HUNTINGTON, TX (KTRE) - The City of Huntington's Volunteer Fire Department will now have help from a neighbor to the south when they battle fires.
The department recently entered into an agreement to have Zavalla be on the same call tone as they are. This will allow for the departments to be deployed at the same time instead of waiting on a second call to go out. Those involved with the agreement believe it will save valuable time when responding to calls.
"By the time 911 gets the call, and they tone us out, you are looking at two to three minutes," said Zavalla chief Chris Wade. "[It's] another four to five minutes to get to the station and another five minutes to get in the truck and go so you are looking at saving 20 minutes by the time they get on the radio."
City of Huntington VFD Captain Richie Allen believes the growing population and dwindling volunteer numbers are leading to the need to have more agreements like this.
"Unfortunately the volunteer fire fighter is a dying breed," Allen said. "All departments are short handed, so when you can pull from two or three together to help one another, it makes a big difference."
Allen said his department will normally just get three of four people to a call but with the agreement could see up to 12 people at a call.
Allen said they are grateful to get the help from ZavallaVFD who recently was able to purchase a brand new truck because of a grant from the Kurth Foundation. The agreement should also help Zavalla as well.
"We have a lot of grassland and wooded areas, so that is the majority of our calls, so them having a brush truck and engine, they can come help us out a lot," Wade said.
The agreement does not have a set time table. Allen said the deal is in effect as long as both parties agree to it.