Fire season is practically here and that means Central Texas fire fighters could be very busy soon, increasing the need for volunteer fire fighters.
Here in Central Texas we have a large number of volunteer fire departments with volunteer fire fighters that put their lives on the line everyday.
Fire departments like the one in Copperas Cove, would not be able to do their job if it weren’t for the brave men and women willing to volunteer and risk their lives for the community.
In fact, the majority of fire fighters around the country are protecting the community and asking for nothing in return.
”In the United States Fire Service, volunteers are the life blood of the fire service," said Gary Young, Deputy Fire Chief for Copperas Cove FD. "The overwhelming majority of fire fighters in the fire service are volunteer fire fighters.”
With many cities, especially in rural areas, stations are unable to fully staff a paid fire department. So they rely completely on volunteers, or they have a mixture like Morgan’s Point.
”We have 3 fully paid staff, myself, a paid fire specialist who is our full-time driver and a battalion chief over training," said Taran Vaszocz, fire chief for Morgan’s Point FD. "We have 5 part time folks who saddled on being volunteers and then we have 22 volunteers in total.”
Many of volunteers like Noel Shaver, saw their community in need and wasted no time stepping up to help.
”My house is covered by a volunteer fire department, Morgan’s Point, and also to give a good example my wife and I want to show our kids that it is important to give back,” said Noel Shaver, Volunteer Fire Fighter with Morgan’s Point FD.
Most fire departments in Central Texas work together on a regular basis, both in the field and in the classroom with the volunteers right there with them.
All to make sure the paid and volunteer fire fighters are ready when the time comes.
”It’s nice that the department will put you up for training so you can get as much knowledge as you can and that’s why I'm here,” said Shaver.
Fire fighters and volunteers are constantly training when it comes to fighting things like wide spreading wildfires which is where you see a huge number of volunteers in action.
”The majority of those calls, we interact with volunteer fire fighters for mutual aid," said Deputy Chief Young. "The overwhelming majority of the men and women who respond out there are volunteers.”
The bottom line is, that volunteer fire fighters are the life’s blood in fire departments in Central Texas and across the country. That means, they are always in need of more to make sure that they can get the job done.