Watch: Austin firefighters rescue cat who locked himself inside car

Austin firefighters on Monday became heroes to the owners of Jake the cat after the clever feline managed to lock himself inside their car.

So, how did this happen? Is Jake some sort of cat genius? Is Jake a long lost relative of Toonces the driving cat?

Thankfully, Austin Fire Department was there with the answers to these hard questions via a Facebook post.

First of all, Jake is apparently pretty cool. Second, the cat hopped in the car while its owners unloaded groceries. Finally, somewhere in the course of these events, Jake hit the car’s lock button and the cat’s owners closed the doors without knowing their feline was inside.

For now, Jake’s lineage remains a mystery.

City of Austin seeks artists-in-residence for fire, EMS departments

From the City of Austin:

City of Austin

AUSTIN, TEXAS — Art in Public Places (AIPP), a program of the City of Austin’s Cultural Arts Division of the Economic Development Department, seeks to commission two artists-in-residence to create permanent artwork for six fire stations and three emergency medical services stations. Professional artists who live and work in the Austin metropolitan area, including Travis, Williamson, Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Burnet, and Blanco counties are eligible to apply.

Austin Fire Department (AFD) Artist-in-Residence
Deadline to apply: April 21, 2016, 5 pm
The artist-in-residence will document the people and operations of six fire stations spending approximately 10-15 hours per week observing the activities of the fire stations over a 2-3 month period. At the end of the residency period, the artist will submit a proposal for creating a series of artworks to be sited on the interior or exterior walls of the fire stations. The budget for this project is $38,000.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Artist-in-Residence
Deadline to apply: April 21, 2016, 5 pm
The artist-in-residence will document the people and operations of three emergency medical services stations spending approximately 10-15 hours per week observing the activities of the EMS stations over a 2-3 month period. At the end of the residency period, the artist will submit a proposal for creating a series of artworks to be sited on the interior or exterior walls of the stations. The budget for this project is $48,000.

Artists who are new to public art or work primarily in 2-dimensions are particularly encouraged to apply for this opportunity. For more information and to apply, visit http://tinyurl.com/AustinAIPP.

An Artist Information Meeting will be held at the Cultural Arts Division offices at 201 E. 2nd Street on Wednesday, April 6, 2016 from 12:00 – 1:00 pm. AIPP, AFD, and EMS staff will present information about the project and artwork opportunity.  AIPP staff will also review the application process. The presented materials, along with Q&A, will be posted to City’s website after the meeting. Validated parking is available in the Convention Center garage located on Brazos Street.

Art in Public Places program staff are also available to answer questions and provide application assistance during AIPP Open Office Hours on April 8, 2-4 pm at the Cultural Arts Division offices.

City of Austin Cultural Arts Division
The Cultural Arts Division of the Economic Development Department provides leadership and management for the City’s cultural arts programs and for the development of arts and cultural industries. The Cultural Arts Division is responsible for the Cultural Arts Funding Programs, Art in Public Places Program, community-based arts development, and programs to assist the development of film and creative industries in Austin.
Founded in 1985, the Art in Public Places (AIPP) program acquires and maintains works of art for City facilities and parks through commissions, donations, and loans for the cultural enrichment of Austin’s community.  By City ordinance, AIPP allocates 2% of eligible capital improvement project funding to the acquisition of site-specific public artwork.
For more information, visit www.austincreates.com.

 

Austin Fire Department wins national award for wildfire mitigation efforts

From the Austin Fire Department:

The Austin Fire Department’s Wildfire Division was recognized earlier this month at the International Wildland Urban Interface Conference with two national awards: the Fire Adapted Communities Fire Service Leadership Award and the “Ready, Set, Go!” Innovation Award.

International Association of Fire Chiefs President Rhoda Mae Kerr presents the Fire Adapted Communities Fire Service Leadership Award to AFD’s Wildfire Mitigation Program Manager Justice Jones. Photo provided by Austin Fire Department
International Association of Fire Chiefs President Rhoda Mae Kerr presents the Fire Adapted Communities Fire Service Leadership Award to AFD’s Wildfire Mitigation Program Manager Justice Jones. Photo provided by Austin Fire Department

The Fire Adapted Communities Fire Service Leadership award recognizes the efforts of an outstanding member of the fire service who has a bias for action to develop, advocate, and implement successful proactive wildfire mitigation and prevention programs in their community. Established in 2014 in response to an overwhelming number of great wildfire mitigation program efforts, the Fire Adapted Communities Fire Service Leadership award is one of three Wildfire Mitigation Awards, the highest national honor one can receive for outstanding work and significant program impact in wildfire mitigation.

The RSG Innovation Award was presented to AFD for its strong supporter of RSG, including the recommendation of the program as the primary resource to be used towards mitigation goals in the Austin/Travis County Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). The AFD Wildfire Division hosted their annual Wildfire Readiness event with 46 participating stations, and worked to create a day for community-wide mitigation and home hardening using information outlined in the RSG National Action Guide. The Wildfire Division also installed National Fire Danger Rating Signs (NFDRS) at all 46 stations to ensure personnel and community members maintain situational awareness. In short, AFD’s Wildfire Division’s efforts are overarching and fully encompassing in prevention and mitigation efforts against wildland fires.

The Austin Fire Department was founded on September 25, 1857 and is now one of the 20 largest departments in the country, with 45 fire stations located throughout the city and more than 1,100 employees.