DEVINE, TEXAS -- The series of tornadoes that struck in Devine and surrounding areas Monday night exposed the need for more volunteer fire fighters. Those communities are now using this time to recruit.
Since the tornado struck the Devine fire chief says a lot of people have been offering to assist with the tornado damage. That’s why he is taking this time to look for more permanent volunteers to respond to fires and natural disasters. And he’s doing so at the pumper games just up the street from the Devine Fire Station.
It’s where volunteer fire fighters from 14 fire stations including Devine competed in a series of races to sharpen their skills. Skills they will need to fight a fire and other disasters.
“So every second that we're saving by getting, by working these skills is a second that we can get into a house faster and save someone, said Devine Fire Chief Jason Johnson.
Chief Johnson and his team are showing off their moves for a chance at bragging rights and a trophy.
The games are part of a monthly meeting for volunteer fire departments to work on a master recruitment plan. And the meeting couldn't come soon enough after Monday nights devastating series of tornadoes.
“With the tornado Monday night we were lucky enough we had 12 people in the area,” explained Johnson.
Fire fighters in Castroville said they were lucky as well, adding that had the destruction been more widespread they would not have been able to handle it alone.
“At least it was on a scale that we were able to handle that with local people,” said Castroville Assistant Fire Chief Denae Chase.
Chase said the small community is like many with a great need for volunteer fire fighters. And they are not just looking to recruit men.
“Women can do the same thing that men can, we have the women's auxiliary that can do the same thing the men do, they’re brave,” said Chase.
The volunteer fire fighters also hold down full time jobs. They say if anyone is looking for a way to protect their community in times of disaster, and a rewarding experience they should call their local volunteer fire department for more details.