September 15, 2021

The following members have accepted their nominations to be on the ballot for the 2022 Bargaining Team elections:


Jason Christilles

Jeremy Copus Bio.pdf

Carlos Encarnacion Bio.pdf

Christine Jones Bio.pdf

Les McKay Bio.pdf

Bob Nicks Bio.pdf

James Rae

Phillip Rangel

Vanessa Schaefer Bio.pdf

David Spidle

Alex Vanegas Bio.pdf

Donnie Watson Bio.pdf

Ben Whitely Bio.pdf


As we receive Bios from the nominees we will continue to update this Page.

Please click on the link below for the 2022 Collective Bargaining discussion board. This discussion board is where members can post their questions and comments regards the upcoming bargaining cycle including questions to the nominees for the Collective Bargaining Team.

If you want to be notified every time someone posts on this discussion board, click on “Subscribe to this topic.” at the bottom of the discussion board page.

Below is the timeline for the process:

  • September 15th – The member online discussion board and candidate bios will be published to the AFA web page and distributed via email to the AFA membership
  • September 21st @ 0800 through September 23rd @ 1700 – the online vote for the 5 elected bargaining members will be conduced
  • September 23rd shortly after 1700 – Online voting results will automatically be displayed when you return to the online voting link. Also, an email with the results will be sent via email to the AFA Membership.

Now that the AFA firefighters have achieved binding arbitration that may be used as an alternative to contract negotiation impasse, it is important the new AFA Bargaining Committee is formed as soon as our AFA Constitution and Bylaws allows. This new bargaining committee, once formed, will be the primary body that will make the decisions to prepare for and conduct the next collective bargaining negotiations and binding arbitration, if necessary. To comply with the AFA Constitution and Bylaws, the newly elected AFA Bargaining Committee will not take effect until October 1st, 2021.

Here is the section of the AFA Constitution and Bylaws that govern the timing and composition of the AFA Bargaining Team Committee:

“Nine (9) members shall be selected to serve as the Bargaining Committee for the Local. This Committee shall consist of five (5) elected members and four (4) appointed members. The four (4) appointed members shall be appointed by the President and ratified by the Executive Board. This Committee will be formed up to twelve (12) months prior to the anticipated effective date of the Collective Bargaining Agreement they are being selected to bargain for. Their term will end when the next Bargaining Committee is formed. If a vacancy occurs during a bargaining cycle, the President shall appoint a replacement which will be ratified by the Executive Board.”

This will be our first time using our new platform and new discussion board forum so I expect a few hiccups. If you have any issues with logging in to the new platform or the discussion board please contact Tim Olson at (512) 441-7572 or via email: [email protected]

Bob Nicks

President, Austin Firefighters Association

During my tenure as President of the Austin Firefighter’s Association, it has been important that the membership directs the Association on how to proceed on all important business whenever possible. Our Association is built on “the will of the membership” premise, and your Association will do what you direct us to do. This is extremely important especially when we are faced with potentially contentious issues that could divide our solidarity. Conducting a deliberate process, followed by an online vote will ensure that everyone can be involved in the discussion and decision. Once the decision is made, we go forward together in unity.

As such, there is an important matter that your AFA feels must be brought to your attention; the likely negative effects that the passing of Proposition A would have on future fire department budgets and on future labor/management negotiations. Once this proposition passes, it will be too late. Only now can we affect the outcome.

The entire AFA Eboard feels an obligation to the membership to educate the membership on Prop A so we are announcing an AFA Special Meeting.   The purpose of this meeting will be to start a discussion and process to determine if the firefighters should oppose Proposition A.

Click here for Agenda for September 20th AFA Special Meeting on Proposition A

It is important to this discussion that both pros and cons voices are heard. If you are willing to be that “con” voice for the discussion board as well as membership email, please let me know and we will set you up for this role.

It is important to note that, to date, zero Austin Council members support Prop A and the far majority are actively opposing it.

Proposition A would exponentially increase APD funding and will be voted on by the Citizens of Austin. Early voting for this election starts on October 17th and Election Day is November 2nd.
Proposition A, if passed, would most likely have a profound negative impact on the building of future fire stations and obtaining additional aerials. More importantly, it will have a negative effect on upcoming negotiations and future budget cycles and could cause firefighter layoffs.

The AFA has never supported “defunding” police, in fact, we unapologetically support fully funded Police, Fire and EMS Departments. However, Prop A is a huge overreach that will negatively affect Austin Firefighters. Although, proponents claim that Prop A will end Police “defunding”, this is false.  A law passed at the State Legislature earlier this year that fully restored Police funding, the Police are now funded 10 million more than ever before.

According to the COA budget office, Prop A would obligate the City to spend an additional 54 to 119 million dollars per year. This is in addition to the “refunded” and historically high budget that the Police will operate under in FY22.

What is Prop A?

Below is the approved ballot wording:
Proposition A –
Shall a petitioned ordinance be approved to enhance public safety and police oversight, transparency and accountability by adding new chapter 2-16 to establish minimum standards for the police department to ensure effective public safety and protect residents and visitors to Austin, and prescribing minimal requirements for achieving the same, at an estimated cost of $271.5 million – $598.8 million over five years?

Articles on Prop A

  1. How many cops do we want and at what cost?
  2. No way on PROP A

Brother and Sister firefighters, much more info will be presented during the discussion period prior to the online vote, including sample language for a NO on A campaign IF the membership votes to oppose Prop A. Your AFA has been against de-funding the police from the beginning, and we fully support appropriate police staffing, however this ordinance removes needed flexibility to balance ALL budget needs, including those of AFD.

We have dealt with contentious membership issues in the past and, after the vote, my hope is that this process will result in membership solidarity, even if we may differ in our personal opinions. Whether the vote outcome is “yes or “no” the AFA will follow the will of the membership.
Please email or call me with your questions,

Bob Nicks
President, Austin Firefighters Association
Cell (512) 217-3474

7:30 AM: 9 11 Memorial Ceremony to remember those Firefighters who lost their lives on September 11.  Buford Fire Tower on Lady Bird Lake,

Location:  Cesar Chavez and Colorado.

Austin Firefighters Association will hold their annual memorial to remember all who fell on September 11, 2001.  This ceremony also incorporates a remembrance of Austin Firefighters, active and retired, who have passed away in the last year.  The event will take place at Buford Tower. The ceremony will include the Austin Firefighter Honor Guard, Emergency Services Pipes and Drums Association and AFD Quint 1.

09:30 AM: 9 11 Memorial Climb. Austin firefighters will climb the Pleasant Valley Drill Tower in full turnout gear, an air pack, and a hose bundle. Firefighters will make the number of up and down flights which equals roughly the height of the World Trade Center.

(Firefighters from Austin and surrounding areas have been participating in this Memorial Stair Climb every year since that tragic day in 2001. The first climb actually took place the day after the tragedy at the AFD William Roberts Training Academy during the training of Cadet Class #106.)

Location:  517 S. Pleasant Valley Rd.

12:00 PM: Bagpipes and Drums. Hosted by the Texas Capitol.

Emergency Service Pipes and Drums Association (ESPADA) will play in the Texas State Capitol Rotunda.

Location:  State Capitol Rotunda

September 7, 2021

Hello Brother and Sister Firefighters,

From the Austin Fire Department Facebook Page:

“As we prepare to lay our brother, Firefighter Rodney “Rod” Kelley, to rest today, we want to thank everyone who reached out with condolence messages; we are incredibly grateful for the support and kindness many of you have shown during these difficult days.

For those who may have known Rod and are unable to attend today’s service, it will be livestreamed starting at 12:30 p.m. CDT. To access it, click the obituary link below, then “read more” under the obituary, and scroll to the bottom for the livestream at the appointed time: 


Please continue to keep Rod’s family, friends and colleagues in your prayers during this difficult time.

July 26, 2021

Since 2021 is the 20th Anniversary of 9 11, we asked for help with designing this year’s Commemorative T-shirt. Thank you Jeremy Burke for your awesome design!

If you want a t-shirt, please place an order. We will have limited extra t-shirts so if you want to guarantee a 2021 9 11 Commemorative T-shirt, please place an order by responding to this email.

When placing an order please provide us with the following information:

a) AFD or 975 logo on the front

b) size (Adult Sizes: XSmall to XXXLarge and Youth Sizes: Small to Large)

c) quantity of each size.

The 2021 9 11 T-shirts cost $15.

I will send out an email once we have received the t-shirts to let everyone know when they are available for pickup.


The new 2021 Commemorative 9 11 T-shirts have been approved for use during the month of September 2021.