Gas Prices Affect Local VFD's Budget

As gas prices skyrocket, pocketbooks for volunteer fire departments become thinner. VFD's rely on donations to keep their trucks running. Thankfully this year we've been getting rain and that means less fires and less fuel.

Every year the Lake Arrowhead VFD is given $2,500 by Clay County, that's a small portion of its operation budget, but it does help. Come late spring and summer things could get financially difficult if they're responding to daily fires and if the price at the pump keeps going up.

The Lake Arrowhead VFD has six vehicles in operation some small and others large.

"I've got two Fords that carry 100 gallons each," said Lake Arrowhead Fire Chief Mike Hall. "I've got a jeep that carries 24 gallons of gasoline and three suburban's that carry 40 gallons a piece."

That all adds up to a pretty big chunk of change.

"Most generally we run about $500 to $800 a month on fuel."

Like most volunteer fire departments funds are hard to come by, "Fundraiser's, begging; however we can."

What makes this year even more difficult financially for the Lake Arrowhead Volunteer Fire Department is not just the cost to fill up but coming off of last year's ravaging wildfire season.

"We have one fund and if it goes dry there's nothing there," said Chief Hall.

AAA reports the state's average price of regular unleaded is $3.72 a gallon and diesel is already at $4 bucks. Costs used to pump gas means less maintenance on their vehicles, but a new resource the department has to save a little money is using Wichita Falls as a fuel hub

"I get my fuel from them which is a little cheaper, not a whole lot, but cheaper than what I can pull up at the pump and do."

It's about 20 cents cheaper. For now things are fairing well for the department. There have been no major fires and things are looking calm, but when the heat of the summer, gusty winds, and fire combine -- things won't look pretty, but somehow and someway they always
pull through.

The department is holding a fundraiser in late April. It's Saturday April 28, begins at 5 p.m. at the Lake Arrowhead Baptist Church. All the money raised will go right back to the department.

To find the cheapest gas in your area, click here and then click on the cheap fills link.

Crystal Hall Newschannel 6.