Memorial Stair Climb on 9/11 in Georgetown

Georgetown firefighters and police officers will participate in a memorial stair climb at Georgetown ISD football stadium on Wednesday, September 11. The climb is done each year as a tribute to first responders who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Participants will climb the equivalent of 110 stories—the height of the World Trade Center towers.

The event begins at 8 a.m. with comments from Georgetown Fire Chief John Sullivan and Georgetown Assistant Police Chief Cory Tchida. An honor guard will post the colors before the climb begins. The flag posted will be the flag of heroes, which contains the names of all the first responders who died on 9/11. Battalion Chief Jeff Davis, a piper with Georgetown Fire Department Pipes and Drums, will play as the climb begins.

FDNY Rescue 4, a fire truck that responded with a crew of firefighters to the World Trade Center on 9/11, will be at the beginning of the Georgetown memorial stair climb event. FDNY Rescue 4 is currently based in Taylor.

The firefighters on the climb will be wearing firefighting gear including boots, helmets, protective pants and jackets, and air packs. Police officers will carry extra tactical gear on the climb. Participants will pause for a moment of silence at the times that each of the World Trade Center towers collapsed.

Georgetown Battalion Chief Carl Boatright, who is coordinating the event, says he expects 30 to 40 climbers to participate, including firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical technicians. Participants will climb the stairs to the top of the football stadium 16 times.

Later in the day on Wednesday, Georgetown firefighters will participate in the annual September 11 commemoration and parade in Taylor.

The Georgetown ISD Athletic Complex, where the stair climb will take place in the morning, is located behind Georgetown High School at 2211 N. Austin Avenue in Georgetown.

Police Officers Sworn In

oath Jones and Jones-b-450Two Georgetown employees were sworn in as peace officers by Georgetown Police Chief Wayne Nero on Monday.

Robert Jones took the oath from Chief Nero to become a Georgetown police officer in a ceremony at the police department. Jones previously worked for nine years for the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office. Officer Jones will be working in the patrol division.

Nero and Robert Jones-b-350Police Chief Wayne Nero is pictured with Officer Robert Jones at left.

Hank Jones, who is a captain in the Georgetown Fire Department, also took the oath to become a certified police officer. Capt. Jones leads the fire prevention and fire investigation programs for the Fire Department. As a peace officer, Capt. Jones will be able to take law enforcement actions, such as writing a citation as part of an arson investigation.

To complete the nine-month basic peace officers course in Austin, Capt. Jones took classes on evenings and weekends while concurrently working his day job at the Fire Department.

Hank Jones-b-175Capt. Jones started with the Georgetown Fire Department in 1998.

Capt. Hank Jones is pictured at right.

Firefighter Owen Commended for Role in West, Texas

Firefighter Craig Owen was recognized at the Georgetown city council meeting last week for his role as a liaison to families of two volunteer firefighters who were killed in the April 17 explosion in West, Texas. Owen, who is a driver/engineer with the Georgetown Fire Department, also was honored for coordinating round-the-clock honor guard teams from across the U.S. for all the firefighters who were killed in the incident.

Owen letter-b-425As a member of the Texas Line of Duty Task Force, Owen served in these roles in West for 17 days from the day after the explosion until the last burial of the first responders who died in the incident. (Pictured in the photo, from left, are Fire Chief John Sullivan, Driver/Engineer Craig Owen, and Assistant Fire Chief Clay Shell.)

Charlotte Chism Waldrum, president-elect of the Texas Funeral Directors Association, writes in a letter to the Fire Department, “I witnessed Craig spend countless hours, making sure his fallen brothers received the honor, respect and dignity they deserved. …I realize how proud your department must be to call Craig Owen one of your brothers. The job he did in West came, obviously, from his heart…”

At the city council meeting, Fire Chief John Sullivan presented a letter of commendation from the Georgetown Fire Department to Owen. “Craig did an outstanding job providing for all the families of the West tragedy,” said Sullivan. “He put his personal life on hold, and spent two weeks in West. …We are lucky to have Craig Owen working for the Georgetown Fire Department.”

Firefighters Awarded Green Cross

Several Georgetown firefighters were awarded the green cross this week for their efforts to extract two injured drivers from their vehicles after a wreck on Texas 195. The two-vehicle head-on collision happened on the morning of March 21. The green cross is an award for firefighters involved in a vehicle extrication or rescue. Fire Chief John Sullivan presented the awards.

In the March incident, two off-duty firefighters from Fort Hood were the first on the scene. They began to assist and let 9-1-1 operators know that two people were pinned in their vehicles, which were about 75 yards apart. Georgetown firefighters responded and worked as a team to use jaws-of-life tools to open the doors on each vehicle and gain access to each driver. Both patients were successfully removed from their vehicles within 30 minutes and transported by Williamson County EMS to local hospitals. The two persons injured in the wreck have since been released from the hospital and are recovering.

Seven Georgetown firefighters were given the green cross at the Georgetown City council meeting this week. Four Williamson County EMS medics and an off-duty Fort Hood firefighter were presented with letters of appreciation for their actions at the meeting.

GFD green cross-b-1000

Pictured in the above photo in the front row (left to right) are Driver Engineer Josh Ratliff, Firefighters Jamison Humprhes and Trey Lockwood and Lt. Jason Fryer. In the back row (left to right) are Assistant Chief Clay Shell, Firefighter Benton Coker, Capt. David England, Firefighter Wesley Sigmund, Fort Hood firefighter Capt. Scott Rose, and Georgetown Fire Chief John Sullivan. (Click on photos to see larger version.)

EMS green cross-b-1000

Pictured in the above photo in the front row (left to right) are Williamson County Emergency Medical Services Paramedic Chris Howell, Director Kenny Schnell, Commander Kevin Krienke, and Paramedic Jeff Fishel.

Not pictured, but also awarded the green cross for his role in the rescue, is Georgetown Battalion Chief Ray Cummings. Not pictured, but also receiving letters of appreciation, were Williamson County EMS Paramedic Adam Johnson and Fort Hood Firefighter Shawn Charbonneau.

Hazard Mitigation Plan Survey

The City of Georgetown is currently in the process of completing a Hazard Mitigation Plan.  Input from the community is needed for the project team to identify and analyze potential hazards affecting residents and recommend possible actions to reduce their impact. Hazards can include droughts, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and other major disasters.

A public participation survey is available online at

The goal of the Hazard Mitigation Plan is to minimize or eliminate the long-term risk to human life and property from known hazards by identifying and implementing cost-effective mitigation actions. Mitigation is defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as sustained actions taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from hazards and their effects.

Questions about the Hazard Mitigation Plan should be addressed to H2O Partners, planning consultants for the project. Contact Cathy Meek with H2O Partners at (888) 328-4151, ext. 2, or by email at

Fire Station 2 Dedication Photos

The Georgetown Fire Department dedicated the new Fire Station 2 on Williams Drive this morning. (Click on photos for a larger version.)

FS2 front1b-1000

Elected officials and community members joined the Fire Department to open the new station. The facility was open for tours after the ceremony.


The Georgetown Fire Department Pipes and Drums Band played at the ceremony.


A ceremonial hose uncoupling, the fire service version of the ribbon cutting, officially opened the new station. Pictured left to right are Council Member Jerry Hammerlun, City Manager Paul Brandenburg, Mayor George Garver, Fire Chief John Sullivan, City Council Member Bill Sattler, Mayor Pro Tem Danny Meigs, and Assistant Fire Chief Clay Shell.

oath probies1b-1000

At the dedication, Fire Chief John Sullivan inducted three new firefighters who took the oath of office: Clint Gray, Aubrey Reeves, and Chad Roberts.


In the new station, each firefighter working on a shift has a dorm room with a bed and locker.


The station has a fitness room with free weights and machines.


Battalion Chief Jeff Davis tells people on the tour about a custom wood dining table made by the firefighters. Two fire hydrants serve as pedestals for the table.


After the ceremony, Assistant Fire Chief Clay Shell picks up a piece of masonry from the old Fire Station 2, which is being demolished. Shell worked as a firefighter in the old station for several years in the 1990s.

The old Fire Station 2 behind the new station was only 1,600 square feet compared to 8,300 square feet for the new station. After the old building is torn down, the area will become green space.

The new fire station was built on property the City acquired next to the old station, which allows fire trucks to exit directly onto Williams Drive, improving visibility for cross traffic. The new Fire Station 2 has three truck bays and houses an engine company as well a hazardous-materials unit. The station provides coverage for much of the central part of the city and downtown.

The new Fire Station 2 was designed by KAH Architecture from Round Rock and built by Chasco Constructors from Round Rock.

Funeral Procession for Chris Kyle Passes Through Georgetown: Video

As the funeral procession for former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle passed through Georgetown today shortly before noon, members of the Georgetown community as well as the Fire and Police departments and EMS gathered to honor him.


Kyle was buried today at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.