Volunteer Firefighters Ready When Needed - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/18/06

Volunteer Firefighters Ready When Needed

Dry conditions, unseasonably warm temperatures and high winds are fueling the grass fires you hear about almost daily. No one knows the danger these fires pose better than the firefighters dealing with them.

Volunteer fire departments across the area are always on high alert, but even more so now, since there's a burn ban in effect. In addition to fighting fires, these volunteers have one more responsibility, and that's their day jobs.

"If it's a structure fire, we'll have pretty much everyone drop what they're doing and come," said Roosevelt Volunteer Fire Chief Billy Sides.

"If it's a serious enough call we'll drop what we're doing and go," said Woodrow Volunteer Lt. Wesley Boones.

"We carry pagers with us, and they dispatch from the sheriff's office. When they get the call they dispatch us out and they come from wherever we're at," said Woodrow Volunteer Chief Jimmy Tyson.

Most area volunteer firefighters have full-time jobs, but they still take on the responsibility of keeping you safe.

"Sometimes the pager will catch you, you'll be a mile or mile and a half out away from the truck on the tractor, and that's a slow getting there, slow response time," said Sides.

Roosevelt Fire Chief Bill Sides farms full-time, so he's able to respond quickly to most fires, but it's a little more difficult for volunteers who work 8 to 5.

"They understand sometimes, but sometimes we can't, but just like with any joy it's your main priority," said Boones.

"You never can depend on an 8 to 5 employee whether they can get off or not," said Tyson.

And day or night, these volunteers are ready to drop everything and pick up a water hose.

"Well, most of us knew what we were getting into when we got into it," said Sides.

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