a photo so that responders immediately recognize the person needing medical attention. Also, consider filling out “next of kin” notifications.
    5. That’s it!


For more information about NETCOM 9-1-1’s Siren GPS mobile app please visit: