Issue 12
March 2019
Fallen Firefighters Honored in Memorial Ceremony

Houston firefighters, families and friends gathered for the annual Houston Firefighters' Memorial Ceremony. 

The event honors the 73 members who have died in the line of duty, as well as all members who are gone, but never forgotten. 

The ceremony was held in the beautiful garden located on Pension Fund property.  The garden includes pavers, benches, the “Wall of Honor” and a breathtaking statue (“The Rescue").

Remarks were given by Mayor Sylvester Turner,Fire Chief Samuel Pena, President of the Houston Professional Firefighters Association,Marty Lancton, and Houston Firefighters Relief and Retirement Fund Brett Besselman.  Congressmen Kevin Brady and Dan Crenshaw addressed the audience as well. Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee made a special presentation and Houston City Council Members Boykins, Knox, and Kubosh attended. 

International Guests Visit HFD

Tokyo Fire Department visited  HFD. These international guests were given a presentation from Assistant Chief Griffin and visited with HFD Rescue.

Assistant Chief Bentley Honored

Assistant Chief Bentley was honored as part of Women's History Month.

District Chief Josef Gregory Retires

Congratulations to District Chief Josef Gregory on 40 years of service in the Houston Fire Department.  Chief Gregory's last day before retirement was February 28 at the Val Jahnke Training Facility. 

Big Climb Coming Up

The Houston Fire Department is partnering with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Big Climb Houston to climb for a cure. Our participation will help LLS’s mission: To cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

The annual Big Climb Houston is an exciting way to support LLS, by bringing people together for one mission: to end cancer. This stair climb gives participants the opportunity to challenge themselves and climb 51 flights of stairs to end up on the top of 1600 Smith Street in downtown Houston.

LLS and Planet Fitness have stepped up in support of first responders, and is waiving the registration fee for all local first responders for the 2019 Big Climb Houston.

All employees are invited to join the team.

By joining the company team, you’ll enjoy an extraordinary experience, celebrating and commemorating lives touched by cancer. If you are interested in participating please let Sheldra Brigham know at Sheldra.Brigham@houstontx.gov

OR register online -

Go to www.bigclimbhouston.org and choose “Join a Team”

Follow the ensuing steps and type in the team name “Houston Fire Department” when prompted.

The coupon code to waive the $30 registration fee is FREETEAM

Together, LLS and HFD can take steps to end cancer. Thank you for your commitment and generosity.

Annual Houston Firefighters Charity Golf Classic

The 15th Annual Houston Firefighters Charity Golf Classic will be held May 13, 2019 at the beautiful Pine Forest Country Club located at 18003 Clay Road, between HWY 6 & Barker Cypress.

This tournament is a 4-player scramble with a shotgun start at 9:00am. In addition to a great day of golf, the tournament will also have the best live and silent auction anywhere along with great raffle prizes, amazing goodie bags for each player, breakfast and lunch and so much more.

The proceeds from this event benefit Houston firefighters and their families through the Houston Firefighters Protection Fund. This fund was created in 2006 to provide financial assistance to firefighters and their families in the event one of them is admitted into the hospital for at least 3 days, due to illness or injury.

If you want more information on the tournament including sponsorship opportunities or registration information, please contact Paul Box at 832-394-6636 or by e-mail at paul.box@houstontx.gov.

If you want to play or sponsor and want to register and pay on-line, please click on this link: https://www.houstonfirehotspot.com/upcoming-events

You don’t want to miss this one, so register today. The costs in $150 per player.

shrink rap

Finding Purpose in the Midst of the Fire

By: Kadija Moon, M.Ed, LPC-I, HFD Psychology Intern

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word fire can be defined as “a destructive burning”. Consider then that burning can occur literally and figuratively. Figuratively speaking, fires in your home life can begin slowly over time and suffocate all the air it takes to push through. Much like a fire you may see on scene, fires in your life may appear rapidly, seemingly out of nowhere, and engulf quickly. Fires that firefighters often deal with in their personal lives include divorce, custody battles, drinking problems, feeling unsupported in the home, and infidelity. How do you recognize the fire before it engulfs you? Recognizing the fire is tough enough, but what happens when it feels all encompassing, and you’re running low on oxygen? Regardless of whatever fire blazing in your life, here are some steps to help you deal with it and better prepare so that you don’t have a rekindle. All you have to do is remember AIMS.

1. Assess the situation: Where did the fire start? While continuing to stand strong at work, things may have unraveled at home with your spouse, kids, or legally. When your home life seems to surround you, it is important to consider how all of your experiences influence your work life. Start to ask and reflect on specific questions: 

What’s the point of origin? How can I approach it? What is the best way to approach without adding fuel?

2. Involve yourself in self-monitoring: It is important for firefighters to monitor various aspects of their lives that may go unnoticed. Monitor your sleeping patterns. Monitor when you tend to be irritable. Monitor your tone of voice when you speak to your spouse. Monitor your alcohol intake. Most of all, monitor changes in all of these things and in your reactions to others.

3. Make a change: The fire is stressful, on top of your already stressful job. Increase your healthy eating and exercise, as this helps reduce stress. Add self-care activities into your regimen, whether that’s playing your favorite video game twice a week, running the perimeter of a park, or taking yourself to lunch. Search for purpose. If you are religious, begin Bible study or attend church each week, as needed.

4. Seek community and purpose: Whether therapy, friends, colleagues, family, or a religious community, find someone you can depend on. Someone you can debrief with after a long shift, an argument with your ex-wife, or when your kids are running wild. Get in community with people who help you to recognize hotspots and offer support for helping you overhaul. Find things that bring you joy, whether that’s serving at a soup kitchen or helping your child practice their favorite sport. The things that bring you joy, fill you with purpose.

If you or a colleague are having a hard time getting out of a fire, reach out to get help. Psychology services are free to you and your immediate family members. To get connected, please contact:

Dr. Tran: (281) 901-4341

Dr. Buser: (281) 799-8032

Kadija Moon, M.Ed: (804) 991-0487

 

Kadija Moon, M.Ed, LPC-I, is an HFD Psychology Intern working with Dr. Sam Buser and Dr. Jana Tran, HFD Staff Psychologists. Kadija is a doctoral student in the UH Counseling Psychology program.

Firefighter Devotional

Chaplain Bobby Delgado and Assistant Chaplain Rick Ponce would like to support you by praying for you and your family. Submit your 100% confidential prayer requests to HFDPrayer@gmail.com

 

Get your weekly dose of inspiration from The Firefighter Devotional. It is a devotional written by Houston Firefighters for firefighters everywhere. If you would like to be a contributor, email Chaplain Bobby Delgado. Robert.Delgado@HoustonTx.gov

Fire Safety Puppet Shows
Open Houses

Houston Fire Department “Open House” Public Safety Awareness Campaigns will kick off in the month of April to promote Fire Prevention and Safety. 

 

The events will also serve as chance to meet firefighters and see first-hand the pride they take in the work they do.”

Firefighters will be on hand to provide information about how residents can best protect their family from fire.

 

The events serve to remind the public about common causes of home fires — such as cooking, heating units, and smoking — and the importance of having working smoke detectors (and checking them frequently), and having a fire safety escape plan in place. There are two safety themes for the 2019 open houses...”Know the way out” and “cook with caution”

 

Every year, the majority of fire deaths in North America happen at home. In a typical home, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Our open houses are a time for people to think ahead. You can help ensure your family’s safety by having a home fire escape plan, making sure your smoke alarms work well, and being careful with cooking and heating equipment. 

 

Open house activities, which may vary by fire station, include: an interactive tour through the fire safety house to learn how to prepare and evacuate during an emergency; demonstrations by firefighters; fire station tours; photo ops with Sparky the Fire Dog; and free hot dogs and chips. 

HIPAA Update

HIPAA UPDATE

HEALTH INSURANCE PORTABILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT

enacted 1996.

Mission Statement

This monthly newsletter is to keep H.F.D. personnel informed of HIPAA news and regulations throughout the year in concomitance with the yearly Moodle class.

MESSAGE

The Security Rule specifies a series of administrative, physical and technical safeguards to be used by covered entities to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and the availability of electronic PHI (Protected Health Information).  The rule does not prevent your ability to disclose necessary information about a patient to law enforcement, family members of the patient or other persons, when you believe the patient presents a serious danger to himself or other people.  The patient’s health information can be shared “when necessary to treat a patient, to protect the nations’ public health and for other critical purposes, such as when a provider seeks to warn or report that the persons may be at risk of harm because of a patient.”

HFD HIPAA Compliance Officer:

Kenneth W. Payne

Chief Communications

Office #832-394-6865

Cell #713-299-2872

Send us your ideas for HFD's Monthly Newsletter!

to submit a question to Fire Chief, to Sam Peña 

Chief's Corner
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