Coleman, Texas (KTAB/KRBC)- Next weekend the Coleman County Chamber of Commerce will host a fundraiser for all nine of the fire departments throughout the county.
“Last night was the very first good night’s sleep I’ve had all week,” said Santa Anna Fire Department Chief David Huggins.
With the increase in fires in recent weeks, firefighters across Coleman County have been stretched thin when it comes to resources, and the equipment they depend on to protect their neighbors.
“Fires are becoming hard to control, so in that harder to control, we’re having to pull more equipment out, things that may have been set to the side because we didn’t have funding to pay for it to fix for it, that we’re having to essentially Band-Aid and push into service,” said Coleman Fire Department Captain Duston Crawford.
The fundraiser aims to help the departments afford new gear, fix their broken equipment, finance additional training, provide them with food, water, coolers, and much more.
“Our county has just been ablaze, and we’re just doing everything we can to get them what they need, whether it be water, Gatorade, the coolers, anything like that,” said Coleman County Chamber of Commerce Secretary Michelle Strength.
Most firefighters in Coleman County are volunteers and have one or two other jobs to help make ends meet.
“Depending on what department you were, if a fire was in your area, guys probably didn’t even sleep for two or three days straight,” said Captain Crawford.
“A lot of the guys got jobs, we work all night on fire, go to our jobs, do 8, 10, 12-hour a day jobs, turn right around and go back to fires,” said Chief Huggins.
The Coleman County Chamber of Commerce has set a goal of $6,000 and the money from this fundraiser will be distributed equally between all nine of the fire departments in the county.
“They don’t give it a second thought, as soon as the call comes in they’re there, and the least we can do is get them what they need and if we can raise a little money to give to them, it’s what we can do,” said Michelle Strength.
The fundraiser is scheduled for next Sunday, July 26th, from 11:00am-2:00pm, at the Coleman County Courthouse Square.