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Sunday , June 24 2018
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Tag Archives: EPFD

EPFD Fleet Among the Best in the Nation, Only Fire Department Recognized

The National Association of Fleet Administrators Institute recognized the City of El Paso’s Fire Department Fleet Maintenance division as one of 2018’s 100 Best Fleets in the Americas.

“I applaud the Fire Department for receiving another well-deserved recognition,” said City Manager Tommy Gonzalez.  “The Department’s continued efforts to enhance operations and provide the best services possible is an example of a high-performing organization that is focused on the community it serves.”

The El Paso Fire Department is the only Fire Department in the nation included on the list of Best Fleets in the Americas. EPFD’s staffing, resources, focus on preventative maintenance, and around the clock service capabilities, distinguish the Department from other organizations.

Currently, the Department operates and maintains 162 vehicles. Each of the units receives three regular services a year, in addition to a full annual service, increasing the fleet’s reliability. Recently, two new pumper units entered the fleet, and three more apparatus will join the fleet this year.

Additionally, new procedures are being implemented that will help reduce fire truck downtime by receiving oil changes at their stations.

The 100 Best Fleets program recognizes and rewards peak performing fleet operations in North America. Currently, in its sixteenth year, 100 Best Fleets identifies and encourages ever-increasing levels of performance improvement within the fleet industry.

For more information on the initiatives and services provided by EPFD, visit us at epfire.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Click here to view the full list of winners.

EPFD Reminds Residents about Free Smoke Alarm Program

According to the National Fire Protection Association, three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms.

Properly working smoke alarms can provide people with early warnings that can mean a difference between life and death when evacuating from a fire.

The El Paso Fire Department Fire Prevention Division provides, at no cost, smoke detectors, assistance with evacuation plans, home/work safety surveys and fire extinguisher training.

To learn more about the EPFD programs, or to request a free smoke alarm, residents can call 3-1-1, visit epfire.org or contact them via their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Additionally, EPFD  has the following safety advice for residents regarding smoke alarms:

  • Place a smoke alarm on every level of your home and inside sleeping areas
  • Smoke alarms should be tested monthly. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • Batteries should be replaced yearly, or as soon as you hear a low-battery warning which usually sounds like a “chirping” noise.
  • Teach children what the smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when they hear it.
  • Keep smoke alarms clean by vacuuming over and around it regularly.  Dust and debris can interfere with its operation.
  • Never remove the battery from or disable a smoke alarm. If your smoke alarm is sounding “nuisance alarms”, try locating it further from kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Plan regular fire drills to practice your escape plan ensuring everyone in your home knows what to do when the smoke alarm sounds.
  • People with hearing impairments can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.

 

El Paso Fire Department Receives Key National Paramedic Accreditation

On Friday, the El Paso Fire Department (EPFD) announced they recently received notification from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) on its decision to award accreditation to the department’s Emergency Medical Services – Paramedic program.

“Being accredited from CAAHEP is another way of enhancing our practices and processes in an effort to provide better services,” said Fire Chief Mario D’Agostino.

“This accreditation is key to strengthening our paramedic program with it we have streamlined how our staff is trained and certified. I’m proud of the department for their dedication to continuous improvement.”

This national accreditation not only reflects EPFD’s commitment to continuous improvement, the accreditation allows the department to certify its own paramedics through a higher quality of training, and this will ensure a higher standard of care for their patients.

In addition to the paramedic accreditation, EPFD has also recently been recognized for its commitment to excellence through its international accreditation from the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI), and through its Class 1 rating from the Insurance Services Organizations (ISO) on Public Protection.

El Paso Fire Department Hiring Certified Firefighter Trainees

The El Paso Fire Department will be accepting applications for approximately two weeks for Certified Firefighter Trainee starting Friday, January 12, 2018.

Selected candidates will go through a paid, eight-week Training Academy, earning $13.95 an hour.  Upon completion of the academy, trainees will be promoted to Firefighter, starting at $40,268.87 annually.

Qualified applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Applicants are required to have:

  • Twenty-four (24) post-secondary semester credit hours in any field of study with a minimum of 2.0 GPA, or at least two years of full-time military service with an honorable discharge and a high school diploma or GED.   
  • At minimum a Texas State Commission on Fire Protection Basic Structural Certification (TCFP-Basic FF) and Texas Department of State Health Services Basic Emergency Medical Technician Certification (DSHS-EMT-B) at the time of application.

Applications will be accepted online. 

For more information, please visit www.epfire.org.

EPFD, Health Department Announce Free Flu Vaccine Program to Continue Next Year

Due to the overwhelming success of the program, the El Paso Fire Department is proud to announce it will continue the Vaccinations for Health program for another year. Vaccinations for Health is a successful part of the Medicaid Waiver Program.

The program provides free influenza, blood pressure and glucose screenings to patients 18 and older, and pneumonia vaccines to those 65 and older.

“The safety and wellness of our community is extremely important to us,” Fire Chief Mario D’Agostino said. “These clinics demonstrate our commitment to the health of the citizens of El Paso and falls in line with the Department’s strategic plans and goals.”

The Fire Department clinics will start again in October at the following locations and times:

  • Saturday Oct. 14: Station 17, 8803 Alameda Ave., 8-11 a.m.
  • Wednesday Oct. 18: EPFD Safety, Health Outreach Center, 5415 Trowbridge Dr., 1-5:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday Oct. 25: EPFD Safety, Health Outreach Center, 5415 Trowbridge Dr., 1-5:30 p.m.

Officials remind residents that, “that the service is free to residents of El Paso and Hudspeth County who are 18 and over and do not have medical insurance or are on Medicaid.”

“We are encouraging residents who meet these guidelines to take advantage of the program,” officials added, “the goal of the program is to increase the wellness of the community.”

For more information, residents are encouraged to call 3-1-1 or visit www.ephealth.com

EPFD Receives International Accreditation

On Friday, El Paso City Manager Tommy Gonzalez announced that the El Paso Fire Department once again received its international accreditation from the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI).

“International accreditation is one of the most meaningful forms of controls for our department because it provides a clear and transparent assurance to the community of a well-organized department, effective in meeting their needs,” Fire Chief Mario D’Agostino said. “Through the accreditation process, we continuously seek to look at how we do everything so El Pasoans can live safely and prosper in a hazard-resilient community.”

After appearing before an 11-member commission, which represents a cross-section of the nation’s fire service industry, the CFAI voted to renew the El Paso Fire Department’s international accreditation.

Members of the El Paso Fire Department appeared before the commission on July 27.

The Department first earned the prestigious accreditation in 2012. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates there are 35,000 fire departments in the United States; only 233 are internationally accredited.

Only 54 fire departments in the country are both recognized as an accredited agency and have a Class 1 rating from the Insurance Services Organizations (ISO) on Public Protection. Of those, only six are metro-sized with populations over 500,000.

The El Paso Fire Department’s international accreditation, combined with the ISO Class 1 rating, helps keep home insurance rates low for home owners resulting in substantial savings.

“This international accreditation is proof that El Paso has some of the best fire professionals in the world,” said Mayor Dee Margo. “Their commitment to this community is unquestionable and I am proud of all the hard work they put forth to ensure that our citizens our safe.”

“El Paso has received a lot of recognition lately, from being named a top city for quality life, to being named a top metro to start a business, all are key performance indicators of being a high performing organization. This latest international accreditation shows that El Paso also places a high priority on safety and quality service,” said City Manager Tommy Gonzalez.

The CFAI/Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) provides the only international accreditation program for fire service organizations in the world. Accreditation serves as a mechanism for measuring organizational effectiveness.

It is a process by which the commission recognizes an agency as meeting predetermined standards and qualifications, which includes over 250 performance indicators, in 10 different categories, over 80 core competencies.

Registration Open for EP Fire Department Summer Youth Camp

The El Paso Fire Department would like to remind the public that next week is the final week to submit an application for the free Summer Youth Camp. The camp is limited to 20 students between the ages of 13-17.

Campers will be chosen on the basis of their suitability for Summer Youth Camp, as will be determined by a submitted application found at www.epfire.org (under Helpful Links). Preference will be given to those who have not previously attended a camp.

Instruction at the Summer Youth Camp is highly interactive and hands-on in nature. Most activities are conducted in pairs or teams, in which the campers must work together and rely on each other to succeed. The nature of the activities and the locations where they are conducted will require campers to follow explicit rules in order to ensure everyone’s safety.

Campers will need to wear appropriate for school P.E. clothing, sunscreen and closed toed shoes, NO sandals.

Summer Youth Camp activities will be held at the El Paso Fire Department’s Training Academy located at 6800 Delta Drive. The Summer Youth Camp will run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on July 18-20. Meals will NOT be provided so each person will be required to provide a sack lunch each day.

Applications should be submitted to the Training Academy located at 6800 Delta Dr. inside Ascarate Park, Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Applicants may contact Public Information Officer Carlos Briano at BrianoCA@elpasotexas.gov or (915) 820-9712 if they have any questions.

The final deadline to submit applications is Friday, June 9, 2017.

El Paso Fire Fighters Fill the Boot Campaign Starts Thursday

El Paso Fire Fighters are set to kick off the annual Fill the Boot fundraising campaign to help the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) this Thursday, May 18 in efforts to find urgently needed treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases that severely limit strength and mobility.

El Paso Electric officials start the yearly event in fine fashion, dropping the first $5,000.00 into the boot.

“For more than sixty years, fire fighters have stood on the front lines with MDA in the fight to free individuals — and the families who love them — from the harm of these life-threatening muscle diseases,” said MDA Fundraising Coordinator, Shannon Schultz. “Each year, El Paso fire fighters dedicate countless hours of their time participating in Fill the Boot drives. We’re grateful for their steadfast drive and uncommon caring toward the kids and adults we serve.”

Contributions help MDA’s efforts to fund groundbreaking research and life-enhancing programs such as state-of-the-art support groups and Care Centers. They also help send more than 35 local kids to “the best week of the year” at MDA summer camp at no cost to their families at Manzano Mountain Retreat in Torreon, New Mexico.

IAFF support for MDA began in 1954 when the organization committed by proclamation to support MDA until a cure is found, and the organization’s unwavering commitment to MDA has remained strong to this day.

The IAFF raised $100,000 for MDA in 1955, and $1 million in 1970, and fire fighters continue to raise the bar in their fundraising efforts. In 2016, more than 100,000 fire fighters participated in Fill the Boot events across the country and raised $24.2 million.

To date the IAFF has raised over $607 million for MDA to support families with muscle-debilitating diseases and accelerate treatments and cures. El Paso Firefighters have an incredible $591,686 since 2011.

EPFD Mechanics Recognized by the ASE Blue Seal of Excellence Program

El Paso Fire Department mechanics have earned Blue Seal of Excellence Recognition as prescribed by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of vehicle repair and service by means of voluntary testing and certification for automotive repair and service professionals.

To be eligible for this recognition, a company must have 75% of its automotive professionals ASE certified. In addition, there must be a certified technician in each area of service offered. To remain in the program, a business must renew each year and confirm their professionals’ certification status. El Paso Fire Department has 10 certified mechanics.

“I am proud to say that not only is the EPFD the only city department with this achievement, but the EPFD Maintenance Shop is the only repair shop to currently hold this certification, to include both private and governmental automotive repair shops,” said Logistics Captain Ricardo Gonzalez. “This certification took a great amount of effort by all personnel here at the EPFD shop.”

According to ASE President Timothy Zilke, business who earn the ASE Blue Seal of Excellence Recognition have gone the extra mile in support of their customers.

“Employing ASE-certified professionals is an important element in overall customer satisfaction program,” Zilke said. “We salute those organizations who achieve this goal and thank them for helping promote quality automotive repair and service.”

Fire Chief Mario D’Agostino believes this one of the ways EPFD delivers excellent service to the citizens of El Paso.

“Our vision is to be a leader in fire and rescue service in support of a safe community and vibrant regional economy,” D’Agostino said. “Having the best mechanics, who keep our apparatus fleet in top, working condition, helps us achieve that vision.”

City Manager Appoints Fire Chief for El Paso Fire Department

El Paso City Manager Tommy Gonzalez announced that he has appointed Mario D’Agostino as Fire Chief of the El Paso Fire Department.

“Chief D’Agostino has done an exceptional job as Interim Fire Chief. When asked to submit a 100-day plan for the Fire Department, he demonstrated tremendous initiative in the areas of staffing, prevention programs and communication,” said El Paso City Manager Tommy Gonzalez.

D’Agostino has extensive experience as a fire professional and has a keen understanding of the El Paso Fire Department. He provided the City Manager with an exceptionally well thought-out 100-day plan that addressed department needs and enhanced communication. In order to keep an open line of communication and ensure support, he has reached out to Fire Union, Local 51, to receive feedback on specific programs.

“The City has many qualified men and women working for the Fire Department, and this was a very competitive process to reach today’s decision. I want to congratulate Chief D’Agostino on today’s appointment. His dedication to the department and our community is one of the many reasons Chief D’Agostino is qualified to serve as our newest Fire Chief. I am confident that under Chief D’Agostino’s leadership, the men and women of the El Paso Fire Department will continue to serve the El Paso community and ensure our safety and security,” said Mayor Oscar Leeser.

“Local 51 is pleased with the direction taken by the City of El Paso. Chief D’Agostino is an excellent choice. Our members look forward to working with our Chief and the City,” said Local 51 President Joe Tellez.

D’Agostino has served as Interim Fire Chief since early December. The City Manager, along with members of the leadership team, interviewed several candidates from within the fire department who were Battalion Chiefs and Assistant Fire Chiefs. While all of the candidates were highly qualified, D’Agostino was selected due to his extensive knowledge in operations and administration.

He is a 25-year-veteran of the department who has a bachelor’s degree in Fire Science, as well as a Master of Business Administration/Public Administration degree from Columbia Southern University.

D’Agostino will begin his role as Fire Chief effective immediately.

El Paso Fire Department Accepting Applications for Public Safety Communicator Trainees

Beginning at midnight Thursday, March 2nd, the El Paso Fire Department will be accepting applications for Public Safety Communicator Trainees.

Public Safety Communicators process emergency and non-emergency telephone calls and dispatch, monitor and coordinate activities of emergency personnel (police, fire and medical) using a multi-channel radio system and a computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system.

“We are looking for people who value public service,” said Fire Human Resource Director Monica Puga. “Public Safety Communicators are a vital link between the citizens of El Paso and first responders. This position is more than a job; it’s about serving the community.”

Interested individuals should apply immediately as the position will close once a pre-set amount of applications are received. Selected candidates will go through a paid, six-month training period earning $14.65 an hour.

Upon completion of the training period, trainees will be promoted to Public Safety Communicator, starting at $34,537 annually.

The ideal candidates will have a high school diploma or GED and two years of general work experience, with at least one year with public contact. Spanish is not required for hiring, but could be a requirement depending on which function is assigned. Non-Spanish speakers are encouraged to apply.

Visit www.epfire.org, under Employment Opportunities for a detailed list of all the minimum requirements and a comprehensive overview of the recruitment process.

EPFD, Health Departments announce March Dates for Free Flu Vaccines

The program “Vaccinations for Health” that teams up the El Paso Fire Department with the El Paso Health Department to provide free influenza, blood pressure and glucose screenings to patients 18 and older, colorectal screening kits to patients 50 and over and pneumonia vaccines to those 65 and older, will start again in March at the following locations and times:

“There’s no question that firefighters are some of the most respected members of our community,” said Bruce Parsons, Assistant Health Director. “They assist those in need and have a rapport with those they serve. Those qualities, coupled with life-saving vaccines and screening tools will help us advance the health of Vaccinations for Health participants and the community.”

Officials remind the public that the service is free to residents of El Paso and Hudspeth County who are 18 and over and do not have medical insurance or are on Medicaid.

“We are encouraging residents who meet these guidelines to take advantage of the program. The goal of the program is to increase the wellness of our community who do not have access to these services.”

Wednesday March 1: EPFD Safety, Health Outreach Center, 5415 Trowbridge Dr., 1-5:30 p.m.

Wednesday March 8: EPFD Safety, Health Outreach Center, 5415 Trowbridge Dr., 1-5:30 p.m.

Wednesday March 29: EPFD Safety, Health Outreach Center, 5415 Trowbridge Dr., 1-5:30 p.m.

For more information, residents are encouraged to call 3-1-1 or visit www.ephealth.com

El Paso Fire Department: Hands-only CPR Can Save Lives

Heart disease is the number 1 killer of Texans, with four out of five cardiac arrests occurring at home. Often times, friends, family or colleagues are the first by-standers when these medical emergencies occur.

By having the majority of the populace trained in hands-only CPR, important medical intervention can occur while first-responders arrive.

“The emphasis is to teach people to get involved when they see an emergency by first calling 9-1-1 and then doing hands-only CPR until help arrives,” said Fire Paramedic Martin Dominguez. “It just takes 5 minutes to learn Citizen CPR, but hopefully those who take this class will want to take a full CPR class in the future.”

Every year, the El Paso Fire Department conducts several events to teach hands-only CPR to the public. For the second year, EPFD will join the Texas Two Step statewide campaign. Training teams representing all 11 Texas medical schools will conduct this statewide hands-only CPR training to raise public awareness and train as many people as possible to save lives.

Training teams representing all eleven Texas medical schools will conduct this statewide hands-only CPR training to raise public awareness of hands-only CPR and train as many people as possible to save lives.

The El Paso Fire Department will be offering the public FREE lessons on basic, hands-only CPR on Saturday Feb. 11from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sun Metro Terminal on 601 S. Santa Fe St.

EPFD, El Paso Health Dept continue “Vaccinations for Health” in February

The program “Vaccinations for Health” that teams up the El Paso Fire Department with the El Paso Health Department to provide free influenza, blood pressure and glucose screenings to patients 18 and older, colorectal screening kits to patients 50 and over and pneumonia vaccines to those 65 and older, will start again in February at the following locations and times:

Wednesday Feb. 1: EPFD Safety, Health Outreach Center, 5415 Trowbridge Dr., 1-5:30 p.m.

Thursday Feb. 9: Health Dept. Health Fair, 9031 Viscount Blvd., 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Wednesday Feb. 15: EPFD Safety, Health Outreach Center, 5415 Trowbridge Dr., 1-5:30 p.m.

Wednesday Feb. 22: EPFD Safety, Health Outreach Center, 5415 Trowbridge Dr., 1-5:30 p.m.

“There’s no question that firefighters are some of the most respected members of our community,” said Bruce Parsons, Assistant Health Director. “They assist those in need and have a rapport with those they serve. Those qualities, coupled with life-saving vaccines and screening tools will help us advance the health of Vaccinations for Health participants and the community.”

Remember that the service is FREE to residents of El Paso and Hudspeth County who are 18 and over and DO NOT have medical insurance or are on Medicaid. We are encouraging residents who meet these guidelines to take advantage of the program.

The goal of the program is to increase the wellness of our community who do not have access to these services.

For more information, residents are encouraged to call 3-1-1 or visit www.ephealth.com.

EPFD Reminds Drivers: Pull to the Right

The El Paso Fire Department would like to remind the public that when an emergency vehicle pulls up behind you with lights and sirens on, it is important to move to the right.

EPFD officials say, “It is important to remember that personnel are responding to an emergency, and lives and property are in the balance.”

To that end, EPFD shares the following tips, so that personnel can reach these emergencies quickly and safely. Remember, in emergencies, seconds and minutes count.

  1. When it is safe to do so, pull over to the right until the fire department vehicle has passed.
  2. Do NOT stop in the middle of the street.
  3. Do not pull over to the left. The left lane is the designated lane for emergency vehicles.
  4. When you pull over to the right, do not pull over erratically or unsafely. Please be conscious of other vehicles in lanes to your right.
  5. Under no circumstances, never, ever pass an emergency vehicle with its lights and sirens on.
  6. Never try to outrun a vehicle to avoid having to pull over
  7. Never tailgate an emergency vehicle. The safe distance is 500 feet.

 

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