Angelina FDs gear up for busy fire season

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - By Holley Nees - email

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - The Central Volunteer Fire Department has responded to 158 calls since January. It's a number that's only expected to grow as the temperature lowers.

"Because there again the space heaters, the fire places, stoves, you know stuff like that," said Central firefighter Oscar Rabago.

Fire officials say they usually respond to more structure fires in the winter and, for volunteer fire departments, not having enough manpower or money only complicates the season.

"The equipment and the trucks and all that change it seems like every year," said Lufkin Assistant Fire Marshal Steve McCool.

Part of gearing up for a busy season is educating the people they serve.

"There's too many things that people need to know out there that can save their life for them not to go out and learn it," McCool said. "You need to know stop, drop, and roll, even as adults."

They start teaching fire prevention early on and they're confident it's hitting home.

"These kids, I know, that they go home and, 'Hey mom, look at this, look what Mr. Oscar taught us today,' and you know, 'we're supposed to do this, do that,'" Rabago said.

But, it's little bits of information, like having a working smoke alarm, that could make the difference.

"Smoke detectors increase your chances of living by 50 percent in a house fire," McCool said. "That's a great gift. I mean that's just overwhelming. Who wouldn't spend seven dollars to double their chances of surviving a house fire?"

Fire officials know they will be called on to battle the blazes again this winter, but they're confident knowledge has the power to keep East Texans alive.

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