It has been six months since we have had a proper training meeting. This COVID-19 pandemic is certainly lasting longer than anticipated. In an effort to follow current guidelines, we will not be meeting as a group until it is deemed safe to do so. In lieu of our regular training meetings, the leadership will be posting a newsletter at least monthly, to keep the membership updated with what is going on in the department and the community.
Not all of you are able to respond to the actual firefighting events, however, there are still ways for you to contribute to the department during the pandemic (see requests for action, below). Hope this finds everybody in good health, if there are any points of interest that you would like published, please let me know.
Stay Hydrated. We don’t know when we will be called out, so always be hydrated and be prepared for the heat.
Recent Fire Activity
The Trails Fire in The Trails at Horseshoe Bay and Blue Lake on August 13 consumed approximately 400 acres, threatened 37 homes. A total of 21 departments, Texas Forest Service, bulldozers, two helicopters, and four fixed wing aircraft responded. The challenges included the rapid spread threatening numerous homes simultaneously upon arrival, prioritizing threats and protection tactics, and the volume of radio traffic which hindered communication with with command.
Sunrise Beach Brush One and Brush Two performed structure protection of homes, while Tanker One kept multiple department attack vehicles supplied with water and fought fire on edge of the roadway with redline. Supply provided rehab for personnel from multiple departments.
Lockhart Mountain Fire
The Lockhart Mountain fire on August 18th was north of Llano off Highway 16, and consumed approximately 422 acres. It involved multiple departments, Texas Forest Service, one helicopter, and bulldozers. The challenges were locating command on arrival and initial communication due to heavy radio traffic. The fire was also a long way from the main road, and the ranch roads and ranch land with lack of landmarks made it difficult to navigate and coordinate. Cones were not set for critical points.
Sunrise Beach Brush One helped slow and contain the fire’s advance, and assisted in setting and controlling a back-burn. Tanker One kept multiple department attack vehicles supplied with water, while Supply provided rehab.
Comanche Creek Fire
The Comanche Creek fire on August 25 was on CR 309 in Blanco County, and consumed approximately 406 acres. It involved numerous area departments. Sunrise Beach Tanker One kept multiple department attack vehicles supplied with water. There was initially a shortage of personnel at Station One to staff Supply, but it did recover and was used provided rehab at the incident.
EMS First Responders
The annual Flu Shot Clinic will be held this year on September 17th at Station One. Link and more information coming soon.
The Brush Two renovation project is complete and the improvements were greatly beneficial on both the Trails and Lockhart Mountain fires. The rear feed hose reel allowed for quicker deployment to attack and quicker reload to relocate truck. The new pump provides 100 PSI to the redline which the old pump could not achieve.
The water collection and refill tank, pump, and plumbing are installed at Station One. The only thing left to make it operational is the electrical which we expect the contractor to do soon. We will be installing safety bollards to protect the tank. The new SBVFD logo is prominently displayed on the front of the tank.
Please respond to your station and check in for all fire calls whenever you are available – it is important that we have staffing to deploy as needed. Also please observe all appropriate COVID-19 safety protocols at all times.
Lieutenants: please coordinate with your personnel to regularly check apparatus fluids, tire pressure, lights, equipment operation, radios, tools, etc. Vehicles should be started and driven.
These links provide great information on Protecting Your Home from Wildfire Danger and the Current Fire Danger Status.
Please watch this video to review important wildland firefighter safety information
Request for Action
Because we are not having regular training meetings, the regular cleaning of the station is not being done. I prefer not to schedule specific units or individuals at this time. Once we get back to training, I will have a schedule posted, as in the past. In lieu, of a rigid schedule, I am asking for you to volunteer your time, come up and help keep Station One and Station Two in good order. This includes, sweeping and mopping the training rooms, taking out the trash, cleaning the bathrooms and keeping the freezer full of bags of ice. In addition, I would like those of you that assist in this area to send me a text or email to let me know what task you completed.
On a Lighter Note…
Top Ten Reasons NOT to be a Volunteer Firefighter
Number one especially applies to our dedicated team of EMS First Responders. As for Number eight, don’t ask; don’t have it, not gonna get it!
Thanks for Reading!
It won’t be long before we will be back to our regular routine of meetings, hands-on training and fundraising planning. Until then, I hope this helps keep you all informed of what is going at this time. If you have any questions or have anything you want posted next time, please let Bill Daly or me know. Thank you for everything each of you do for our community!