CROCKETT, TX (KTRE) - A lack of Red Cross volunteers is raising concerns from the Crockett Fire Department.
Whenever there is a fire, the department looks to the Red Cross for volunteers that can step in and help the family. Right now, the department does not have a team set up to help anytime a disaster strikes the communities inside Houston County.
"We haven't had that resource that's close," said Crockett Fire Chief John Angerstein. "We have had to wait on Red Cross to respond from other areas."
Red Cross teams will respond to fires they are called to and will work with the citizens involved.
"We're more like second responders," said Red Cross volunteer Bobbie Ann Anderson. "We are primarily concerned with their immediate needs like shelter food and clothing. We don't want anyone to be on the streets after a fire. We help them with dignity. They are victims. Many times they are in shock, and we give them referrals to other services. If they have a mental health issue, lost their medication or have a disability we are going to get them nursing assistance."
Anderson said the biggest issue in the region is getting someone to Houston County if a fire happens.
"It's an hour from here to Crockett, so it takes a while to get there and even longer if we are in San Augustine or Shelby County," Anderson said. "I am also the only leader in Nacogdoches County, so if I cannot get there, then we have to look for help from Angelina County."
The department will be teaming up with the Red Cross on Thursday night to offer an introduction to training for anyone interested in being Red Cross volunteers.
"I think it is only fair that our county be able to take care of their own," Angerstein said. "If Angelina County and every other county around us can have their own team, it seems like we should have a team as well."
The training will start at 6 p.m at the Crockett Fire Department located at 202 N. 6th Street. The meeting will provide information needed and some training to begin the process. The meeting is free.