This letter is to catch everyone up on what’s been going on with the Alamo Springs Volunteer Fire Department. A lot has happened in the last year and we want to give you some highlights.
First and foremost The burn ban was recently reinstated due to continued drought conditions. Please be careful. The ASVFD’s area of responsibility covers Alamo Springs, Grandview Acres, Northern Kendall County west to Highway 87 and south along Old Number 9 to Giles Ranch Road. All fire departments in Kendall County have a mutual aid agreement, so we get help when we need it, and we assist other departments as needed.
Most of our volunteers are now trained and classified as First Responders. That means that we answer calls for vehicle accidents and emergencies involving injury, illness and death. We also have one Registered Nurse who volunteers with us for such situations.
Along with the rest of Kendall County, this area has had a building boom in the past few years. There are many new residents and weekenders alike. Some of the newer houses are multi-story, which presents new requirements and challenges for firefighters.
To try to meet increasing demands, we’ve expanded our membership to 10 regular members. 2009 will be a first for the Department, two of our younger members will attend the Texas A&M fire academy for training in July. Some previous volunteers have been there, but not as representatives of ASVFD.
During the past year, we have been very fortunate to have received 3 new [to us] vehicles. Two were outright donations from the Leon Springs Volunteer Fire Department-one, a Fire Engine/pumper truck and the second, a rescue van that had previously been an ambulance. It no longer has the necessary equipment for transporting a patient, Le. a gurney, but we are slowly outfitting it as a First
Response medical vehicle. The third vehicle is on indefinite loan from the Texas Forest Service. It is mechanically sound, barebones, 1971, ex-military, “Deuce and a Half’ in their parlance, 2 Y2 ton carrying capacity. It has two 600-gallon tanks installed. That’s it right now. However, it will add a great deal of capability to our department when equipped as planned.
As you know, there are no hydrants in this rural area. We have a well at our station with associated water storage, but retrieving it requires a trip back to the station, which is time spent away from the fire scene. Water tankers from other departments always help us out when requested, which is usually the case, but Comfort, Waring and Fredericksburg are all 25 or more minutes away at a minimum. Obviously, for us to have the ability to arrive on scene with 1200 gallons of water will allow a much longer time fighting a fire before we need more.
We plan to outfit this Deuce with donated hoses, nozzles, etc., as much as possible. We did the same thing with the Engine. To complete the tanker, we need to acquire a high-capacity water pump and associated hardware. We estimate that it will cost around $5,000. This new equipment was definitely needed for our efforts to keep our area safe, but now we have the problem of storing it all securely. We have a plan to increase the size of the fire station to accommodate all 4 of our vehicles. At the moment 2 are stored outside and 2 are shoehomed into our 30X40 building.
We are in the process of applying for grant money for this project, but we need to have funds on hand to match in part that which we could receive from the County, the Forest Service, LCRA or other private foundations. We estimate that the cost of the building will be $50,000–that figure may be lower if we can secure donated materials and labor.
It’s been 10 years since we’ve called on our neighbors for financial support. Back then, we asked for donations to help us acquire a used brush truck. We received a good response, found a suitable truck and had it outfitted with the requisite equipment. It is still in use and functioning very well.
Now we need to call on you again to support our projects. ASVFD is a 501 (c)4 tax exempt public service organization (Tax I.D. 74-2715521) so any donations are fully tax deductible.
We hope you can find a way to help us keep the community safe.
We sincerely thank you and please know that we will appreciate all donations either by check or money order sent to the following address:
c/o 139-A Hope Road
Fredericksburg, TX 78624
Your neighbors at Alamo Springs VFD