Our Volunteer Fire Departments Fight For Funding [VIDEO]
Last night the Smith County Emergency Services District #2 met to discuss funding for East Texas Volunteer Fire Departments. The ESD board recently voted to collect less money from tax payers, leaving some fire departments worried about their budgets next year. Many Fire Departments received good news -- but many did not. At the meeting, volunteer fire fighters learned the ESD voted down reimbursement for the Noonday and Chapel Hill fire chief salaries, as well as Jackson Heights' fuel re-reimbursement.
KLTV reported that Smith County Volunteer Fire Department Association President Tommy Brock said;
"They questioned why their fuel bill was five times higher than everyone else. The majority of the fires that we've had, had been in their district. When you're paying almost $4 per gallon for diesel fuel and you're running your trucks 24 hours a day for five, six, seven days at a time, you're going to have a higher bill than everyone else,"
Due to fighting a fire, there were no Jackson Heights representatives present to explain the boards' question, the funds were denied. But, this story does have a happy ending. The tireless fire fighters returned from fighting their latest fire, just in time to explain their reasons and was granted the reimbursement.
There was not such a happy ending for the Noonday and Chapel Hill departments. The board simply said it was against ESD policy to pay for Chief's salaries. This was news to the department, since the ESD has paid Chief's salaries for the last three years.
Concerning the denial of reimbursements for the Noonday and Chapel Hill departments -- the board says it does not pay for Chief's salaries.