MIDLAND -- With the massive wild fires the Permian Basin saw this past week, fire crews have been working overtime. But, it's volunteer fire departments that need some help. Big 2 headed out to the North East Midland County Volunteer Fire Department to see how they're doing.
80 percent of fire fighters are volunteers in the state of Texas. They're also your first line of defense against grass fires. But what they run on is donations. These volunteers don't get paid and their equipment needs upgrades. After this past week, they need help, more than ever.
When its time for a fire, the North East Midland County Volunteer Fire Department is ready -- even though their equipment might not be. They lost some tires and one truck in the wild fire madness this past Sunday.
"This truck lost two tires --which is $400 a tire -- in the last two weeks, we have probably lost $3,000 worth of equipment," said Midland V.F.D. Fire Chief Mat McClure.
The problem is they're broke.
"These wild fires are a very big strain on our budget," said McClure. "We have had fireman pay for fuel out of their own pockets."
Volunteer fire fighter Patrick Parker recently dished out about $800 to fill up the truck. It's a sacrifice he knew he had to make.
"This truck here we had to top it off, the cards wouldn't work," said Parker. "Guess the budget was out, so I put $78.00, well we needed to get there."
"You wanna help your neighbor, they go above and beyond to give back and help out their fellow neighbor," said McClure.
It's because of volunteers like Parker that McClure is asking for help.
"Please help us," said McClure. "90 percent of your volunteer fire departments run off of donations only, and we're in dire need of money."
The remnants of Sundays fire can be seen tangled inside an old eight wheeler, but Midland V.F.D. will keep trucking. They know they have a job to do.
"I'm helping others and that is all I'm thinking about," said Parker.
McClure is asking the community for help, so they can continue to do what they do best -- fight fires.
To send a donation:
North East Midland County VFD
P.O. Box 10005
Midland, TX 79702
For more information on where to donate: http://www.nevfd.com