WACO, TX — Bubba's 33 in Waco is collecting cases of bottled water to donate to our local volunteer fire departments (VFD).
This is the third year in a row the restaurant is hosting the bottle drive, and they always see a great response from the community.
"Every year, its more important as it gets hotter. They know that not only Bubba's 33 supports them, but the community supports them," said Marc Shaw, the local store marketer.
Without these volunteer fire departments, small towns would have to rely on surrounding bigger cities to respond when there is a fire. Because they are volunteer stations, funding can be hard to come by.
"For rural departments its on donations, grants its extremely hard to come by," said Jay Shultz, Training Chief for the Rosebud VFD.
Even buying cases of water bottles can be tough. So, Bubba's 33 is collecting as many as they can to deliver around the area.
"We just want to make sure that during the hottest months of the year they are able to stay hydrated," Shaw said. "A lot of the fire departments are volunteer and don't have that extra money for additional supplies."
Hoping to collect 550 cases this year, anyone can stop by and donate a case of water during normal business hours. Last year, the restaurant collected 480 cases.
These firefighters wear up to 75 pounds of equipment, and it can take a toll on the volunteers. They are fighting flames that are hotter than we can imagine.
"You can get dehydrated and you can get fatigue and the adrenaline is flowing, so you don't really know that your creeping on those limits until its too late a lot of times," Shultz said.
The Rosebud VFD is always prepared. They sometimes ask the ambulance that arrives to also keep an eye on their crew. They also try to have water bottles stocked because they never know when they'll be called next.
"The fact that we have communities out there and businesses that are just donating water to help rural departments is just amazing. We really couldn't do it without the donations," Shultz said.