TRINITY, TX (KTRE) - A massive training facility for six fire stations is underway in Trinity County.
Volunteer firefighters and twin brothers, Hayne and Wayne Huffman, hope a grant they apply for in September and donations from the public will cover the cost.
The fire department is not only a growing force, but a family business. For 50 years, the Huffman brothers have been fighting fires side-by-side for the fire department.
"It makes you feel good that you can save some of their belongings and that you can do whatever you can to help them," Wayne Huffman, the assistant fire chief, said.
The job definitely keeps the 72-year-old brothers busy.
"I take it very serious. The fire department has been my life forever," Hayne Huffman, the fire chief, said.
Wayne Huffman joined the fire department in 1964 and five years later, Hayne joined. But they say it was by a funny coincidence that Hayne was elected fire chief.
"In 1969 by mistake, a gentleman on the fire department had a little impediment of speaking and unbeknownst to me, my twin brother had got together prior to the business meeting and (the gentleman) got to stuttering when he was going to nominate Wayne and he nominated me," Hane Huffman said.
Wayne says he's glad his prank backfired.
"When the man stuttered and named Hayne as fire chief, you know, I was relieved because I'm going to tell you I could have never done the job that he has done for the years that he has done for a person to put the time in that he still puts in every day at our station for nothing," Wayne Huffman said.
Hayne says he works hard every day to improve the fire department after a tragic event several years ago changed his life.
"The house was smoking from one end to the other. No one was home that we thought, and what happened was about 10 minutes later. The young couple had left an infant baby in its baby bed and it was smothered to death. I made myself a promise that if I live long enough and could that we would improve to have equipment to take care of situations," Hayne said.
The Huffman brothers are also applying for a grant in September to pay for the new training center for their men and future generations to come. The training center is already being developed near Fire Station No.2 and will be the training facility used by firefighters from the six stations in Trinity County.
"The best friend I've ever had is my twin brother. Far beyond anybody that I've been acquainted with all my life. He and I have been basically together for most of our lives," Hayne said.
The brothers have also had several other jobs. Wayne is currently Mayor Pro Tem for the city, and was a rural mail carrier for 43 years. Hayne served 20 years on the school board, appraisal district, and also had a job at Exxon Service Station with his brother.
Wayne's son-in-law is also a member of the fire department and he says his grandson was just elected to the department this month. Their older brother was also a member of the fire department for years.
But despite getting paid nothing for the time they dedicate to the city, one thing is for certain, Wayne and Hayne are a great team.