Divided by walls, in government we still trust

During his campaign, candidate Donald J. Trump talked about a big, beautiful wall, murders and rapists coming across the border from Mexico and promised to secure the nation’s southern border. Now, as president, Trump has ordered states to deploy 1,000 members of the National Guard along the Rio Grande, as well as guardsmen along the Mexican border in California, Arizona and New Mexico. As a native of El Paso, and familiar with much of the border and its people, employing guardsmen is a good idea for our border. This will only help strengthen our border security. For many years our city has been accustomed to seeing border patrol agents monitor our city.

EPFD provides free smoke alarms

One week after a woman lost her life in a house fire on Caballo Lake Drive in East El Paso in March,firefighters were knocking on doors in the neighborhood. A crew of representatives from El Paso Fire Department’s Community Risk Reduction Division dropped off flyers and pamphlets detailing fire safety tips, as well as information regarding the city’s smoke alarm program. “Smoke alarms are a tool and they play a big part in that they are a first-line of defense to alarm residents that something is happening in the home, especially when they’re asleep,” said Lt. James Schaerfl with the Community Risk Reduction section of EPFD. The effort was part of a program called Return to the Scene, where firefighters return to residential areas after a fire to raise awareness on prevention and safety measures. They offer to perform inspections of homes and install smoke alarms.

“The best smoke alarms in the world don’t put out any fires, so we want no fires to take place in the first place, which is why prevention is always first,” Schaerfl said.

Old fire station converted to welcome center to teach fire safety

The El Paso Fire Department has created an educational and welcoming environment through their Safety and Health Outreach Center, SHOC for short. The SHOC is located in the Central part of town, at 5415 Trowbridge Drive. First established in 1953 as Fire Station No. 13, The building was an active fire station for over 60 years until 2014 when the station ceased operations and merged with the newly built Fire Station No. 5 at 400 Revere St.

Fire department program delivers free vaccines to keep flu from spreading

The El Paso Fire Department is promoting community wellness through its Vaccinations for Health program to fight the flu. The department sponsored seven events this spring, extending additional dates due to the high demand for vaccinations, officials said. Last month, five events were open to the public at the Safety & Health Outreach Center, in Central El Paso. The Vaccinations for Health program is a collaboration between the El Paso Fire Department and the El Paso Department of Public Health, according to the company’s mission statement. “We started the outreach in actual clinics in October 2014, but three years before that, there was a lot of administrative work, getting the money, outlining how the program was going to be delivered,” said El Paso Fire Department Deputy Chief Robert Arvizu.