Georgetown Hosts Seventh Annual Pipe Band Clinic

pipes 1b webThe Georgetown Fire Department Pipes and Drums Band will host a two-day Bagpipes and Drums clinic on Thursday, November 12 and Friday, November 13 at the First Baptist Church, 1333 W. University Avenue in Georgetown. The clinic will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

Members from Fire Department Pipe Bands across Texas will be in attendance, with some members coming from outside Texas, traveling from as far as Missouri. More than 60 attendees from 12 fire departments and three police departments are expected.

Several years ago there were only a few bands of this type in Texas. That number has grown to more than 30 in recent years. In the event of a fallen public servant, pipes and drums bands from across the state gather to pay tribute at the funeral by playing a common repertoire of music. Georgetown Fire Department Pipes and Drums provide the attendees with elite instruction as part of their mission statement.

On Thursday and Friday, attendees will receive instruction from three piping instructors and four drumming instructors. The piping instructors include Pipe Major Ian K. MacDonald with the Toronto Police Pipe Band, Piper Lori Waters with the Silver Thistle Pipe band in Austin, and Pipe Major Todd Bircher with the Austin Police Pipe Band and Emergency Services Pipes and Drums Association in Austin. The advanced snare drumming instructors include Stephen Cameron, and Jon Greene. Georgetown Fire Department Captain and drum sergeant Robert Gordon will instruct the beginner snare drummers and Georgetown Fire Department Captain David England will instruct the bass drummers.

For more information about the clinic or the Georgetown Fire Department Pipes and Drums band, please visit www.gfdpipesanddrums.com or on Facebook.  The band has a fund established with the Chisholm Trail Communities Foundation to accept tax deductible donations.

National Night Out: Register by Sept. 26

National Night Out is an annual event to support public safety and neighborhood crime prevention that will be held in Georgetown on Tuesday, October 6. Block parties are being organized for 6 to 9 p.m. that evening.

Register your block party by Saturday, September 26 so that a member of the Georgetown Police Department can visit your party.

To register your National Night Out block party in Georgetown, go to pd.georgetown.org/programs-services on the City website. There is a link to an online form to register your block party.

National Night Out is sponsored each year by the Georgetown Police Department. The goal is to help create neighborhoods where people know each other and look out for each other since they tend to be safer and healthier places to live. Members of the Georgetown Police Department, Georgetown Fire Department, Animal Services, Code Enforcement, and Georgetown Utility Systems will be visiting National Night Out block parties in Georgetown.

For details, contact Karen Gilbert with the Georgetown Police Department at karen.gilbert@georgetown.org.

Public Safety Operations and Training Center Grand Opening

The City of Georgetown will hold a grand opening for the new Public Safety Operations and Training Center on Friday, July 10. A ceremony and ribbon cutting event with Mayor Dale Ross starts at 2:30 p.m. A come-and-go open house will be held the next day on Saturday, July 11 from 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Both events are open to the public.

PSOTC entry1b-1000The Georgetown Police Department and Georgetown Fire Department Administration moved into the new center on February 2. The facility is located at 3500 DB Wood Road next to Fire Station 5.

The 76,000 square-foot main building of the new center houses all Police Department employees as well as Fire Department administration, fire and life safety, plans review, and Code Enforcement employees. The center also houses the City’s emergency operations center, 911 emergency communications center, CSI lab, secure interview suite, volunteer area, victim services area, fitness area, locker rooms, defensive tactics training room, and large training room.

Training elements of the facility include a 17,000 square-foot tactical building with classrooms and reality-based training bay, as well as a slow-speed driving track.

Energy-efficiency features of the center include outdoor LED lights, energy-efficient indoor lights fixtures, and room occupancy sensors, as well as windows, skylights, and light wells that allow natural lighting to reach both floors.

Landscaping includes native and drought tolerant plants to reduce water use. Vegetated drainage areas allow storm water to be absorbed rather than running off the site.

The architectural design team for the center included Architects Design Group and KAH Architecture. Bartlett Cocke General Contractors was the construction contractor for the $29.3 million facility.

Georgetown voters approved funding for the facility in a bond election in 2011.

The new center replaces the former main police department building at 809 Martin Luther King, Jr. Street. That 1910 historic Light and Waterworks building will be repurposed as one component of the Downtown West campus, currently under development.

Map to the Public Safety Operations and Training Center:

July 4 Celebration and Fireworks at San Gabriel Park

The 32nd annual Sertoma Club July 4th celebration and fireworks display will be held at San Gabriel Park on Saturday, July 4. The event is sponsored by the Georgetown Sertoma Club service organization with assistance from the City of Georgetown.

Hometown Parade in the Park

A July 4th Hometown Parade in San Gabriel Park begins at 11 a.m. at the low-water crossing near the College Street Bridge and ends at the gazebo. Participants should gather at 10:30 a.m. at the low-water crossing. Kids are encouraged to decorate their wagons or bicycles for the parade. No motorized vehicles or pets. The annual parade is sponsored by the Leadership Georgetown Alumni.

Fireworks

The fireworks display begins at approximately 9:30 p.m. Fireworks will be launched from the McMaster Athletic Fields on N. College Street. Fireworks can be viewed from San Gabriel Park, VFW Park, and other areas in Georgetown. The main entrance to San Gabriel Park is via Chamber Way on N. Austin Avenue.

Entertainment, Food, and Activities

A festival area at San Gabriel Park opens at 11 a.m. with arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, a petting zoo, rides for children and adults, a trackless train, remote-controlled cars, and a nine-hole miniature golf course.

Below is a schedule of events for performances at the gazebo in San Gabriel Park:

  • 11 a.m. Hometown Parade followed by performance with Miss Georgetown and her court
  • 12 p.m. Annie and Kate
  • 1 p.m. Jo Ellyn Lyons
  • 2 p.m. Dance Party
  • 3 p.m. Brett McMinn
  • 4 p.m. Alex Winters
  • 5 p.m. Lucian Nastase Jr. and Anna Lucia Nastase
  • 6 p.m. Xander Ortiz
  • 7 p.m. Roland Waits
  • 8 p.m. Georgetown Fire Department Pipes and Drums
  • 8:45 p.m. Elvis (Mike Elliott)
  • 9:30 p.m. National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance
  • Fireworks

For updates to July 4 events, visit the Georgetown Sertoma Facebook page at facebook.com/GTSertoma.

Parking

Limited parking in San Gabriel Park includes the parking lots at the Show Barn and the Rodeo Arena. Public parking also is available in the lot at the former Albertsons, accessible via Morrow Street on N. Austin Avenue or Interstate 35. Attendees also are encouraged to park at Georgetown High School and carpool to San Gabriel Park. Limited handicapped parking is available in designated areas in San Gabriel Park.

Both the McMaster Fields parking lot and the Parks and Recreation Administration parking lot at N. College Street and W.L. Walden Drive will be closed due to their proximity to the fireworks fall zone.

College Street and McMaster Fields Closure

Due to the fireworks fall zone, N. College Street will be closed on Saturday from approximately 9 to 11 p.m. between the traffic circle and Holly Street. Parking, standing, or sitting along N. College Street in that segment will not be permitted during this time.

The McMaster Athletic Fields will be closed all day on Saturday, July 4.

Fireworks Prohibited

By City of Georgetown ordinance, fireworks of any kind are not allowed in the city limits of Georgetown or within 5,000 feet of the city limits, unless they are used in a permitted display authorized by the Georgetown Fire Department. This area outside city limits includes, but is not limited to, the neighborhoods of Cedar Hollow, Crystal Knoll, Escalera, Fountainwood, Indian Creek, Logan Ranch Road, Lost Rivers, Oak Crest, Olde Oak Estates, Serenada, Shady Oaks, Turtle Bend, and Woodland Park, and areas along D.B Wood Road.

The discharge of fireworks is prohibited in the city limits or within the 5,000-foot buffer beyond city limits. Violations can lead to fines of up to $2,000 per firework. To view a map showing the 5,000-foot boundary, go to files.georgetown.org/fireworks-ban-map.

Donate to Summer Fan Drive

Fan Drive 2015 logo 350The Georgetown Fire Department and The Caring Place are teaming up with Family Eldercare for the 2015 Summer Fan Drive. The goal of this 25th annual event is to collect new fans for low-income residents including seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children.

The fan drive started May 1 and continues through August 31. The fan drive delivers more than 5,000 fans to households in 11 counties in Central Texas.

Donations

New fans can be donated at all five Georgetown fire stations:

  • Fire Station 1, 301 Industrial Avenue, 78626
  • Fire Station 2, 1603 Williams Drive, 78628
  • Fire Station 3, 5 Texas Drive, 78633
  • Fire Station 4, 4200 Airport Road, 78628
  • Fire Station 5, 3600 DB Wood Road, 78628

Other fan donation locations can be found and monetary donations are accepted on the Family Eldercare Summer Fan Drive website at www.SummerFanDrive.org.

 

Eligibility

Those eligible to receive a fan are low-income residents. In addition, they must be seniors who are over age 55, or persons who are disabled, or families with children under 18. To apply to receive a fan at a location other than The Caring Place, go to the Family Eldercare Summer Fan Drive website at www.SummerFanDrive.org. For more locations to apply, go to www.SummerFanDrive.org. To request a fan or get more information, you may call the Fan Drive phone number at (512) 459-4326.

Georgetown Pickup

In Georgetown, people who are eligible may apply at The Caring Place Annex and pick up a fan at the same time. Bring documentation of low-income status to The Caring Place Annex, 2001 Railroad Avenue, Georgetown, TX, 78626. At this location, the Fan Drive started on June 3 and is every Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. In addition, this location will be open from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month (June 11, July 9, and August 13). Distribution at The Caring Place ends on August 13.

For details, or to donate to the Summer Fan Drive online, go to www.SummerFanDrive.org.

Public Safety Center is SafeTrade Site

The Georgetown Police Department announces it has joined SafeTrade, a national initiative for safely completing online transactions when meeting in person.

SafeTrade is a simple program for police departments to encourage transactions at their facilities and for users to insist on “SafeTrade” by conducting their transactions only at a local police or sheriff’s office.

“The decision to offer our facility as a SafeTrade location was a no-brainer,” says Capt. Evelyn McLean of the Georgetown Police Department. “We are in the business of protecting and this was an easy way for us to promote a safer transaction between buyers and sellers of merchandise.”

The SafeTrade logo can be used by sellers (without charge) on any ads posted to promote safety and security, and by police departments to indicate they are hosting their location for SafeTrade transactions.

In the past few months, a growing number of police departments in the U.S. have offered to host online transactions, most of them referring to sites such as Craigslist as the reason. Participating police departments can now post banners or use logos referring to their facilities as SafeTrade Stations. Additional information is available at www.safetradestations.com.

The lobby of the Public Safety Operations and Training Center is available during business hours as a SafeTrade location. The parking lot is available 24-hours.  Capt. McLean adds, “Georgetown Police Department encourages traders to conduct business during daylight hours. All sales are civil matters and officers should not be called on to intervene.”

SafeTrade banner 1000

 

Pictured in the photo are (left to right) Officer Fred Pitcher, Sgt. Jamieson Allen, Lt. Jim Seals, Capt. Evelyn McLean, Asst. Chief Cory Tchida, and Chief Wayne Nero. (Click on photo for larger version.)

The Georgetown Police Department is located at the Public Safety Operations and Training Center, 3500 D.B. Wood Road, Georgetown, TX, 78628.

Flood Protection Study Meeting April 8

A public meeting related to a regional flood protection plan study will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 8. The meeting will be at the Georgetown Municipal Complex, 300-1 Industrial Avenue.

The City of Georgetown and the Texas Water Development Board are holding the meeting to gather input from the public on flooding issues in the Georgetown city limits or areas near city limits. Property owners who are aware of known flooding issues are encouraged to provide that information to officials at the meeting.

Members of the Georgetown City Council and the Georgetown Transportation Advisory Board have been invited to attend the meeting, but no action will be taken at the meeting. The purpose is to listen to public input. Information about flooding issues will be used in the flood protection plan study.

Results of the study may affect flood plain maps and decisions about future capital improvement projects. The flood study is not related to recent property buyouts along Smith Branch in southeast Georgetown.

For additional information, contact Wesley Wright, systems engineering director for the City of Georgetown at (512) 931-7672 or wesley.wright@georgetown.org.

Fire Department Plans for Upgraded EMS and Transport

At their regular meeting on Tuesday, the City Council voted unanimously to approve a plan for the Georgetown Fire Department to upgrade their capacity to provide advanced life support and conduct EMS transport. Starting on October 1, the Fire Department will become the primary EMS provider in Georgetown and in the Emergency Services District covered by the department.

According to the plan, the Fire Department will hire six additional positions later this year. The Fire Department hired 12 paramedics in February, including those with experience from cities in Texas and other states. By October 1, the Fire Department plans to have 32 paramedics on staff.

The department also will purchase two more Transitional Response Vehicles in addition to the two TRVs delivered last month for a total of four TRVs.  These dual-purpose vehicles carry equipment for fire and rescue response as well as EMS equipment for medical calls and transport of patients. In addition, Georgetown will transition its fire engines to be fully advanced life support vehicles with capability and function similar to a rolling emergency room.

In addition, emergency dispatch for fire, police, and EMS in the Georgetown area will be through the City of Georgetown 911 center. Providing emergency dispatch for EMS calls will reduce delays and call transfers and improve operational efficiency.

Changes for EMS in Georgetown are the result of two years of discussions between the City and Williamson County. The City of Georgetown initially proposed an integrated response in which the Georgetown Fire Department and Williamson County EMS shared 911 medical calls in the area. However, the City and County could not come to an agreement on such an integrated response.

“As we do every day, we will continue to work cooperatively with Williamson County,” says Georgetown Fire Chief John Sullivan. “For fire or medical calls to 911 in the Georgetown area, 75 percent are medical. The percentage of medical calls is even higher in areas like Sun City. This transition to an enhanced EMS response for Georgetown makes sense in providing the best emergency care for our residents. Additional paramedics and TRVs will enable a faster medical response with more responders that have a higher level of medical training than the current system.”

Georgetown has an aging population that is unique to Williamson County and Central Texas. Nearly 30 percent of the population is older than 60 years of age and the demand for pre-hospital medical services is expected to grow in the future.

Public Safety Operations and Training Center: Photos

PSOTC entry1b-1000Members of the local media got a chance to see the new Public Safety Operations and Training Center on Friday. (Click on photos to see larger versions.)

The Georgetown Police Department and Georgetown Fire Department Administration move to the new Public Safety Operations and Training Center on Monday, February 2. The center is located at 3500 DB Wood Road next to Fire Station 5.

The new facility is the home for the Georgetown Police Department and Georgetown Fire Department Administration. Police Department offices, including Code Enforcement, as well as Fire Department Administrative offices, including Fire and Life Safety and Fire Plans Review, will move to the new facility.

EOC 1-1000

Capt. Roland Waits describes the City’s new primary Emergency Operations Center located in the center. City management and key departments like Fire, Police, and Transportation will monitor emergencies and coordinate an integrated response from the EOC. The new center is engineered to withstand a strike from an F-3 tornado with 165 mile-per-hour winds.

patrol briefing-1000

This briefing room is where officers in the field operations bureau of the police department can gather to learn information prior to a new 12-hour shift.

crime lab-1000

A crime lab in the center contains vented hoods that allow crime scene technicians to use chemicals safely while processing evidence.

Be the Standard-1000

Small signs with the Georgetown Police Department insignia and the phrase “Be the Standard” can be found throughout police offices in the new center.

weight room1-1000

Capt. Waits says the weight and fitness room is one of the most highly-anticipated features of the new facility among the officers. The former Police Department at 809 MLK, Jr. Street had no fitness or weight training room.

defensive tactics room-1000

A defensive tactics room with padded mats on the walls and floors will allow officers to learn and practice defensive techniques that are used when dealing with aggressive individuals.

biometric access-1000

Biometric access devices control entry to highly-sensitive areas such as rooms with evidence or weapons.

locker1-1000

Lockers in the new facility have locked compartments for weapons and other compartments for vests and boots. The new men’s and women’s locker rooms are among the biggest improvements for officers at the new facility. The small lockers in the cramped space at 809 MLK, Jr. Street cannot fit an officer’s modern equipment.

training bay-1000

This training bay inside the tactical and training building is one of the innovations of the new center. Movable partitions can be set up in the bay in order to conduct “reality-based training” in which officers are confronted with scenarios in which they must react. Officers can learn concepts and ideas in classrooms at the training building, and then go to the training bay where skills and tactics are put into practice using non-lethal ammunition similar to paintball rounds. Catwalks above the maze of partitions will allow training officers to evaluate and videorecord training events. These videos can be reviewed as a learning tool in the training process.

Nero and door-1000

Police Chief Wayne Nero shows a door in the training bay on which officers can practice breaching techniques. Officers are trained to use various breaching tools on the doors. Nero says that kicking in a door, as seen in TV shows, often results in injuries in real-life policing.

Georgetown voters approved funding for the facility in a bond election in 2011.

A public open house for the Public Safety Operations and Training Center will be held in March. Details will be announced in February.

Public Safety Operations and Training Center Move-in Feb. 2

PSOTC entry1b-1000The Georgetown Police Department and Georgetown Fire Department Administration move to the new Public Safety Operations and Training Center on February 2. The center is located at 3500 DB Wood Road next to Fire Station 5.

The new facility is the home for the Georgetown Police Department and Georgetown Fire Department Administration. Police Department offices, including Code Enforcement, as well as Fire Department Administrative offices, including Fire and Life Safety and Fire Plans Review, will move to the new facility.

In addition to office and indoor training areas in the 76,204 square-foot main building, the center also includes a driving track and a training building with 3,897 square feet of office and outdoor classroom space and a 12,800 square-foot unfinished training bay with movable partitions and observation catwalks.

Georgetown voters approved funding for the facility in a bond election in 2011.

A public open house for the Public Safety Operations and Training Center will be held in March. Details will be announced in February.