BURN BAN IS OFF
BURN BAN IS OFF
We will have our annual fish fry fundraiser on October 15th from 4-7:00 pm. You will be able to either drive thru or dine in this year! We have a freezer full of fish that was fresh caught from Lake Limestone and donated from Vernon Davis, Kelly Jeffry and her husband Loran.
We'll be fryin em up with the finest seasoning and all the fixins. Come early so you don't miss out!
Randy Denzer posted the following appeal on the Lake Limestone, TX Facebook group:
"Limestone VFDs NEED YOUR HELP!
A bunch of folks have been asking how they can help out the Limestone County VFDs now that they are going to brush fires every day. West Lake Limestone VFD (ESD #2) has recently put a rehab unit in service to directly support the local firefighters during these long, hot jobs. "Rehab 2509" responds to assist by bringing cold drinking water, electrolytes, wet towels, and snacks to the firefighters. This unit has been completely depleted over the last week with all the fires and is in need of restocking. Donations of bottled water, Electrolyte drinks, Snacks, new towels, Ice Chests or anything that would help our firefighters fighting these fires is appreciated. You can drop off donations at the Groesbeck Fire Station or Nobles RV repair on FM 937.
If you're interested in helping out on the rehab unit itself, send me a message and I will be happy to put you in touch with the right folks.
Thank you for your support!"
We are so grateful for the immediate response from our community! WLLVFD received many anonymous donations with cases of water and Gatorade dropped off at Nobles RV, and at station 1 on FM 937.
Woodson Lumber donated a whole pallet of water and delivered it to station 1. Dylan Chochrum of C&C's Lawn and Tree, and JK Wilson, Inc. of Buffalo also each donated a whole pallet of water. We had such a huge response that were able to donate one of those pallets of water to Thornton VFD who generously shared half of it with Kosse VFD. Both of those VFD's were also completely out of water and inundated with grass fires.
Prairie Grove Baptist Church donated $500 and one of the church members also generously donated an extra $50 to buy supplies to restock #2509, our Rehab Unit. This money was used to purchase a pantry full of snacks that will be used keep our firefighters going when fighting the larger fires.
The Rehab Unit has become so well-known that it is frequently requested by surrounding districts to assist them on some of the larger grass fire scenes.
WLLVFD recently received a $5000 grant from VFIS of Texas specifically to purchase an extractor. An extractor is a specialized washing machine that uses an extraction process to remove the soot, chemicals and toxins from the bunker gear after fighting a fire. "Bunker gear" is the trousers, jackets and boots worn by firefighters that are specially made to protect them from injury while fighting a fire. The term is derived from the fact that the trousers and boots are traditionally kept by the firefighter's bunk at the fire station to be readily available.
Using traditional methods it is very difficult to get the gear fully cleaned between fires to remove the toxic residue that could contaminate the vehicles and anything else it comes in contact with. Cleaning with the extractor protects the health of the firefighters and extends the life of the bunker gear by thoroughly cleaning without wearing down the protective fabric.
We have received the extractor. We originally thought to replace the conventional washer/dryer in the kitchen area at the main station, but it cannot be installed anywhere near food or food preparation areas. We are working on making space in the bay to install it.
One of our firefighters, James Lombard, was able to get a $5000 grant from the Higginbotham Community Fund to help upgrade our communication equipment to meet the updated technology of the county communication system.
We recently used $585 of VFD funds to purchase a mobile communication unit for 2500, which includes the radio, antenna and cabling. Our goal is to use that grant money to purchase seven handheld radios and one more mobile unit.
Earlier this year our fire department was recognized for its innovation and forward thinking efforts. Several years ago, the WLLVFD was struggling with an issue that plagues most rural fire departments, lack of firefighting water at fire scenes.
All fire departments, volunteer or full-time, need access to large quantities of water to fight fires. Most full-time departments are in cities which generally have fire hydrants as well as the supporting infrastructure like large water mains and significant water storage. Rural fire districts like ours don't have fire hydrants. To address this challenge WLLVFD developed its Rural Firefighting Water Storage and Delivery Plan and began installing water plants at each of our three stations, each with 16,000-gallons of water and purchasing a 3000-gallon tender or water tanker to shuttle water to fire engines or brush trucks at fire scenes.
Two years ago, we were invited to present The Plan at the Texas State Association of Fire and Emergency District's (SAFE-D) Annual Conference. We recognized that there was significant interest in the issue. Our session was well received because of the number of delegates who attended our session and the subsequent feedback we received from across the state. What we didn't know was that the officers of SAFE-D were so favorably impressed they nominated us to represent all the rural fire districts in Texas as a member of a working group formed by the National Special Districts Coalition (NSDC). The NSDC is a coalition of state associations (like SAFED) which represents special districts (like ESDs) that provide essential public services. The Legislative Committee of NSDC voted to establish the Water Infrastructure for Firefighting Working Group in March 2022. Our Working Group focused on Water Infrastructure for Firefighting: Providing Resources to Address Gaps in Public Health and Safety. The Working Group consisted of 24 representatives from fire protection districts and water districts providing drinking water (MUDs) in urban/suburban areas and rural/wildland-urban-interface areas.
Representatives were from nine states where wildfires have been major emergencies for several years. This national level Working Group provided detailed input that would hopefully drive federal legislation to address this critical issue.
As a result, the thoughts and ideas that have driven our creative efforts in our small rural fire district received national exposure! Our extraordinary efforts to serve our community have been recognized by state and national organizations.
I am proud of what our West Lake Limestone Volunteer Fire Department has accomplished and the fine reputation it deserves!
This has been a big year for WLLVFD. We have seen the addition of our 3000-gal tender and the rehab unit; we have had a record setting number of calls this year as well. This year’s fire season was one for the record books. We had some very large wildfires throughout the county, along with a record number of smaller ones. The addition of these two units have given us the ability to bring a large amount of water to a scene, as well as provide on scene rehab capabilities.
Our volunteers have prevailed through it all. The members are the backbone of this department and without their continued commitment to the community WLLVFD would not be successful in protecting our community. We at WLLVFD are continuing to strive to better our facilities, training and equipment to serve our community at the highest level possible.
WLLVFD and LCESD #2 are working together to plan for the future. Recently LCESD #2 was able to provide much needed wildland PPE for several members who trained to be wildland certified. These members completed a 24-hour wildland course that included on-line and hands-on training.
As important as our volunteers are, we could not be successful without the support of our community. We want to say thank you to all those that donated items for our rehab unit and all of you for your continued support.