A lot has happened since our last update. Here are some of the highlights:
As we had hoped, the Department’s major milestone was the completion of a large addition to the original fire station. We were provided funds for most of the project by Kendall County Commissioner’s Court and augmented those with the generous donations we received as a result of our 2009 mail out, the open house and garage sale. David Johnson of Comfort was our general contractor for the construction of the foundation and building. Our hard working volunteers put in many long hours completing the electrics, plumbing and interior construction. We’re all very proud of the effort and the results. The new building is 1800 square feet with 3 bays and a corridor connecting it to the old one. We’ve added a second restroom and a small storeroom. It has 12 foot roll up doors so parking vehicles is much easier. All 4 of our vehicles are parked inside!
To compliment the expansion, we added a rainwater catchment system. We received a $15,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority for most of its installation. As part of the self help portion of the grant agreement, our members constructed a retaining wall with a pad for the 20 foot diameter cistern adjacent to our old building. We had Kendall County Rainwater Systems of Boerne install the cistern and the piping from the gutters on all of the new addition as well as those on one side of the old building. There is now storage for 20,000 gallons of water on site. According to rough calculations, we will collect 1350 gallons of water from an inch of rainfall. The water we save is not potable since it only runs through a debris screen and is not treated in any other way. This system is a long awaited, major improvement for the community. During last summer’s big fire on Hope Road, water was transported to the scene from both Comfort and Fredericksburg by as many as 6 trucks. This large, on site, storage will go a long way to alleviate that need.
One of our members attended the Texas A&M fire school again this summer. He built on the skills learned last year. Additionally, he completed a 3 day Swift Water Rescue course in June. On the medical side, we now have a volunteer who is newly qualified as an Emergency Medical Technician. She completed an intensive 20 week training course and passed the test that certifies her at both the Federal and State levels. We also have a retired nurse volunteer who responds to medical emergencies. All our folks will re-qualify in CPR and the use of the automated defibrillator later this year.
We have a long range plan to replace the large Mack Fire Engine donated to us by Leon Springs VFD back in 2008. We’ve found that we need a vehicle more suited to the fires we encounter in our area. There is a pending request for funding for a replacement from the Texas Forest Service. Hopefully in our next letter we can tell you all about a new truck. Only time will tell.
The Deuce and a Half on loan from the Forest Service is now outfitted as a combination brush truck and tanker and is in service. It has a foam injection system which provides better, more rapid fire suppression capabilities. In building this truck, our “Head Scrounger” managed to locate many useful items in the surplus inventories of neighboring fire departments. He convinced them to help us out with donations, thereby saving us funds to use for other purposes. The one thing the truck lacks is power steering. That beast provides quite a workout!
One of our helpful, computer literate neighbors has developed a web site for the entire Alamo Springs community. You can find it at www.alamospringsranch.com. She posts information and pictures from the department on it so you can see the improvements we’re making as they occur. We will use it to keep you posted with information about burn bans when they are enacted. Take time to visit it. There is a lot of interesting information available about the area and its history and current events.
On Saturday September 18, 2010, from 10 AM until 1 PM, we will host our second open house and at that time, will rededicate our expanded Fire Station. If you can, come by and see all we’ve done in the past year.
Finally, please remember that we are a tax exempt 501-C-4 organization and appreciate any and all donations to help us improve this department. We could have not accomplished many of this year’s projects without your past generosity. Donations from the community indicate to organizations that confer grants that we’re willing and able to do our part. As in any volunteer group, we are always looking for new members. It is not just fire fighting, we need folks with talents in all areas. If you think you can help out, please give us a call at  990-1460.
Your neighbors at the Alamo Springs VFD
Alamo Springs VFD
c/o 139-A Hope Road
Fredericksburg, TX 78624