10 Things You May Not Know About the Arlington Fire Department
By Office of Communication
Posted on November 15, 2016, November 15, 2016

10 Things You May Not Know

It takes the hard work of several departments across the City of Arlington to create a true American Dream City. The Arlington Fire Department has many men and women trained to provide high quality emergency response, life safety and community support services.

However, you may not know everything about the services the department provides for the community. Here's a list of 10 things you may not know, written by the Arlington Fire Department:

1. The Arlington Fire Department actively engages the community with fire and life safety education programs. The best way to respond to an emergency is to prevent it from every occurring. Knowing this, we teach hundreds of programs each year to both children and adults on a wide variety of topics. These programs can be customized to fit a specific need of your group, or simply cover the basics of fire safety. We teach programs in schools, churches, any many other public meeting places. If your group would like to schedule a fire and life safety education program, visit our website to complete the online registration form: http://www.arlington-tx.gov/fire/fire-stationfire-engine-tours/

2. We offer free smoke alarm installations to those in need. Through a partnership with the American Red Cross, we are able to install free smoke alarms for families in need all across Arlington. We recommend having smoke alarms installed in every sleeping area, outside every sleeping area (hallways), and on every level of your home. The service life of a smoke alarm is 10 years, so check the date on the back of your alarm. If you are physically or financially unable to provide this level of protection, call the Arlington Fire Department for assistance at 817-459-5500.

3. Arlington Fire Department offers a Vial of Life Program. The Vial of Life is a small plastic container that allows residents to record pertinent medically information in case of an emergency. Participants put a sticker near the main entrance to their home, which signals first responders to look for the vial. A magnet on the refrigerator helps crews locate the vial. Inside the vial, first responders can find a medical information sheet that lists illnesses, medications, allergies, and emergency contact information. This information is vital for first responders and the Vial of Life speaks for you when you are unable to speak for yourself. You may pick up a kit (vial, form, magnet, sticker, and instruction sheet) at any Arlington Fire Station. You may also schedule a group discussion about the program by visiting our website: http://www.arlington-tx.gov/fire/fire-stationfire-engine-tours/

4. Our Special Events Division has managed 230 events since January 1, 2016. As of September 30, 2016, we have deployed Fire Rescue personnel to 238 special events throughout the city. These events vary from Cowboy Games, Ranger Games, EMS Standbys, Fireworks Standbys, High School and Jr High School Football Games, Summer Strength and Conditioning, Concerts, 5K's, and many more. We staff each of these events to provide all hazards response, emergency medical services, and fire response. In 2015, we responded to 1,149 calls during 352 events. Coordination with our special event partners allows for tax payer response units to remain available, ready to respond anywhere in the city. The number of special event deployments will continue to grow as the years goes on. Most people don't know about all of the smaller events that we staff. We do much more than Cowboys and Rangers!

5. We provide medical coverage for AISD Jr. High Football Games. When the AISD Junior High Football season concludes, we will have staffed about 135 football games. While thousands of fans come out to Cowboys games, we have personnel dedicated to the medical care of our Junior High athletes. Helping the young athletes of AISD is important to Arlington firefighters. Our AISD Junior High Medics are trained to specifically identify and treat concussions, as well as relay information to the athlete's coaches and parents.

6. There are a million moving parts in Special Events. A lot of hard work, hours, and thought goes into preparing each event. Planning and preparing for events can take weeks, sometimes months. We think about events in the long term and how one event can affect another. Which vehicles can be used where? Do we have enough EMS gear for each unit needed? What other events are also that day? In addition to long term anticipation, there are numerous small details to be worked out in the days leading to an event and days following events. There are four individuals dedicated to the Office of Special Events within the Fire Department; a Battalion Chief, Captain, and two Emergency Management Planners. These four individuals work closely with many others in numerous city departments and outside agencies to ensure the safety of our personnel and public during each event.

7. Subscription program helps reduce costs of ambulance transports. American Medical Response (AMR) is the City of Arlington's exclusive contracted ambulance service. AMR operates on a "fee based service" paid for by those who use the service resulting in no tax dollars used to subsidize the service. In order to minimize out of pocket costs to our citizens, we require AMR to provide a subscription program which eliminates or reduces out of pocket expenses for medically necessary ambulance transports. More information can be found on the City of Arlington website on the Fire Department page under Programs.

8. We ensure quality care through consistent self-examination. The Medical Operations Section of the Arlington Fire Department takes its job very seriously with a strong commitment to professional excellence. We are constantly looking at ways to improve our service delivery by reinforcing the high quality care we provide and examining ourselves for areas of improvement. Our internal Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement staff is the mechanism we use to ensure we are delivering high quality care to all of those in need of medical attention.

9. We take care of ourselves so we can take care of you. One of the tasks of the Health and Safety Officer in the Medical Operations section is to ensure that over 300 firefighters are prepared for duty. This is accomplished in part through our annual physical fitness evaluation and daily physical fitness program. Our firefighters are required to participate in this physical fitness program so that they will have the strength and endurance to help you in your time of need.

10. We actually have some pretty amazing firehouse cooks! If you did not catch the original airing of Arlington Eats featuring Fire Station 4, check it out now: https://youtu.be/UJA5IRZXg2Y. Being prepared for duty means being dedicated both in the gym and in the kitchen.

Residents can also read about opportunities and services they may not know about the Arlington Animal Services Shelter, the Arlington Public Library and the Arlington Police Department's Property Room.

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