Another Successful Year for Operation Stocking Stuffer
The Houston Fire Department along with KPRC Channel 2, community sponsors and Houston citizens helped bring Christmas smiles to thousands of children this year! Operation stocking stuffer was held at New Light Christian Center and included several days of toy sorting and preparations for the “Great Toy Giveaway.” This year nearly 18,000 children received toys for Christmas thanks to the generosity of Houstonians.
Sorting Days: Shell Oil
Great Toy Giveaway Day
Memorial City Groups Hosts the First Houston Firefighter Day
For the first time this year the Memorial City Group hosted an event along with Houston firefighters. The purpose was to celebrate first responders and help HFD gather toys for Operation Stocking Stuffer! Kids were given the opportunity to tour fire trucks and high water vehicle as well as try on genuine firefighting gear. The event was held at The Lawn located at 971 Bunker Hill Rd. in front of Hotel ZaZa Memorial City and next to Ciro’s Italian Grill.
Accreditation Manager Leonard Chan
Accreditation Committee Recruitment
The mission of the HFD Accreditation Program is to create a culture of continuous improvement for the department and its personnel based on the principles established through the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE). Members of the committee in the HFD Accreditation Program will have the opportunity to shape the department’s future at a strategic level by helping identify the best means to live up to the standards defined in the accreditation process. The HFD Accreditation Program committee will be releasing an application for new members in early 2019. Selected candidates will be completing a basic training course in April.
NFPA National Fire Data System
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) hosted stakeholders across the
nation for a meeting at its headquarters in Quincy, Massachusetts to discuss the progress and future of the grant-supported National Fire Data System in early December. Topics included the changing landscape, existing challenges, and application of fire data. Participants also toured the historic NFPA library and archives. Accreditation Manager Leonard Chan served as one of the two representatives from Texas.
Richard Ponce: Firefighter Support Network Assistant
When did you enter HFD?
I entered HFD in January 2004
What made you want to join HFD?
I returned home after completing my enlistment in the Marine Corps in 2000 and struggled to find my place in society. This led me on a journey to find what my career would be, and I began taking on various job opportunities. I have had the privilege of performing every job from HVAC/Plumbing to Personal Financial Analyzing.
However, HFD has been the only career where I have been able to serve in many aspects of the community’s lives. As a paramedic I have had the honor of utilizing the skills obtained to be instrumental in the most critical time of a person’s life. On the other hand, it has been my pleasure to use those same skills God has granted me to welcome and sustain life. Performing as an Incident Command Technician for D-78 I was able to learn and appreciate the complete role that is performed by the IC and all on the fire ground from an integral vantage point. However, being able to observe the attention given by my Chief in every incident was true compassion. This is the mindset that keeps me grounded in service.
How long have you been part of FSN?
I have been the FSN Assistant since November 2017 and by far the most
rewarding part of my job is serving the Chaplain, Member Advocate, Staff Psychologist, Family Service Coordinator, and CISM team in providing the best Spiritual, Mental, and Physical assistance to the members and their families. I truly find joy when I can remove small obstacles, so the mission is efficiently completed.
Anything else you’d like to share?
The Marine Corps instilled in me the Corps values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment. The Houston Fire Department added a heart of Compassion to those values. However, it is God who has taken all those attributes and called me to be a minster of His word for the Kingdom. I am a flawed man constantly seeking the heart of God.
New Year, New You, Less Stress
By Amanda Broyles, HFD Psychology Intern
The holidays and new year are supposed to be full of fun and cheer, right? Usually, the holidays are a time for being with your crew, friends and family, being thankful for what you have, and reflecting on the year behind you. But sometimes, all of that can also come with a lot of stress. Maybe you had to travel? Maybe you were on duty while your family was at home celebrating? Or you had to prepare your house for guests? Or you spent a lot of time shopping for the perfect gift for your loved ones? These are just a few of the stresses that you may have encountered during the holidays. Firefighters can sometimes have even more stress than others this season. The job comes with a great deal of stress and when you throw on the hustle and bustle of the holidays on top of that, it may have seemed like a lot. And sometimes, the holiday calls are anything but merry and you may have been the one trying to save those who may have been hurt or had damage to their property this past holiday season.
But there are ways that you can shake off the leftover stress from the holidays! Then, you can get yourself right and ready for the new year. Here are 8 tips for beating stress so that the New Year can bring a New You.
1. Stick to a budget – Maybe your wallet is feeling the brunt of the holiday season? Start 2019 out right with keeping your budget on track. When going shopping or out to eat, set a spending amount before going out and try not to let yourself spend more than that.
2. Strengthen social connections –Strong, supportive relationships can help you manage all kinds of challenges. The New Year can be a time to reconnect with the positive people in your life.
3. Remember what's important —If your holiday expense list ran longer than your monthly budget, try to scale back in the New Year and remind yourself that what matters most is loved ones, not store-bought presents, elaborate decorations, or fancy food.
4. Take time for yourself — You may feel pressured to be everything to everyone. But remember that you’re only one person and can only accomplish so much. Sometimes self-care is the best thing you can do — so that you have the energy to give to others. Reflect on parts of your life from the last year that gave you joy and try to continue them into 2019.
5. Walk away when you're angry – Maybe all the stress you had from the holidays is starting build up to get to you? Before you react, take time to regroup by walking away from the situation. Then reconsider. Taking a short run or other physical activities can also help you work off steam and can make a big difference in reducing stress levels.
6. Have realistic expectations — No year is perfect. Starting off the new year in a different way than you expected or quitting on your New Year’s resolutions early does not have
to set the tone for how your year will go. Set realistic goals for your year and celebrate your victories, big and small.
7. Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, trying talking to your crew to see if someone wants to hang out when you’re off duty. You can also seek out community, religious, or other social events in your neighborhood. They can offer support and companionship. Volunteering your time to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships.
8. Seek support — Talk about your stress with close friends, buddies at the station, and family. Getting things out in the open can help you figure things out and work toward a solution.
Hopefully, these tips can help you to have a more fun and meaningful start to your New Year, but if you feel like you need more support, you can contact our team at HFD Psychological Services. The services we offer are free to you and your family! You can give us a call at (281) 901-4341 (Dr. Jana Tran) or (281) 799-8032 (Dr. Sam Buser).
Amanda is an HFD Psychology Intern working with Dr. Sam Buser and Dr. Jana Tran, HFD Staff
Psychologists. Amanda is a doctoral student in the UH Counseling Psychology program.
Toy Drive Shopping Trips
Latham & Watkins
First Community Credit Union
Remembering Lorugene Young
For more than 30 years, the toy drive that is now called "Operation Stocking Stuffer" has helped bring smiles to children in our area during the holiday season.
The woman who founded the event, Lorugene Young died last year at the age of 75.
KPRC Channel 2 put together this story in tribute.
HFD hosted a blood drive for injured HPD officer John Daily. Please keep Officer Daily in your prayers.
Statistics for 2018
by: Alicia Whitehead-Breaux
In 2018, HFD responded to 340,488 incidents (295,831 EMS Call Types & 44,657 Fire Call Types)
Top Responding Units in 2018
Ambulance 7 - 5,929 Responses
Ambulance Supervisor 30 – 2,996 Responses
Cascade Units 2 and 15 both with 169 Responses
District 68 – 961 Responses
Engine 7 – 4,828 Responses
Hazmat 1 – 851 Responses
Ladder 28 – 2,135 Responses
Medic 3 – 3,651 Responses
Rescue 42 – 649 Responses
Safety Officer 30 – 1,949
Squad 46 – 5,163 Responses
Senior Ambulance Supervisor 33 – 1,185 Responses
January 21, 2019 Original MLK Parade at 10 am.
January 21, 2019
Grand MLK Parade at 10 am.
January 23, 2019 at
Houston Fire Department Promotion Ceremony.
901 Bagby St.