ELECTRA, Texas (TNN) - For 34 years, Punkin Center and Electra’s volunteer fire departments have shared an emergency response coverage area. Something that had gone undetected by Texas A&M Forest Service.
“It had never come up before we did this last survey,” said Regan Reser with the forest service, “and then it was noticed.”
For over a year now Punkin Center has had their grant applications on hold.
“The legislature, you know, with the budgetary issues that have come up with everything, we have to start watching things a little closer,” added Reser.
“For the last two years, they’ve had to rely solely on the money that they raised within their communities to fund themselves,” said Jeff Watts, the Precinct 4 Wichita County Commissioner.
Today, Watts made the motion to give the department it’s own emergency service network.
Now Punkin Center will handle all emergency cases within a 74-square-mile radius, beginning at State Highway 25.
In talking with them, Watts said the biggest problem they’ve faced is finding the funding to train their fire fighters.
“It’s hard to put $10,000 to do a training with, or even $5,000,” explained Watts, “it just sucks their funds dry.”
But besides the ability to receive that money....
“Nothing truthfully changes because the departments that are there, Punkin Center and Electra, have always shared the responsibility in duties or help,” added Watts.
Reser did clarify that in the time that Punkin Center was working to get this designation, their grant applications were not denied. They were just on hold pending county approval and will now be active again.