KEMPNER, Texas — The rising prices of gas and other expenses during inflation are hurting everyone, especially local volunteer fire departments.
“This last month we were averaging over $500 a month, for just one vehicle. That’s just fuel. That’s not counting the rest of it,” said Kempner fireman volunteer Joe Burkett.
Burkett said prices for gear, repairs, and other equipment they need are climbing.
“Whenever anything breaks down, we have to have money to be able to fix the broken-down stuff as well. If they need us and we can’t get there with a vehicle, if it’s broke, it’s broke,” said Burkett.
It’s why the department is cooking brisket, cutting onions, and making over 250 pounds of potato salad for their annual barbecue-an auction fundraiser.
“This is our biggest annual fundraiser that we do. We're using the money for [the] finishing up at Third Station we dedicated last weekend,” he said.
Burkett says it’s also a way to give back to the community and share some of their famous brisket.
“This will be our second rebound year; the first rebound year was awesome. The first year we sold a brisket within four hours. There are people standing down the street for over an hour trying to get brisket,” said Burkett.
He said this year they prepared some more beef for everyone to enjoy. They’ll also auction off furniture and other items.
The event starts at 1 p.m. Saturday and their auction will start at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Kempner VFD on Pecan Street.