In 2013 we experienced many challenges within the Department and this provided us with a year of changes and growth. The leadership of the Department decided “business as usual” was not going to be the norm for Pedernales. With a goal of improving efficiency and delivery of service, we conducted an internal look at the administrative and operational functions of the organization and made swift progressive changes.
Bringing the budget into balance was a major undertaking that could not have been accomplished without a cooperative effort among staff and the hiring of a Business Manager. We were fortunate to have a citizen, retired accountant from IBM, volunteer in the business administration of the Department.
Consolidating the Pedernales Fire Department and the Emergency Services District was a major accomplishment for the organization. It took a cooperative effort, planning sessions and open minds to allow for the transition to occur. Going through the organizational change, we learned that internal communication needed improvement. We are constantly exploring areas of increasing communication, recognizing jobs well done, and striving to solve internal and external issues as they arise. An example for our communication effort is the department created an Employee Manual and updated Standard Operating Guidelines. This process was open to all members, to explore areas in which we can improve the organization.
Today we have developed better working relations with the community, our volunteers, ESD #8 Board of Commissioners, Local 4820 Pedernales Professional Firefighters Association, Auxiliary, Explorer Post 8 and other Fire Departments throughout the area.
By using our Guiding Principles, we will continue to build a cooperative effort between all members and work as a strong, cohesive team building a successful Travis County Emergency #8.
Public Safety: Ensuring and protecting the public's safety is our primary concern. We will do everything in our power to separate hazardous and destructive threats from: 1) the people that rely on us and 2) the property in our jurisdictions.
Public Service: It is important to the Pedernales Fire Department that our department is viewed as providing more than just emergency response. While we will always maintain emergency readiness, it is our goal that we also provide an array of services that support the well-being of our community.
Public Trust: The public's trust is vital to the successful operation of the Pedernales Fire Department. We will conduct ourselves in such a way that we will always deserve that trust.
Through the support of our ESD Commissioners and the fund raising efforts or our citizens, Explores, Local 4820 and the Auxiliary we have made progressive purchases in apparatus and equipment. These efforts also allow for better delivery of service.
We will strive to be progressive and move towards becoming a leading Department in the area and many concepts for our future identity are being identified in our Five Year Strategic Plan.
Moving forward, the Department continues to face economic challenges. However through strategic planning, continued teamwork, and coordination of resources. I am confident that we can continue to work within our means to provide the services that the citizens of Travis County Emergency Services #8 demand.
Thank you for your support.