Issue 8
November 2018
Houston Firefighters Honored for Valor
PIO Sheldra Brigham

The Valor and Service Awards Medal Day Ceremony was held October 27, 2018. This annual event was created to honor the brave men and women of the Houston Fire Department who have distinguished themselves through acts of heroism or for their outstanding contributions to the HFD and the community as a whole.  

This year’s event honored  individuals who went above-and-beyond the call of duty.  Below are those who were honored: Senior Captain Albert Castillo, Senior Captain Jon Drew, Senior Captain Stephen Graeter, Senior Captain Mickey Miles, Senior Captain Gregory Politte, Captain Phillip Baird, Captain Scott Blackmon, Captain Sebastian Chavez, Captain Douglas Dallas, Captain Andrew Fernandez, Captain Michael Harris Captain Kenny Liberto, Captain Zachary Likins, Captain Jay McIntire, Captain Jody Polk, Captain Jody Polk Captain Jessie Trevino, Inspector Keith Harris, Engineer/Operator Benjamin Aiken, Engineer/Operator John Campbell, E/O Salvador Carbajal, Engineer/Operator Kevin Demoss, E/O Kenneth Faterkowski, E/O Michael Fuentes, E/O Erick Hahn, E/O Jeff Heubaum, E/O Terry Lawson, E/O Brandon Lewis, E/O Ryan Machacek, E/O Martin Milan, E/O Elvin Mitchell, E/O Christopher Mixon, E/O Justin Petty, 

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Photo Courtesy: Matt Milam/HFD Arson

E/O Samuel Pitts, E/O Wesley Pleasant E/O Rogelio Rivas, E/O Joe Robinson, E/O Jay Shepard, E/O Christopher Smith, E/O Jonathan Stephenson, E/O Donald Vigil, E/O Patrick Young, Firefighter Eddie Acosta, FF Gary Wood, FF Joshua Allen, FF Brandy Allinience, FF Jaymes Bonar, FF Kyle Bornowski, FF Daniel Buckholt, FF Devin Cooper, FF Patrick Cornwall, FF Kevin Davis, Firefighter Marquise Elder, FF Daniel Elliott FF Michael Escobedo, FF Robert Eureste, FF Christopher Finlan, FF Leonel Garcia, FF Blade Garza, Firefighter Jacob Gomez, FF Joseph Gomez, FF Bryan Gottwald, FF Timothy Ivey, FF Daveyon Jackson, FF Tyler Janecka, FF Reuben Johnson, FF James Knipstein, FF Chase McEntee , FF Manuel Morin, FF Sergio Porrata, FF Jeremy Prado, FF Lawrence Saavedra, FF Kyle Steadman, FF Joshua Teed, FF Courtney Thomas, FF Tyler Werner, FF Freddie Williams, FF Edward Williams  

Foundation Holds Fundraiser for Health and Safety Equipment 

The Fire Fighter Foundation of Houston recently held its annual fundraiser at 51fifteen in Houston. The foundation was established in 2006 to help meet the equipment and safety needs of the Houston Fire Department. Its mission has gained greater importance due to the City’s current financial constraints. The foundation continues to seek out funding to help purchase much-needed life-saving equipment not currently in the HFD budget. Over the last twelve years, the foundation has been able to provide equipment to protect firefighters as they face the most extreme dangers imaginable. Currently, the HFD is pursuing a health and safety initiative for firefighters. The department’s goal is to integrate cancer reducing policies, habits, and technology into all aspects of their professional lives. The focus will start on providing safer fire stations by removing harmful exhaust fumes, purchasing commercial washers to decontaminate soiled gear, and utilizing fire wipes in the

field as the first line of defense against exposure to harmful materials.  The FFFH’s fundraiser will help the HFD pursue its health and safety initiative goals.

Matthew McConaughey & Wild Turkey Give Back to First Responders
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Houston firefighters from Station 26 knew they were being treated to dinner but had no idea who was bringing the main course.  Sunday marked National First Responders Day, and actor Matthew McConaughey made it a memorable one, surprising groups of first responders in Houston to mark the occasion.

McConaughey teamed up with Wild Turkey and brought "turkey feasts" firefighters, 911 dispatchers, police, and Ben Taub emergency room doctors and nurses.  It was all part of Wild Turkey Gives Back, a way to honor Houston  first responders for work done during Hurricane Harvey.  

Professional Development Update
By: Assistant Chief Michael Mire

Online Fire Officer 1 Course

Professional Development is offering a Fire Officer 1 one course through HFD's online Moodle platform. The classified training division at the Val Jahnke Training Academy is conducting the course. 

This course is a work at your own pace Internet-based course. The total price for the course is $125.  This class is not a college credit course. The course is only for certification purposes. Once the member successfully completes the course the training academy will schedule the state test through the TCFP at the training academy. Once successfully passing the state exam each member is responsible for paying the certification fee of $85. To sign up for this course please email the course facilitator at

Station 13 Celebrates 100 Years

Houston Fire Station 13 turned 100 this year and crew members and the community turned out to celebrate. Happy Birthday Station 13!

Operation Stocking Stuffer Kickoff 
By: Paul Box, Public Affairs

The Houston Fire Department’s Operation Stocking Stuffer Toy Drive is here again. This annual holiday toy drive begins November 16 with our big kick-off event at Fire Station 37 at 7026 Stella Link starting at 6:00am. Starting with the kick-off, citizens can drop off a new unwrapped toy at most HFD fire stations (airport stations excluded) and collection will continue at the HFD station until December 17. Then on December 20, all the toys, bikes and more will be distributed at the Great Toy Giveaway. The giveaway will be at the New Light Christian Center located at 7317 East Houston Road in Northeast Houston.

Operation Stocking Stuffer has become one of the largest community outreach programs in the City and one of the largest programs of it’s kind anywhere. In 2017, Operation Stocking Stuffer provided toys and gift to over 5,000 families and 2018 promises to be even bigger.

Some new features in Operation Stocking Stuffer 2018 include on-line registration for volunteers and families receiving toys.  There are also plenty on sponsorship and volunteer opportunities available so join us and help bring some holiday joy to thousands of Houston’s underprivileged children.

By: E/O Retired Scott Mellott
(All photos Houston Fire Department).

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In the early hours of November 8, 1959, the Amoco Virginia,
a 150,000-gallon tanker and the pride of Amoco’s fleet, was loading gasoline at Hess Terminal located on the Houston Ship Channel.

A worker involved with loading the ship, did not realize that there was a small hole in the rubber loading hose which was leaking gasoline over the deck of the ship and into the water below. The volatile fuel was ignited by a lantern on the bow of a passing tugboat and the ensuing fire traveled back to the deck of the Amoco Virginia. When the fire reached the ship, it followed the path of the leaking gasoline into its hold where a massive explosion followed, ripping a large hole in the deck. Seven workers died when the ship exploded. 

After about 16 hours, with 500 firefighters. the fire was 

under control. Forty workers, including firefighters, were injured.

In the 1950’s, a high expansion foam was used extinguish flammable liquid fires. During the cleanup phase the deck of the ship was covered with this foam. Firefighter Chandler was walking across the deck when he fell into the gaping hole in the deck. He drowned in the gasoline in the ships hold, he was unable to survive, gasoline has no buoyancy.  (All photos Houston Fire Department).

Student at School Named After Fallen Firefighter Anne Sullivan Writes Song About Firefighters

Hi I am Rishabh Vyas. I am 6 yrs old and in 1st Grade. I live in Sugarland and go to Ann Sullivan elementary. My school name is after one of our firefighter hero Ms. Ann Sullivan who gave up her life fighting and helping others. 

I love music and play instrument Ukulele. I started my music learning when I was 5, that’s when I started going to music classes at success music studio in Sugarland. 

I also love playing golf and soccer with my elder brother Krishiv Vyas who is in 4th grade. We both jam together and call it as Sib-Jam where he is on his drums and I play my Ukulele. 

I was inspired by Ms. Ann Sullivan for her heroism and came up with this song (Heroes around me theme) myself. 

Hope everyone likes it and I will get to meet you all at Fire-station and ride with you in your fire-truck. 

I love you all. 


Rishabh Vyas

Houston Fire Department's Hazmat Team: One of a Kind
By: Captain Dana Brown

The Houston Fire Department officially formed its hazardous materials team and placed it in service on October 5, 1979. The  HFD Hazardous Materials Response Team (HMRT) is a dedicated Hazmat Team stationed in the heart of, what some refer to as, the Petro-Chemical Capital of the World. There are 47 hazmat team members, 44 duty crew members and three Administrators. The administrators include one District Chief, one Senior Captain and one Captain. The duty crew is staffed with a minimum of ten hazmat technicians on each shift (A,B,C,D). Hazmat Unit One and Hazmat Unit Two are identical, consisting of one Officer, one Engineer Operator and two Fire Fighters. Foam 22 is staffed with one Engineer Operator and one Fire Fighter. 

 All Houston Hazmat Team members are certified Hazmat Technicians. Additional training includes, but is not limited to: 

  • RAMP System for Bio Detection (HFD) 

  • Chemistry for Hazardous Materials Technicians (National Fire Academy) 

  • Prevention and Response to Suicide Bombings (New Mexico Tech) 

  • Biological Emergencies (LSU) 

  • WMD Radiological/Nuclear Responder Operations (Office of Domestic Preparedness) 

  • Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings (New Mexico Tech) 

  • Responding to Terrorist Incidents in Your Community (U.S. Department of Energy) 

  • WMD Incident Command Course (Center for Domestic Preparedness) 

  • WMD Hazmat Technician Course (Center for Domestic Preparedness) 

  • O & M of the Draeger Defense System (Office of Domestic Preparedness) 

  • Hazmat Incident Command (TEEX) 

  • Strategy and Tactics (Channel Industry Mutual Aid).  

 Members of HMRT are life-long learners and outside-the-box-thinkers. Training and knowledge is what makes the team thrive. This team treats every incident like a puzzle that needs to be solved. Responding to a hazmat or WMD incident is like playing a game of chess. Strategic, meticulous, and well-planned moves win the game. Those who come to this team enjoy high-risk low-frequency events that require critical thinking and a keen sense for risk analysis.  

Houston Hazmat is one of kind and responds to all types of threats from potential terrorism, industrial accidents, transportation accidents (water, rail, and highway), and natural disasters. 

Shrink Wrap

“Turn Up the Heat”: Communicating Better with your Spouse

By: Temara Holt, M.A.


After a long shift on your way home, do you ever think, “Ugh, I hope the kids are asleep,” “I’m too tired to argue,” “I just want to get inside, eat dinner, and relax”? After making run after run for 24 hours, many firefighters find it difficult to transition into their home life. It can be overwhelming to think of the perfect conversation starters for your family members, that allow your worlds to reconnect after long separations. Our families are usually our biggest support systems, so learning how to better communicate with your partner or spouse can reduce stress, create a peaceful home environment, and rev up your love life. The following tools and tips will help you find the words to express yourself and allow your partner to feel more connected to you.

Daily Temperature Reading: 6 Steps 

A daily temperature reading is a great way to build intimacy and sustain healthy effective communication. These 6 steps are easy to remember and include in your relationship check-ins.


1. Appreciations

• Provide specific and clear examples of why you appreciate the other person

• It shouldn’t be a request for the future i.e. “I would appreciate it if you would make dinner tomorrow.” Instead focus on the present moment i.e. “I appreciate that you took time out of your day to text me.”

2. Information

• Intimacy grows when you feel like you are up to date on everything that’s going on in your partner’s world. For example, “Our captain has been off sick for a while, and the crew is worried about him,” or “I have a doctor’s appointment on Friday, it’s just a checkup so no need to worry.”

3. Recommendations

• When you have a concern, be clear about what bothers you and give a specific solution or recommendation that you would be pleased with. For example, “It’s overwhelming when you start talking to me the minute I come home from the station. I miss you and want to hear about your day, I just need 30 minutes to unwind first before we talk.”

4. Puzzles

• This is your opportunity to ask questions about anything that is unclear.

• It doesn’t mean you will get all the answers or that you will like the answers, but it’s much better than making assumptions. An example would be, “I noticed you looking at job postings last week, are you looking for another job?”

5. Aspirations

• Our dreams, wishes, and hopes about life are the core to who we are. If we don’t share these parts of ourselves, it’s hard for our spouses to truly feel connected to us. Whether its wanting to try a new local restaurant or taking your dream trip next summer, tell your partner and let them into your world.

6. Know yourself

• Remember the key to effective communication is knowing yourself. Know your mood, how things impact you, when you are feeling overworked, stressed or under appreciated. Remember that you are responsible for communicating your needs to your partner, and letting them in your world. The more you know yourself, the easier it will be to communicate to those you love.


Before using any of these tools, be sure you are fully present and ready to engage with your partner. If possible limit all distractions, i.e. put the kids to bed, put the cell phones away, and turn off the TV. If you still need an extra set of ears to navigate through difficult conversations, schedule a couples therapy session. Therapy services are free to you and your partner. All of the staff psychologists and interns are trained in couple’s therapy and are happy to facilitate the type of love and support we know you all need and deserve in your lives.


Dr. Buser: (281) 799-8032

Dr. Tran: (281) 901-4341

Temara Holt, M.A.: (470) 204-1026

Temara Holt, M.A. is an HFD Psychology Intern working with Dr. Sam Buser and Dr. Jana Tran, HFD Staff Psychologists. Temara is a doctoral student in the UH Counseling Psychology

Firefighter Fitness: 3x3 Workout
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In the Community

Firefighters Mathews and Brown at Bush Elementary School for Puppet Show. 

Firefighter Mass

The Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral located at 1111 Pierce at Fannin will honor firefighters during the 11 AM service on Sunday, November 25, 2018. All members, families, and friends regardless of religious affiliation are welcome and encouraged to attend.  The mass includes a blessing of firefighters and apparatus, Honor Guards from Houston area fire departments, and a special reading of deceased firefighters names.

Thank You!

A Big thank you to @Shell Rescue Buddie Charity event for donating these handmade stuffed animals to Operation Stocking Stuffer.

Public Safety Meeting

Sr. Investigator Tim Kelly and Lux were awesome at Council member Brenda Stardig's Public Safety Meeting.  

Upcoming Deadline



Don’t miss out on your opportunity to earn up to $900 off your 2019 medical plan rate. To earn the medical plan premium discount, covered employees and spouses must complete their health assessment by November 30, 2018, and complete a wellness engagement option before the deadline. You can obtain your biometric numbers from your physician during your annual preventative exam or attend one of our upcoming biometric screening events:


To register, call 877-366-7483 or visit http:/


For Employees and Family

Saturday, November 3, 2018

8 a.m. to 12 p.m. & 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

11903 Bellaire Blvd, Gym


For All Employees

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

2800 N. Terminal Way (Ticket Level Conf. Room)


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

4500 Will Clayton (Maintenance Bay)


Thursday, November 8, 2018

7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

16930 JFK Blvd. (HR Auditorium)


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

8000 N. Stadium


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

5900 Teague (Main Break Room)


Monday, November 19, 2018

1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

7800 Airport Blvd. (Conf. Rm A and B)


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

6 a.m. to 11 a.m.

7800 Airport Blvd. (Conf. Rm A and B)


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

8000 Paul B Koonce


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

1801 Smith (6th Floor Conf. Room)


Wednesday, November 28, 2018

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

1200 Travis (22nd Floor Conf. Room)


Friday, November 30, 2018

8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

611 Walker (Main Lobby)

October Run Numbers
by: Alicia Whitehead-Breaux

Event Counts by Station 

Station 2 - 219 EMS & 90 FIRE 

Station 3 - 252 EMS &130 FIRE 

Station 4 - 332 EMS & 40 FIRE 

Station 5 - 204 EMS & 28 FIRE 

Station 6 - 185 EMS & 97 FIRE 

Station 7 - 661 EMS & 101 FIRE 

Station 8 - 746 EMS & 196 FIRE 

Station 9 - 340 EMS & 38 FIRE 

Station 10 - 370 EMS & 38 FIRE 

Station 11 - 141 EMS & 44 FIRE 

Station 12 - 215 EMS & 28 FIRE 

Station 13 - 234 EMS & 33 FIRE 

Station 15 - 282 EMS & 38 FIRE 

Station 16 - 313 EMS & 106 FIRE 

Station 17 - 279 EMS & 27 FIRE 

Station 18 - 190 EMS & 30 FIRE 

Station 19 - 337 EMS & 49 FIRE 

Station 20 - 223 EMS & 26 FIRE 

Station 21 - 295 EMS & 45 FIRE 

Station 23 - 245 EMS & 29 FIRE 

Station 24 - 322 EMS & 29 FIRE 

Station 25 - 462 EMS & 49 FIRE 

Station 26 - 354 EMS & 24 FIRE 

Station 27 - 243 EMS & 38 FIRE 

Station 28 - 627 EMS & 144 FIRE 

Station 29 - 227 EMS & 24 FIRE 

Station 30 - 289 EMS & 17 FIRE 

Station 31 - 445 EMS & 71 FIRE 

Station 32 - 287 EMS & 25 FIRE 

Station 33 - 518 EMS & 157 FIRE 

Station 34 - 421 EMS & 42 FIRE 

Station 35 - 651 EMS & 40 FIRE 

Station 36 - 348 EMS & 61 FIRE 

Station 37 - 99 EMS & 24 FIRE 

Station 38 - 229 EMS & 38 FIRE 

Station 39 - 378 EMS & 27 FIRE 

Station 40 - 312 EMS & 27 FIRE 

Station 41 - 113 EMS & 17 FIRE 

Station 42 - 87 EMS & 7 FIRE 

Station 43 - 198 EMS & 21 FIRE 

Station 44 - 252 EMS & 32 FIRE 

Station 45 - 119 EMS & 27 FIRE 

Station 46 - 672 EMS & 44 FIRE 

Station 47 - 300 EMS & 42 FIRE 

Station 48 - 301 EMS & 34 FIRE 

Station 49 - 228 EMS & 46 FIRE 

Station 50 - 278 EMS & 40 FIRE

Station 51 - 521 EMS & 70 FIRE 

Station 52 - 307 EMS & 37 FIRE 

Station 53 - 78 EMS & 12 FIRE 

Station 55 - 657 EMS & 66 FIRE 

Station 56 - 397 EMS & 38 FIRE 

Station 57 - 171 EMS & 60 FIRE 

Station 58 - 434 EMS & 59 FIRE 

Station 59 - 357 EMS & 37 FIRE 

Station 60 - 398 EMS & 85 FIRE 

Station 61 - 162 EMS & 33 FIRE 

Station 62 - 171 EMS & 42 FIRE 

Station 63 - 80 EMS & 26 FIRE 

Station 64 - 145 EMS & 22 FIRE 

Station 65 - 49 EMS & 7 FIRE 

Station 66 - 155 EMS & 36 FIRE 

Station 67 - 667 EMS & 49 FIRE 

Station 68 - 345 EMS & 79 FIRE 

Station 69 - 153 EMS & 37 FIRE 

Station 70 - 238EMS & 33 FIRE 

Station 71 - 136EMS & 27 FIRE 

Station 72 - 99 EMS & 25 FIRE 

Station 73 - 609 EMS & 58 FIRE 

Station 74 - 312 EMS & 37 FIRE 

Station 75 - 275 EMS & 54 FIRE 

Station 76 - 304 EMS & 52 FIRE 

Station 77 - 242 EMS & 45 FIRE

Station 78 - 113 EMS & 31 FIRE 

Station 80 - 332 EMS & 28 FIRE 

Station 82 - 502 EMS & 52 FIRE 

Station 83 - 287 EMS & 63 FIRE 

Station 84 - 309 EMS & 57 FIRE 

Station 86 - 199 EMS & 44 FIRE 

Station 90 - 110 EMS & 26 FIRE 

Station 92 - 270 EMS & 30 FIRE

Station 93 - 122 EMS & 16 FIRE 

Station 94 - 139 EMS & 29 FIRE 

Station 96 - 170 EMS & 29 FIRE 

Station 101 - 216 EMS & 33 FIRE 

Station 102 - 101 EMS & 19 FIRE 

Station 103 - 30 EMS & 12 FIRE 

Station 104 - 21 EMS & 3 FIRE 

Station 105 - 39 EMS & 16 FIRE