Lucas Fire Department: Year in Review
In 2017, Lucas Fire Department’s firefighters and paramedics responded to countless emergencies throughout the city. A combination of volunteers and employees ensure day-to-day operations run smoothly within the department. They remain passionate about helping the community in times of trouble, while also working toward achievements that will benefit the citizens of Lucas.
A huge part of giving back occurred after Hurricane Harvey devastated the Texas Gulf Coast. Fire Chief Ted Stephens explained, “When the hurricane happened, we received an email from the strike team leader in Frisco asking if we had anyone we could deploy. They came to us because we are a part of TIFMAS (Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System). Our group, along with five other departments, were all assigned to Fulton Fire Department. We were assigned to cover the city since many of their members took direct hits to their homes.”
Stephens went on to say, “One of the fire stations was destroyed and the other had damage, but was still inhabitable. Our department had the opportunity to do a lot of public service. We helped move trees, repair fences and holes. There was no electricity or radio system and the phones were all down. Our first group searched neighborhoods to see if people were still in their homes. It was an amazing opportunity to serve citizens from another community. The fire chief said we not only helped serve the citizens of Fulton, but we helped his department personally. Having other firemen there to talk with about their losses was as big as anything else.”
A huge achievement for Lucas Fire Department this year was being awarded one of the highest Public Protection Classification ratings by the Insurance Services Office, which was also approved by the Texas Department of Insurance. Stephens proudly said, “One of our greatest accomplishments this year was getting the ISO-2 rating for our residents. Beginning Jan. 1, we moved from an ISO-3 to an ISO-2.” Stephens explained that being recognized as an outstanding fire department means lower property insurance rates for homeowners and businesses.
Through the fire department’s hard work, the National Weather Service has awarded certification to Lucas as a StormReady community for the last ten years. They are also a firewise community promoting fire safety in the wildland/urban interface. Stephens said, “Our average lot size is two acres, so we have a large number of houses that have many trees, bushes and shrubs. And we also have Lake Lavon to the east. A lot of residents have gone to the firewise training to help them understand why it’s important to clean out gutters, trim trees and keep shrubs away from the house.”
The many hard-working employees and volunteers also spend time discussing fire prevention with children in the community. Each month they participate in fire drills at local schools. They turn the drill into pre-fire planning while educating children through training. At the heart of Lucas Fire Department is a team of committed individuals focusing on top-notch training in order to execute high level performances. In closing, Stephens expressed his feelings perfectly stating, “The job of a firefighter is to always be prepared for anything.”