October 08, 2015
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Denton Fire Fighters Urge Caution Near Fireworks

Posted On: Jun 28, 2015 (15:03:46)

Fire Fighters Urge Caution Near Fireworks on Independence Day

Independence Day, unfortunately, is one of the busiest days of the year for fire fighters. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more fires are reported on the Fourth of July than on any other day of the year, and two out of five are fireworks-related incidents.

The Denton Fire Fighters Assocaition advises that the best way to enjoy fireworks and prevent injury is to watch a professional show. Consumer fireworks are dangerous and the risks to personal safety and the safety of the community are significant.

Fireworks were involved in an estimated 11,400 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during calendar year 2013, according to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Celebrating the Fourth of July with fireworks, cookouts and community events can quickly turn to disaster if proper precautions are not taken.

Children are especially at risk on July 4. In 2013, 40 percent of victims with fireworks injuries were under 15. Children should never play with fireworks. Even sparklers can reach 1200º Fahrenheit.

Please only call 9-1-1 for potentially life-threatening situations so fire fighters are available to respond quickly when lives are in danger.

For more information about fireworks safety, visit http://www.nfpa.org/fireworks.

To check the legality of fireworks, visit http://www.usfireworks.biz/legal/legal.htm.

If you insist on setting off your own fireworks, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends taking these precautions. Denton Fire Fighters want you and your family to be safe on the Fourth.

·    Only buy fireworks from a licensed seller (not from someone on the street or from someone’s house)

·    Read and follow the directions on the fireworks before lighting them

·    Have water handy in case of an emergency

·    Only use fireworks in an open, outdoor area

·    Light the fireworks on a hard surface and be cautious of any wind

·    Have a designated person to set off the fireworks who avoids alcohol and does not wear loose clothing

·    Make sure that the designated person wears safety goggles and close toed shoes

·    Do not alter or combine fireworks

·    Aim the firework away from houses, dry leaves, flammable materials and people

·    Never extend a body part over the devise

·    Light one firework at a time

·    Never relight a “dud” firework

·    Wait 20 minutes after setting off the firework to approach it, and then soak it in water


Local 1291 Firefighter Participates In NYC Stair Climb

Updated On: May 20, 2015 (13:06:00)

Denton firefighter and paramedic to take part in Tower Climb 


With each step she takes in the clock tower stairwell at Texas Woman’s University, Denton firefighter and paramedic Sara Athey is preparing to climb for a cause.

Athey is set to take part in the first annual Tower Climb held at the World Trade Center in New York hosted by the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation this Sunday along with her friend and Coppell firefighter Jaime Taylor.

The climb, she said, was open to the first 1,000 participants and is raising money for Building for America’s Bravest, a program of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation that constructs smart homes for wounded veterans and first responders.

The program also helps the families of veterans and first responders who have been killed in the line of duty.

Athey said the organization paid off the mortgages of slain New York police officers Wenjian Liu and Luis Ramos earlier this year to help their families during a time of need.

“It’s a really great cause,” she said.

And while the climb is being held in honor of New York Fire Department Capt. Billy Burke, who was helping a quadriplegic and a friend who wouldn’t leave the quadriplegic’s side on Sept. 11, Athey will be carrying a photo of Thomas Casoria close.

Casoria was also a New York fireman who lost his life in the line of duty on Sept. 11, 2001.

“My first year, he was assigned to me at the memorial climb in Dallas and I now request him every year. I will take his photo to New York with me and climb for him,” said Athey, who is been with the Denton Fire Department for six years. “We were told to never forget. ... I can still climb and they [the fallen] can’t, so I will do it for them in their honor.”

Athey is paying all her expenses and the Denton Fire Fighters Association put up the $250 required donation, she said.

“All money I raise will go to Building for America’s Bravest,” she said.

To donate, visit http://bit.ly/1E0VAJm.


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

City Council Election Results

Posted On: May 11, 2015 (13:28:51)

Wazny wins District 3, Briggs upsets Ryan

By  on May 9, 2015

Rhiannon Saegert / Senior Staff Writer & Dalton LaFerney / News Editor

Kathleen Wazny defeated her opponent, Amber Briggle, for the District 3 councilmember seat with about 70 percent of the vote. UNT resides within Wazny’s district.

The results reached Wazny’s election watch party just after 7 p.m. After the applause died down, she addressed the crowd.

“This isn’t about me, this is about you. This is your seat,” Wazny said. “I’m going to take all of this grassroots activism power to city council because this is about us. The residents whose decisions the council makes, those decisions impact them. If they can’t hear those closed sessions then there’s a problem with local government.”

Briggle received 560 total votes; Wazny got 1,255. Precinct 4003 boosted Wazny to victory with 1,111 votes. Robson Ranch, where Wazny is a resident, lies within that precinct. Operatives of the Briggle campaign said Wazny’s effort at Robson Ranch is what won her the race. Briggle also said Saturday’s rainy weather likely deterred voters.

On what had previously been an all male city council, Wazny will be joined by Keely Briggs, who beat incumbent John Ryan for District 2, to balance the gender ratio. Now, there are seven men and two women on the city council. Keely won her district with 63 percent of the vote. Ryan, owner of Vigne Wine Shop, had 437 votes to Keely’s 747.

In District 1, incumbent Kevin Roden beat challenger Robert Doyle Cain with 85 percent of the 527 votes cast. Cain, whose most recent campaign finance report is disputed, had 79 votes in his favor. Roden now enters his final term.

Councilman Joey Hawkins, who ran unopposed, was reelected.

City Council Endorsements

Posted On: Apr 27, 2015 (12:53:25)

Denton Firefighter Association has forum, endorses incumbents


There weren’t enough votes among the members of the Denton Firefighter Association to swing an endorsement for the open race in District 3, but the incumbents seeking re-election to the Denton City Council on May 9 could get a boost from the group.

Mike Holdsclaw, secretary of the association and chairman of its political action committee, said the group has a “friendly incumbent” rule.

“We support those who support us,” Holdsclaw said, adding that all the members of the current council have worked well with the department.

The association’s endorsements went to District 1 council member Kevin Roden, District 2 council member John Ryan, and District 4 council member Joey Hawkins, who is running unopposed.

Both candidates in District 3, Amber Briggle and Kathleen Wazny, had votes from the membership, but neither had enough to win over a two-thirds majority needed to land an endorsement, Holdsclaw said.

Each of the three incumbents will be offered a $500 campaign contribution. Candidates don’t always accept the contributions, Holdsclaw said.

Ryan didn’t get an endorsement when he first ran for an unexpired term last year. This year, it was his support for a long-term agreement that helped him pick up the endorsement over his challenger, Keely G. Briggs, Holdsclaw said.

The firefighters deliberated for about an hour after hosting a public forum and a brief meet-and-greet session with the candidates over pizza. The candidates for all four races attended the event, including Hawkins.

Four of the seven Denton City Council seats are up for election on May 9. The election includes all of the seats representing Denton’s four districts, each a two-year term.

District 1 includes much of central and southeastern Denton. Roden is seeking re-election to his third and final term but faces a challenge from political newcomer Robert Doyle Cain. District 2 encompasses a bit of the central city along with northeastern Denton. District 3, which covers the city’s west side, sees Briggle and Wazny squaring off to replace outgoing council member Jim Engelbrecht, who has served three terms.

Denton firefighters sought answers on two questions pivotal to them. First, they asked whether the candidates would continue to support the meet-and-confer agreement the city has with the firefighters association.

The agreement, in place since 2006, allows the association to negotiate with the city on matters important to firefighters, such as staffing and pay. All the candidates said they supported the continuation of the agreement.

Holdsclaw said the agreement is under negotiation this year and members hope to ink a new three-year contract with the city rather than extend the prior agreement again for another year.

The firefighters also asked whether candidates supported the department’s expansion to serve neighborhoods in southeastern Denton and at Robson Ranch. All the candidates said such expansion is warranted, pointing to Denton as a fast-growing city.

In addition, Roden said the city has learned that when large-scale housing developments are proposed, city leaders need to work with the developers to build a fire station or donate the land for a station. Cain added that he believes the city needs to put ambulances at Stations 6 and 7, as well as spend the money needed to add another station.

The firefighters also asked questions of broader public interest. One question asked each candidate to differentiate what they offer to the city over their opponent.

In District 2, Ryan said he has a financial mind, adding that he might be “slow to speak” because he’s thinking through the numbers as he makes decisions. Briggs said she has worked to build coalitions, and is accustomed to working with “tiny budgets to get big things done.”

Another question sought the candidates’ philosophy about economic development. In District 3, Briggle said she feels the city has done a good job attracting large business deals, but isn’t as responsive to small business, which is “where we create 95 percent of our jobs.”

Wazny said Denton has a reputation for not being business-friendly and could fix that by addressing problems in the planning department, adding that the airport and the hospitals could be growth areas for the city.

Whether the group’s endorsements prove predictive remains to be seen. Incumbents often have an advantage over challengers in elections. Last year, the group did make an endorsement in a race that had no incumbents, endorsing Chris Watts over Jean Schaake and Donna Woodfork in the mayor’s race. Schaake had broad support among many community leaders, but Watts ran a strong grass-roots campaign that won out in the end.

Early voting begins April 27.

Two more public forums have been scheduled with the candidates this week:

At 7 p.m. Thursday, the Denton Neighborhood Alliance will host a forum at City Hall, 215 E. McKinney St.

On Saturday, the local chapters of NAACP and the League of United Latin American Citizens will host a forum at the Denton Police Department’s training facility, 719 E. Hickory St.

The doors will open at 9:30 a.m., and the forum is expected to run from 10 a.m. to noon, with opportunities to meet and talk with the candidates both before and after the forum, organizers said.

PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881 and via Twitter at @phwolfeDRC.

MDA Fill the Boot

Posted On: Apr 27, 2015 (12:36:28)

Firefighters collect $10,000 less for MDA over three-day drive

The totals are in for the three-day “Fill the Boot” campaign, and the community fell short on donations compared to 2014, Denton fire officials said.

From Thursday through Saturday last week, Denton firefighters wore bright yellow shirts at busy intersections accepting donations for the “Fill the Boot” campaign to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association, which sponsors neuromuscular disease research.

“We collected a total of $44,919 over the three days last week,” Battalion Chief Brian Glenn said via email. “We’re proud of our efforts, but that was almost $10,000 less than last year. It will still put us as one of the top MDA departments in the metroplex.”

In 2014, the Denton department collected $54,150 in its “Fill the Boot” campaign.

There is still time to help, he said. As long as people tell officials their donation is for “the boot,” donations can still be made at any of the city’s fire stations. The money raised will help sponsor a summer camp designed for kids with neuromuscular diseases.

“More importantly, it will fund the research for a cure so the kids don’t need a special summer camp,” Glenn said.


Updated On: Mar 30, 2015 (10:18:00)


26th Annual Denton Fire Fighter

MDA Golf Classic










Golfers Package $125
Includes round of golf, green fees & cart, goody bag, food, beverages and T-Shirt.
BONUS: Free round of golf to every player!
Enter as a team or individually!
Please make checks payable to:
MDA Golf Classic
Denton, TX76202
All contributions are tax deductible!!


The Denton Fire Fighters are back for our 26th year hosting a golf classic to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association. This year’s tournament is on Thursday, April 23rd at the Golf Club at Champions Circle, across from Texas Motor Speedway. We would like to invite you join our efforts to “Help Jerry’s Kids”. You can help in three ways: hole sponsor, player and prize donor. 


Everyone can help us out with prize donations. We need items for door prizes and for the live auction to be held during the awards dinner. We try to gather a wide variety of merchandise and gift certificates every year. All prize donors will be recognized at the tournament and in our final newspaper ad.



If you are not playing for free as a hole sponsor, you can also register individually or as a team. We are only accepting 144 players so please reserve your spot early. All golfers will receive a complimentary goodie bag, commemorative t-shirt, free beverages all day, an air-conditioned awards dinner catered by Smokehouse of Denton, and fabulous door prizes. We’ll guarantee you a good time and as a special bonus all players will also receive a guest pass to return for another free round of golf at the course.




We have four levels of sponsorship. All hole sponsors will be acknowledged with a sign placed on the course, inclusion in all newspaper ads, and name listing in the tournament program. Silver sponsors get a free entry into the tournament and gold sponsors can send a four-player team at no additional cost.


Please join us in the efforts to find a cure for neuromuscular disease.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association of Greater Tarrant County is a voluntary health agency working to find treatments and cures for over 43 different neuromuscular disorders, while working to improve the quality of life of those we serve. Through year-round fundraisers like the Denton Fire Fighter Golf Classic, MDA can continue   to   provide   a   comprehensive list   of services including clinics, research, support groups, summer camp for kids and public and professional health education.  



Would like to thank:


Smokehouse BBQ

Martin Eagle Oil Co.

Groggy Dog Sportswear

Liberty Mutual Insurance

Denton Municipal Electric

Miller of Denton




Brian Glenn

Tournament Coordinator

Denton Fire Fighters Association





Katie Wharry, ED

                             Muscular Dystrophy Association 









Download: 2015 Denton Golf Brochure.docx, Golf Partner Letter 2015.doc, Golf Sponsor Letter 2015.doc
Veteran's Day

Updated On: Nov 12, 2014 (14:10:00)


Next Tuesday, November 11th marks the day we celebrate Veteran's Day, honoring all the men and women that have served in the armed forces of the United States.  Thank you to all of the following members of the Denton Fire Fighters Association for your courage, dedication and sacrifice you have made for our freedom.


Jason Ballard
Jared Hornback
Brian Cox
Rory Ellison
Chad Neely
Challie Pizano


Mike Bardwell
Ryan Taylor
Clint Stephenson
Shane Rutledge
Brian Collins
Ricky Van Pelt
Mark Klingele


David Becker
Alan Hempstead
Vance Bowden
Jeff Knoles


Cort Higgins
Chris Ahrens
Charles Geiser
Collin Skipper
Andrew Jubera
Chris Waldrip
Kevin Tye
Hunter Lott
Michael Johnson


Vince Tooley
Jarrett Monschke

Pink T-Shirt Contest

Updated On: Nov 03, 2014 (11:20:00)


Voting Ends November 14

Throughout October, IAFF members wore pink T-shirts as part of their support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Many affiliates submitted these shirts in the IAFF 2014 Best Pink T-shirt Design Contest.

Beginning today, November 3, IAFF members, family and friends can vote for the best T-shirt design. The winning local receives a free registration to the IAFF 2015 Vincent J. Bollon Affiliate Leadership Training Summit in January 2015 in Anaheim, California.
Voting closes at 12:00 midnight Eastern Time on Friday, November 14.

Click here to vote. Once you vote, you cannot vote for the same T-shirt again. The winner will be announced by November 17. Please also visit Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Visit the photo gallery showcasing T-shirts and IAFF affiliates' efforts to promote breast cancer awareness.

   Go online and vote for your Denton Fire Fighters!


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.

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