Thursday, May 4, 2017

A personal message from a 25-year veteran of the Arlington fire department:
My name is Mark Gist and I’m a 2nd generation Firefighter. I’m proud to have served 25 years with the Arlington Fire Department (AFD), one of the country’s best.
AFD is one of the most highly-rated departments for many reasons. In the late 70s, Civil Service was put before voters. This was the 1st time you voted NO, making it clear you wanted control of your Fire Department to remain with our City-Manager form of government. Shortly after, Chief Bill Strickland was brought in from Los Angeles, bolstering our reputation as an innovative fire department.
The early 90s saw a second vote for Civil Service and once again came a resounding NO from you and fellow voters. We made it clear that it was in our best interest to have our fire department employees under the protection and control of our city instead of the state.
After this 2nd Civil Service vote, Chief Robin Paulsgrove came up from Austin and continued to build upon Chief Strickland’s successes. While in Austin, Chief Paulsgrove built solid relationships between the Austin Fire Department and the University of Texas. Once here, he created strong ties with our own University of Texas at Arlington, while also upgrading the standards in AFD’s Emergency Medical Services Delivery System.
In 2010, Chief Don Crowson was promoted through the ranks to take over as our Fire Chief, continuing the legacy of excellence set forth by the two previous Chiefs. Chief Crowson oversaw the creation of a Gold Standard Emergency Management System for Arlington and those visiting our Entertainment District. To this day, fire departments from across the country look to us to share best practices from this highly-successful system. He has also implemented a Community Medic Program to provide care for patients after a hospital stay to reduce costly returns into the healthcare system.
AFD doesn’t just provide Gold Standard service; it produces top-rated firefighters that have gone on to be Chiefs for cities including North Richland Hills, Richardson, Georgetown, Mansfield, Hillsboro, Athens, Colleyville, South Padre, Forest Hills, Horseshoe Bay, Princeton, Copperas Cove, Hudson Oaks, Taylor and the City of Westminister, CO.
Yes, many Texas cities have Civil Service. But remember AFD got to where it is today without Civil Service. Now is not the time to allow a 3-member commission to come in and run our fire department.
The Arlington Fire Department is renowned for its high standards and performance excellence. This Saturday, join me in voting NO on Proposition 2 to keep this reputation intact and to allow our firefighters to continue to serve and protect the citizens of Arlington.


  1. Yes Civil Service was voted in last evening and now we will start to implement Part 143 as printed as per the vote of the people. Enjoy!

  2. An Arlington Fire has been caught lying on several occasions to command staff and local law enforcement. Yet, the city council and Arlington Fire Department does nothing? The fire dept union sold civil service to the citizens on the basis of " high standards". They have a firefighter that has lied and testified under oath admitting to his lies. Yet, he has never been investigated by the PSU unit or disciplined. Citizens of Arlington this is the kind of firefighters you have coming inside your homes and responding to your emergencies. Firefighters with lack of integrity.


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