Donations needed for volunteer departments after wildfires

Published: Mar. 30, 2022 at 5:46 PM CDT
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DOWNSVILLE, Texas (KWTX) - After several days of working mutual aid for neighboring departments battling wildfires, local volunteer fire departments like Downsville are needing donations to make repairs to equipment damaged in the fire fight.

“We were heading back to the cemetery fire and we had a blowout on one of our brush trucks,” Andy Bird, Assistant Chief at Downsville said Wednesday.

He says they haven’t been able to find a replacement military grade tire for their military grade brush truck. Right now, they have a spare on that already had a slash in the tire.

As a full volunteer department they rely on community donations for all repairs and fuel costs.

“With the cost of fuel being so high right now and the price of everything has gone up between tools and gear very very important that we have those donations to keep our guys suited up and ready to go,” Bird said.

He and other local departments say, however, that the community has been very generous, especially during major events like they’ve seen the last week.

“People come by and donate water donate money, offer to wash trucks so we really appreciate the community’s support,” Stephen Sullivan a Captain with Robinson Volunteer Fire Department explained.

He and other volunteers from his department joined several McLennan County agencies that responded to Bell County over the weekend to assist in getting wildfires under control.

While the Crittenberg fire still burns in Coryell County, departments like Gatesville say the community support has been tremenous.

“The community not only here but in Flat and all around have been so generous to us. Cash donations and water, gatorade and snacks. But we probably have enough snacks to last us to the moon, cash donations for everybody is always better so you can fix your equipment, and pay for fuel,” Gatesville Chief, Billy Vaden said.

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