Many Texoma volunteer fire departments are on demand now more than ever. Departments are answering everything from medical calls and vehicle accidents. Three years ago Bowman Volunteer Fire Department was running 50 calls a year and just last year they responded to 115 calls for service.
That number is expected to stay the same or surpass it by the end of the year. They're not just called out to fires anymore; if they are they can travel upwards of 50 miles.
Archer County resident Robert Gill remembers the moment his Durango Trail home nearly caught fire. It was less than two weeks ago when firefighters closed down the road, got their equipment and battled the blaze that only destroyed land. While flames didn't touch his home remnants of what happened are clear inside it.
"It was so close, my wife came and she got all our pictures and took them into town and locked them up," he said.
Thanks to the Bowman Volunteer Fire Department all houses were sparred.
"I appreciate what they all do," he said.
All they do goes far beyond their 23 square mile radius. They can travel to 11 area counties. Their 14 member department is challenged to fight flames and respond to emergency situations.
"I don't know if it's normal, it's something that our department kind of prides itself on," said Bowman Fire Chief, John Strenski.
Strenski says with all the calls they respond to there is wear and tear on the equipment not the men. That's why they received a new truck in March. With so many demands that have developed over the last few years, new ones are sure to come in.
"I think we're going to see more hazardous material related calls, who knows what the wind farms might bring," he said.
VFD's rely on public donations to keep them going. Just visit one of your local volunteer fire departments to make a donation.