Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Deputy Fire Chief and Fire Marshal Receives Award

David Barnes City of Southlake Deputy Fire Chief & Fire Marshall

David Barnes City of Southlake Deputy Fire Chief & Fire Marshal

Deputy Fire Chief and Fire Marshal David Barnes wears many hats at the City of Southlake’s Fire Department.  He heads up the department’s fire investigation unit; conducts inspections on residential and commercial buildings; he is also in charge of our ‘weather spotters’ during severe weather; and he heads up the fire department’s public education fire safety programs.  Whew!  You would think that would keep Deputy Fire Chief Barnes pretty busy but he still makes time to share his experience with fire education, safety and training with others.

Barnes recently received a special award from the Texas A&M Extension Service in College Station. He received a 25 year Instructor Award for Excellence in teaching from the Annual Municipal Texas Fire Training School. Imagine working as hard as he does with his regular duties 24/7 and then still making time to travel down to College Station for the last 25 years to share his talents and expertise with other professionals as the Task Force Leader over the Fire Investigator course? Sounds like an impossible mission, but not to Barnes. “I enjoy the challenge of being a Deputy Fire Chief and all of the different aspects of fire service and I especially love being able to give back to fire service some of the knowledge that I have gained as a fire investigator over the years,” said Barnes.  He adds that the school is primarily for volunteer fire departments that are only able to attend this ‘once a year’ training.  It affords them the opportunity to receive their Origin and Cause certificate from the Texas Commission on Fire Protection and once they obtain it they can get their peace officer certification and work as a certified arson investigator.

Barnes began his career as a volunteer firefighter in Grapevine in 1962.  In 1973 he went to work for the DFW Airport Department of Public Safety where he spent 26 and a half years; the last 15 at DFW was spent in the Fire Prevention Division as an Investigator and Assistant Fire Marshal. In 1981, Barnes started with the Southlake Fire Department as a volunteer before officially becoming a part-time member of SLFD in 1987. He later went full-time with the Southlake Fire Department and hasn’t slowed down since.

Barnes has been married to his lovely wife Cindy who is a very dedicated and supportive wife. Together they have two children and five grandchildren.

We are so proud of Deputy Fire Marshal Barnes and we congratulate you on this very prestigious award.

Texas Task Force 1 Selection

Congratulations to Firefighter/Paramedic Frank Molinets who was recently selected to be a part of the Texas Task Force 1 Team. TTF1 responds to all kinds of disasters such as: hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and swift water rescues, terrorist incidents, search and rescue operations just to name a few.

Each person who is selected must meet high standards and excel in stringent training exercises at the Texas A&M Disaster training facility called “Disaster City”; to make sure they are up to the task. Molinets started the application process last year and made it through the first selection phase.  He passed six separate board interviews and assessments, a final review board and FEMA approval, to become one of the few to be selected to the elite Texas Task Force.

Molinet’s selection is quite an honor for him and Southlake Fire Services. “I’ve wanted   to be a part of this Special Task Force since I was at the Fire Academy. TTF1 provides some of the best training that you can get and it will allow me to help people in major disasters or crisis situations,” says Molinets.  One of his main duties is to “ready” the first responders and search and rescue dogs who are deployed to disaster areas. He serves as a Medical Specialist and is responsible for providing medical screening to his team.  He has already served on one deployment following a hurricane in Louisiana. Molinets trains with TTF1 each month. He also plans to attend additional training in December that will allow him to give onsite medical care to help stabilize rescued victims.

There are 30 medical staff on three teams who train at Disaster City.  It serves as the home base for TTF1, one of 28 national urban search and rescue teams under the direction of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA.) The multi-million   dollar facility provides state-of-the art training in all kinds of disaster scenarios.  TTF1 was one of the first six teams designed to respond to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction. Besides responding to natural disasters like hurricanes, this team    responded to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Big congratulations to Firefighter/Paramedic Molinets on this major achievement!