Volunteer Firefighters: Balancing Blaze Battles And Work - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Volunteer Firefighters: Balancing Blaze Battles And Work

Hundreds of firefighters have been risking their safety for ours during the firestorm across Texoma. A large portion of them are volunteering their time.

Matthew Maynard has been a volunteer for the Bowman Fire Department for about two years.  Friday morning he was working on a project for C and I Electronics when he got a call about the fires in Archer County.  When he took off, he says his co-workers on the project didn't mind at all.

"It's best to look out for the community, to help out where you can, and this is our way of helping out.  Everybody understands that," he said.

But what's more is Matthew works with two other volunteer firefighters, as well, and all three of them left work last week.  Their employer, Russell Horn, says they were happy to make accommodations.

"We've got 43 people.  All of them are great at what they do, so three is not that big a deal," he said.

Kris Womack has only been battling blazes for about six months, but he wasn't intimidated to ask his boss for time off.
 
"With the high winds and stuff, they kind of understood it already and asking for the time off wasn't a big deal," he said.

When we asked if the volunteer firefighters at the surveillance and alarm company were paid for their time off, Russell said it's worked out on an individual basis. The employees felt they've always been treated fairly when it comes to missing work for the fires.  Kris says other firefighter's employers work with them too.

"It seems like it's pretty smooth for everybody.  I think most employers are pretty reasonable.  When it comes to fighting wild land fires they understand people's livelihoods are in jeopardy," he said.

Russell's company is honored to let the volunteers leave work to save life and property.

"We have no problem with that at all.  We're very proud of our volunteer fire department employees," he said.

Other volunteer departments we spoke with have mostly self-employed volunteers.  Kris says he has a high respect for those workers, because they lose out on both time and money when they're away from the job.

Spencer Blake, Newschannel 6

  • News HeadlinesNewsMore>>

  • US arrests, accuses woman of acting as Russian agent

    US arrests, accuses woman of acting as Russian agent

    Monday, July 16 2018 4:09 PM EDT2018-07-16 20:09:37 GMT
    Monday, July 16 2018 9:46 PM EDT2018-07-17 01:46:50 GMT
    (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber). U.S. President Donald Trump, left, listens to Russian President Vladimir Putin during a press conference after their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, Monday, July 16, 2018.(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber). U.S. President Donald Trump, left, listens to Russian President Vladimir Putin during a press conference after their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, Monday, July 16, 2018.

    Federal authorities have arrested a Russian woman accused of conspiring to infiltrate American political organizations at the direction of a senior Kremlin official.

    Federal authorities have arrested a Russian woman accused of conspiring to infiltrate American political organizations at the direction of a senior Kremlin official.

  • 23 children injured as 5 summer camp buses collide in NJ

    23 children injured as 5 summer camp buses collide in NJ

    Monday, July 16 2018 9:11 PM EDT2018-07-17 01:11:45 GMT
    Monday, July 16 2018 9:11 PM EDT2018-07-17 01:11:45 GMT
    The buses were transporting campers home from the JCC Camp in Medford, NJ. (Source: KYW/CNN)The buses were transporting campers home from the JCC Camp in Medford, NJ. (Source: KYW/CNN)

    There were 23 children and one staff member treated at nearby hospitals for minor injuries.

    There were 23 children and one staff member treated at nearby hospitals for minor injuries.

  • Trump questions US intel, not Putin, on Russia 2016 meddling

    Trump questions US intel, not Putin, on Russia 2016 meddling

    Monday, July 16 2018 12:57 PM EDT2018-07-16 16:57:16 GMT
    Monday, July 16 2018 8:50 PM EDT2018-07-17 00:50:34 GMT
    (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko). U.S. President Donald Trump, left, shakes hand with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a press conference after their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, Monday, July 16, 2018.(AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko). U.S. President Donald Trump, left, shakes hand with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a press conference after their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, Monday, July 16, 2018.
    Trump says he raised election meddling with Putin, but says both sides to blame for bad relations.
    Trump says he raised election meddling with Putin, but says both sides to blame for bad relations.
Powered by Frankly