October 31, 2014
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Have a Safe Halloween!

Updated On: Oct 22, 2014 (14:54:00)

Denton Fire Fighters Give Lifesaving Tips for Halloween

By making small adjustments to costume and decoration choices on Halloween, danger and risk to public safety is easily decreased.  It is important for people to take basic precautions to make sure they have nothing other than a fun-filled Halloween.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, the United States sees an overall increase in fires on Halloween caused by open flames, and the arson fire rate is 10 percent higher than on any other day with 15,500 fires and $92 million in property loss per year.

To ensure a safe and happy Halloween, the Denton Firefighters Association offers the following tips:

·   Cross streets at the intersection and look both ways before crossing.

·   Use battery operated lights, not candles, to decorate walkways. Always keep candles, matches and lighters in a place that children cannot reach. This will make it much safer for trick-or-treaters and decrease the chance of an open flame fire.

·   Keep children, costumes and decorations away from open flames and heat sources. Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable.

·   Check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires or loose connections. Make sure they are certified by a recognized organization like the Underwriters’ Laboratory, Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or the Underwriters’ Laboratory of Canada (ULC). Do not overload extension cords. Indoor and outdoor decorative lights can be fire hazards.

·   Choose costumes that are flame resistant, comfortable, and easy to walk in and see.

·   Pick brightly colored costumes that can be clearly seen by motorists. Add reflective tape to the costume to increase visibility.

Please call 9-1-1 for the help of your local fire fighters in the case of a fire or emergency.

The Denton Firefighters Association wishes you a happy and safe Halloween.



Dispute Draws to a Close

Updated On: Oct 20, 2014 (09:51:00)

Arbitrator John Barnard ruled this month that then-Fire Chief Ross Chadwick’s appointment of Fire Marshal Laura Behrens last year did properly fall in the guidelines of the association’s meet-and-confer agreement.

In a grievance letter addressed to the city on Sept. 6, 2013, Jason Ballard, president of the Denton Fire Fighters Association, challenged the appointment, saying the department head had “appointed an unclassified civilian into the vacant fire marshal position.”

In the letter, the association asked that Behrens be removed from the position and that the department follow the hiring process specified in its written agreement with the association.

Ballard said last week that the association was notified Tuesday of the decision, which was several months in the making.

After their grievance was denied by Chadwick and the city manager, Ballard said they then went to mediation.

When that didn’t work out, both sides took part in a two-day arbitration hearing in May at City Hall, where the association continued to make sure its meet-and-confer agreement with the city was properly enforced, Ballard said.

The firefighters association has an agreement with the city to meet and confer each year to negotiate matters that affect the rank and file.

At the May hearing, Chadwick testified that he had received many compliments on Behrens since her appointment, and said she was the best qualified of the eight candidates considered.

The association testified that Behrens was an “unclassified civilian” whose appointment violated the meet-and-confer agreement that the association has held with the city of Denton since 2006.

In addition, the city alleged the association wasn’t “timely” in filing its grievance.

According to documentation from the dispute, the city claimed the grievance must be filed within 30 days of knowledge and said Ballard was notified on July 31, 2013 that Behrens was one of the candidates being interviewed for the fire marshal vacancy.

Barnard ruled in his report that the grievance was timely because “a grievance is not a grievance until the violation and hence harm actually occurs. Here, the grievance occurred when the chief appointed Behrens.”

Behrens was hired Aug. 31, 2013. Before her appointment, she worked in administration and as a public education officer in fire prevention at the department.

On the issue of Behrens’ appointment, Barnard stated the term “department” or “fire department” means the Denton Fire Department — meaning that Behrens fell within the boundaries of an internal candidate because she was working at the department at the time of her appointment.

“I am disappointed in the ruling and I still believe that then-Fire Chief Ross Chadwick violated the intent of the language in the contract in filling the position,” Ballard said Thursday. “The ruling is binding and I am prepared to accept that and move forward.”

Ballard said the city and the association will split the nearly $9,000 in fees for the arbitration. That fee does not include how much the city spent in using outside attorneys.

Ballard said that the association’s attorney fees were covered by the group’s state association.

Assistant City Manager Jon Fortune said Friday via email that the city is pleased with the outcome of the arbitration.

“Mrs. Behrens is an excellent fire marshal and we are happy to receive confirmation that the chief's appointment of her was done in accordance with the city’s meet-and-confer agreement.”

Fortune and Ballard each said they are looking forward to continue their working relationship between the city and association.

Ballard said he does not expect to appeal the decision to keep Behrens and is just ready to move forward.

“It never had anything to do with her — it had to do with the way the hiring process between the city and the association was handled,” Ballard said.

MEGAN GRAY-HATFIELD can be reached at 940-566-6885 and via Twitter at @MGrayNews.



Updated On: Oct 13, 2014 (14:46:00)

DENTON - Denton fire fighters are once again selling pink t-shirts for breast cancer awareness.  T-shirts are for sale at Central Fire Station. They are $15/each or two for $25.  Proceeds benefit Susan G. Komen and the Fire Fighter Cancer Support Network.

Fire fighters exposed to carcinogens and other chemicals while on the job are disproportionately diagnosed with breast cancer – just one of many cancers linked to the work we do. An estimated 12% of women will develop breast cancer, and among all women affected, 85 percent have no family history.

We are supporting breast cancer awareness and prevention by encouraging others to give so that no breast cancer patient goes without life-saving treatments or having hope for a cure.

Everyone is at risk for breast cancer. The two most important risk factors are being female and getting older. Most women diagnosed with breast cancer have no other known factors. To help reduce your risk, be sure to maintain a healthy weight, eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, exercise and limit alcohol consumption.

The funds we raise are used to help support cancer research, screening and treatment programs, so please encourage all of your family and friends to participate in breast cancer awareness and prevention by purchasing a t-shirt.

Two from Denton visit New York for 9/11 anniversary

Updated On: Sep 26, 2014 (11:57:00)

Two members of the Denton Fire Fighters Association, firefighters John Jones and Shane Roberts, visited New York City for the anniversary of 9/11 this month.  Please click on the link below to view the article from the Denton Record Chronicle.

Download: Firefighters pay respects.pdf
Orange Out T-Shirts For Sale!

Updated On: Sep 04, 2014 (09:58:00)

 Orange out t-shirts are now for sale.  Proceeds benefit the Orange Out Foundation (www.orangeout.org), supporting childhood cancer.  T-shirts availbale at Central Fire Station.  Firefighters will be allowed to wear them on duty September 14th-20th.

$15/each or two for $25.

Download: Orange Out 2014.jpg
American Heart Walk T-Shirts for Sale!

Updated On: Sep 04, 2014 (09:59:00)

Shirts available fpr sale in Administration at Central Fire Station.  Firefighters will be allowed to wear them on duty September 7th-13th.

$15/each or two for $25

Download: Heart Walk 2014.jpg
New Denton Fire Chief

Posted On: Aug 26, 2014 (15:20:41)

City Hires Fire Chief

DENTON, TX, Aug. 22, 2014 - City Manager George Campbell has announced the appointment of Robin Paulsgrove to the position of Fire Chief for the City of Denton. Paulsgrove brings nearly 40 years of public service and leadership experience to the City. He will begin his employment on Oct. 13.

Paulsgrove most recently served as Fire Chief and Director of Emergency Management in Arlington from 1997 to 2010. He began his career as a Firefighter in 1976 with the Austin Fire Department, serving in all ranks before being appointed as Fire Chief there in 1993. In addition, Paulsgrove is a recognized industry leader and author. He is the former Chair of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Section of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and former member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Board of Directors. He is also the author of numerous magazines and articles, including a regular leadership column in the NFPA journal and a chapter in the World Book Encyclopedia on fire departments.

Robin is an exceptional leader who has successfully led cultural and organizational transformations of large urban fire departments,” Mr. Campbell said. “He not only brings outstanding depth and experience to the department and our organization, but also brings a passion for local community leadership. We are excited to welcome Robin to our team.

Paulsgrove stated, “Chief Chadwick and the members of the Denton Fire Department have built a reputation for excellence that is recognized throughout Texas. I am humbled to have been selected for this important assignment and honored to wear the Denton Fire Department uniform. Working together, we will honor our rich traditions while eagerly adjusting course to meet the changing needs of our citizens. The safety of Denton firefighters will be my first priority.”

Paulsgrove, a Certified Public Manager, holds a Bachelor of Arts in Administration from Western Illinois University and is a graduate from the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government Program for State and Local Government Leaders. He is also a graduate from the national Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program.

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