Fighting all these fires in Texoma is putting a huge dent in our volunteer fire departments funding budgets. As many crews wait patiently to hear from their Counties on recovery efforts. Many cannot wait and are taking matters into their own hands, relying on donations is their only hope at the moment.
They are not holding their breath on waiting for an answer from the county, but instead they are turning to their community members for help. As their check list grows larger on repairs and equipment damage due to the firestorm. Their savings fund is steadily decreasing and on the list, a new building to replace the barn they now call home. A 2,000 square foot building houses a small tiny office with one chair, some storage space, no bathroom facilities, and two sliding doors. When the Joy Volunteer Fire Department reports to the office this is where they go. By the looks of it most would say its a barn, but to these firemen are proud to call this tiny white barn their fire station.
On their agenda for 2011 they plan on expanding this building twice the size to fit their 15 member crew and 4 fire trucks. This money is coming from donations and at last Saturday's fish fry the crew was able to raise $9,000.
In the last week these volunteer fire fighters have been working around the clock on repairing damaged trucks and equipment. Time, money, and work, that could be used toward building the new station, but these men do not complain, they just do it. These men risk their lives without question to save ours, inspiring communities and each other.
This new building will cost around $80,000 and Fire Chief Clay Skelton says they have about $40,000 in savings right now. They have to use some of that towards repair costs. They plan on getting started on this new building in the next few months once all their trucks and equipment get fixed. The Joy Volunteer Fire Department is excited about what they can accomplish in a new building.
If you would like to donate money to help the Joy Volunteer Fire Department with their new building you can contact their fire station at (940) 476-2550 and leave a message, attend one of their fundraiser, or visit their location at 910 F. M. 173 Henrietta TX, 76365 . The next fundraiser will be in October, a motorcycle run starting in Henrietta and finishing at the Community Center in Joy.