BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — A fatal crash in Centerville involving volunteer firefighters is now bringing local volunteer fire departments to speak out on this issue.
As a vehicle driver, if you’re pulled over or involved in an accident, your initial instinct is to pull over on the side of the road if possible, but that can be hazardous for first responders standing closest to the roadways.
”I haven’t spoken with that fire chief over there because I know he’s busy, but I can relate to what he’s going through because I've been there,” said Joe Warren, Brazos County Precinct 4 volunteer fire chief.
Tuesday marks 38 years on the job for Warren. He says this unfortunately isn't the first time since he has witnessed a tragedy like this.
”In Hearne, one of our firefighters got struck on the highway after cutting someone out of the vehicle. He got ran over and both of his legs were broken; we thought he was going to lose both legs,” said Warren.
Chief Warren says this is something that can be easily avoided.
“Slow down and pull to the left, that’s state law,” Warren said.
Chief Warren is tracking the rate of calls coming in and says the need is increasing as the personnel becomes shorthanded.
“This year we’re at 330 calls for service in our precinct. All four volunteer departments in Brazos County; their call volume has increased,” said Warren.
Calls regarding major accidents, sick calls, and falls are topping the charts for the need to increase.
“Whatever the public needs, they need our help that’s what we’re here for,” said Warren.
Warren says the main message is to refrain from being distracted while you’re on the road.