This Tier 1 Southlake 2030 project aims to improve City water flow during firefighting emergencies by automatically detecting the changes in pressure between the high pressure and low pressure planes and electronically adjust the water flow to supplement the availability of water during a critical need situation.
Over the last few months, the Public Works Department has worked to complete this project and install five antennas at the PRV locations. The antennas allow for City staff to remotely monitor the PRVs and adjust water flow needs in the event of an emergency.
After several months of working with contractors to design and build antennas that fit into the Southlake area, the antennas are now installed at their designated locations (see image). The final phase of this project is to connect the antenna to the City’s monitoring (SCADA) system.
For questions about this project, please contact Public Works engineer, Alex Ayala at 817-748-8274.
The Fire Department has received official notice from the Texas Department of Insurance and the State Fire Marshal’s Office that Southlake’s Public Protection Classification rating would be lowered from a Class 4 to a Class 1 following a comprehensive audit and evaluation.
The new rating, effective September 1, 2014, could mean savings on fire insurance premiums of 11% for Southlake residents and 13% for business owners.
“We are very proud of our Class 1 rating and it could not have been accomplished without the addition of the North DPS Facility and the improvements made by Public Works to our water system,” notes Fire Chief Mike Starr. According to Mike, Peach, P.E. Consulting Services Inc., Southlake received the highest score of 97.53 since the rating system was put into place in 1906.
Insurance Services Office (ISO), which collects information about municipal fire protection efforts in communities throughout the United States, supplies statistical, actuarial and underwriting information to insurance companies, fire departments, insurance regulators and others. ISO uses a rating system of 1 to 10, with Class 1 being the highest fire protection rating.
The rating determination are based primarily on three weighted areas:
1. The community’s emergency communications capabilities, including 911 telephone systems, adequacy of telephone lines, operator supervision and staffing, and dispatching systems. (10 percent)
2. The quality of the fire department, including adequacy of equipment, sufficiency of staffing, level of training and the geographic distribution of fire stations. (50 percent)
3. The evaluation of the water supply, which includes the condition and maintenance of fire hydrants; existence of alternative water sources; and the amount, volume and pressure of available water compared with the amount needed to suppress fires. (40 percent).
“Congratulations to the work teams who participated in this project,” said Chief Starr. “This is a great achievement for City employees and is a great benefit for City residents and businesses.”
When you are a firefighter, being there when people need you is just part of the job. But in this day and age it means more than just fighting the fires and ensuring the safety of the people who live in just one city. It means being there when other Cities are in need as well.
The recent fire in Trophy Club is a great example. Right now there is an elevated fire danger in the North Texas area. That means conditions are ripe for brush fires which could cause a lot of damage to land and possibly even people’s homes. Southlake Firefighters, along with more than dozen other agencies, were in Trophy Club all night long helping put that fire out as part of a Mutual Aid agreement with that town and several others.
Mutual aid is critical to our success in keeping you and your family safe. When fires burn beyond a certain stage, it becomes an all-hands on deck situation, and it doesn’t really matter what the patch on side of your arm says. There is a cost to mutual aid, and it is part of the fire department’s annual budget, but it is well worth it and I am grateful for the assistance when Southlake is the City in need.
Our most recent structure fire on Whittington Drive is another great example. The fire went three alarms and we needed help. Although the house was a loss, there were no injuries. One Southlake DPS Facebook poster said it best: “At least there were no injuries or loss of life. That’s what counts.”
As we get closer to spring and then summer, please be sure that you are aware of current fire dangers so that you and your family stay safe. Working together we can help each other get through the upcoming fire season and any dangers that may come with it.