By Ken Gaidziunas

Staff Writer

The first annual Anna Fire Department report covering 2012 was presented to Anna city council by Fire Chief Tim Gothard at the March 26 city council meeting.

"We are proud to present our 2012 annual report highlighting the services of Anna Fire Rescue. As professionals in our chose field we strive to bring excellence to the workplace every day to serve our citizens and visitors," said Gothard in introducing the report. "Statistics by themselves do not represent the dedication our department members put forward in carrying out our mission. I am very proud of our members and the efforts they display each day to make our community a safer place to live, work and play."

The AFD Operations Division is composed of all the apparatus and firefighters that respond to emergencies when a citizen calls 911. Anna Fire Rescue includes five paid employees, three part-time employees and approximately 30 volunteers. Members must pass a background check, an interview and physical agility tests before beginning a three-month probationary period. Gothard stated that these members volunteered more than 16,500 hours of time in 2012.

Members of Anna Fire Rescue are either certified or attending courses to be certified throughout various agencies: Texas Commission on Fire Protection (TCFP), State Fireman & Fire Marshal’s Association (SFFMA) and Texas Department of Health Services (TDH). Currently 24 members are TCFP certified, three are SFFMA certified, 13 are Paramedic and 11 are EMT certified.

The department’s vehicle fleet has two fire engines, a rescue vehicle, one tanker, two brush trucks and two command vehicles.

AFD responded to 1,021 calls for service in 2012, compared to 1,066 in 2011 and 885 in 2010. Of the 1,021 calls in 2012 600 were EMS related and just over 100 calls were fire related. The remaining calls were for a variety of miscellaneous services.

The Life Safety Division, also known as the Fire Marshal’s Office, is under the direction of James Dockray. The Fire Marshal’s Office is responsible for fire inspections and investigations as well as public education. Annual fire inspections are conducted of existing occupancies such as schools, churches, restaurants, apartment buildings and businesses. All new businesses require a certificate of occupancy, which includes a fire inspection. In 2012, 158 inspections were conducted which included 65 annual inspections, 40 re-inspections, 24 certificates of occupancy and 29 miscellaneous inspections.

The Fire Chief, who is also certified as a peace officer, is designated as the city’s arson investigator.

AFD personnel are involved in community awareness programs such as national Night Out, Operation Santa, Reading with Kids, station tours and Citizens Academy.

The Anna Fire and Rescue Auxiliary Association funded a major remodeling project by AFD members which included expansion of the living quarters, installation of lockers in the bedroom, painting of the training room and media equipment installation.

According to Gothard, the department’s goals for 2013 are to focus on recruitment and retention, training, professional development, community service and public fire education.

"It is my pleasure to serve as Fire Chief and have the opportunity to work beside the men and women of the Anna Fire Department," said Gothard.