Thistle boss Caldwell was particularly upbeat as his team arrested a woeful run of seven straight losses.
The visitors, who remain two clear of tenth-place Falkirk, had designs on taking all the spoils when Craig Slater broke the deadlock after 58 minutes – only to see Joe McKee level within 60 seconds.
The Jags dominated large spells of possession, partly due to Falkirk’s counter-attacking style, and Caldwell believes his team were unlucky not have picked up a much-needed victory.
Caldwell, whose side are now a point adrift of safety, said: “It is frustrating not to win but I thought we were outstanding. To come away from home in a big game and a pressure game as everyone on the outside was calling it, and to dominate it and control it with bravery in possession, I thought the players were outstanding.
“It gives us quite a lot to build on. There was a big progression in performance and we didn’t get the points we deserved.”
The visitors were dealt a pre-match setback when goalkeeper Cammy Bell hobbled off in the warm-up, with Jamie Sneddon earning promotion from the bench.
Falkirk had their own personnel woes, having been stripped of the services of leading scorer Zak Rudden and fellow striker Deimantas Petravicius due to international selection.
Despite picking up a morale-boosting victory on their last outing against Dunfermline, a first win in six matches, Bairns manager McKinnon opted for a cautious approach.
Thistle’s lack of cutting edge meant there was a dearth of goalmouth action in the opening period, but the away side broke the deadlock. Slater did well to create space on the edge of the box before drilling a low right-footed drive beyond Leo Fasan.
That was the spark the game badly needed and Falkirk levelled a minute later. McKee ran on to Dennon Lewis’ flick and poked the ball past the onrushing Sneddon. Christie Elliott made a desperate attempt to clear the ball on the line but the defender fell agonisingly short.
McKinnon said: “I’m delighted, we’re missing three or four key players from a small squad and to get the point is excellent.
“Overall we’ve got to be pleased and we showed a great response from going a goal down. We need to play in a certain manner right now, we need to be grinding out results and we’ve done it again. Partick are a good side and are probably in a false position.”