The High Plains Region of West Texas is mostly rural, and many people make their living off the land here. Farmers, ranchers and more are proud to call this region home and none moreso than the Bootleg Volunteer Fire Department in Hereford, Texas.
The Bootleg FD recently held a luncheon for their firefighters, families and guests to celebrate the donation of $34,000 to their fire department by Pattern Energy. The funds will be used for (among other things) purchasing bunker gear for the firefighters, which they are in need of.
The BFD is a volunteer, rural fire department that has different needs than a big city fire department.
In addition to fighting home and building fires, the BFD also deals with wildfires, brush fires and more.
They are a capable fire department and led by Fire Chief Bobby Hammock. When describing their work, Bobby uses a phrase I have heard him say several times with pride: “We are neighbors helping neighbors.”
Across the border in New Mexico, when the word goes out that help is needed, the BFD has responded to emergency calls in towns like Grady to help fight fires, and the fire departments in Eastern New Mexico help out in West Texas.
I got to spend a day with the BFD at a celebration lunch. They wanted to thank Pattern Energy for donating funds that are going to allow them to purchase much needed equipment. In addition, they wanted to show off their Department to guests and family, and it was a great time for everyone. (Especially the kids that got to climb all over the equipment).
As Chief Bobby says, the new equipment will help with their necessary work and allow them to keep helping their neighbors.
The term “Bunker Gear” refers to the personal protection equipment that firefighters use as they battle blazes.
It can refer to specific pieces of equipment (like boots, trousers, etc.) or the entire kit of protective gear.
Fire Chief Hammock said the donation by Pattern Energy is invaluable and allows them to, “keep helping our neighbors.”
Some of the firefighters at the BFD have just started their Firefighter I training, which is a step on the career path of mastering fire fighting.
While not everyone was able to attend, Chief Hammock said each of the firefighters that attend will come back and share that knowledge with the entire department, making them more proficient in their jobs.
The families were all enjoying themselves, and the kids got to climb all over the equipment. Everyone had a great time, and the Bootleg Fire Department will continue in their mission of protecting the community by “neighbors helping neighbors.”