Did you know that in our area, the volunteer firefighters are the ones who carry the Jaws of Life? Most people don’t know it, but they don’t just fight fires…..It’s volunteer firefighters who are THERE to rescue people trapped inside their vehicles in major accidents. They are also THERE at our sides to help when our homes catch fire. They are also THERE at the scene of car accidents to help with traffic control and they are THERE to extinguish the multitudes of grass fires, which may seem small, but could and would easily spread to homes and businesses in the area…if it weren’t for volunteer firefighters. Thanks for always BEING THERE FOR ALL OF US!
As one volunteer firemen states later in this article—“Sometimes it is a minor call. Sometimes, it’s a very real, life threatening situation. Everyone on the fire department gives of their time–even when it is not convenient …. Thanksgiving and Christmas, in particular, are days you hate to leave a family party to go to an emergency. If we don’t go to the call, then who will? That is the motivating question for every call…..”
“God bless our volunteer firefighters,” said Sheriff Randy Brown. “I appreciate what they do, and I would not want to do what I do without them. I am thankful for each and every one of them.” One of the most selfless and important acts of service in our community is volunteer firefighting, and the community is always in dire need of more volunteers, because what they do is SO IMPORTANT.
Please take a minute to read the names in this article of the volunteer firefighters across Medina County from Devine, Natalia, Lytle, Hondo, Castroville, LaCoste, D’Hanis, Yancey, and Moore and Bigfoot, in northern Frio County who give so much for all of us, and consider doing whatever you can to help—volunteer, donate, or whatever you can.
“Firefighters give so much of their free time….Go way above and beyond the call of duty…risking their life…to keep each and every one of us safe…All for no pay. God bless our first responders,” said Natalia PD Chief Gilbert Rodriguez.
The following is a list of the many volunteer firefighters in area departments who so generously and courageously volunteer at local fire departments:
A Big Thanks to Devine Volunteer Fire Department members:
Victor Chavez, Brenda Cline, Robert Cline, Austin Ehlinger, Daniel Ehlinger, David Ehlinger, Kandace Ehlinger, Krista Ehlinger, Emmalee Franz, Richard Hitchcock, Byron Hruzek, Justine Hruzek, Nicholas Hughan, Kenneth Jamar, Christian Jones, Mark Leach, Justin Olivares, Matthew Richard, Michael Saldana, Kazzandra Serna, Robert Scott,Christopher Steen, Daniel Thomas, Carla Walker, and Michael Walker.
Devine VFD Chief Mike Walker says, “There is a position available for everybody at the Devine Volunteer Fire Department. Please give it a try. There is always a big need…We put in 3,300 hundred man hours so far this year at Devine VFD, making 269 calls as of December 26. We have been rolling about 3-4 calls a day, and all of our volunteers also have jobs elsewhere. We need all kinds of volunteers…you don’t have to be in shape to fight fires. There are so many other things we need help with from paperwork to keeping the state up to date with what we do, inventory, and so much more.
If you would like to volunteer, you can reach out to the department on Facebook or call 830-665-4246 and leave a message. They meet at the station every Monday at 7 pm except holidays and Thursdays at 7pm.
A Big Thanks to Moore Volunteer Fire Department members:
Chief JD Earls, Asst. Chief Ramon Perez, Captain Chuck Compton, Captain Troy Portis, Captain David Croft, Safety Captain Ernie Bias, Lieutenant Stephanie Earls, Lieutenant Jonathan Craig; Fire Fighters: Richard Hitchcock, Linnet Hitchcock, Wes Myers, Christopher Earls, Hunter Portis, Justin Ross, Galilea Willis, Deborah Perez, Summer Craig, Monique Chacon, Deanna Perez, Micheal Pena; Junior Fire Fighters Cole Earls and Tucker Jennings.
To Volunteer contact JD 830-444-6238 or Ramon 210-758-3610 or 830-663-9101 or stop by the Moore VFD Station, the address is 311 W. FM 462, Moore, Tx. 78057. They meet on Monday evenings at 7 pm.
To donate, the Moore VFD Mailing address is P.O. Box 111, Moore, TX. 78057
Dept email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Moore VFD Chief JD Earls stated, “We are always accepting new members, you don’t have to be fire fighters we will train, also can use drivers, office help, support, etc. We will find a role for anyone who is interested. You do not have to live directly in Moore, we allow members who live within a 15 mile radius of Moore.”
A Big thanks to Bigfoot VFD active members:
Mark Leach–Fire Chief, Barry Jetton–Asst Fire Chief, Bobby Grubb-Lieutenant, Denise Woody-Lieutenant, Dennis Woody, Gerald McKenzie, Jay McMinn, and Carl Pfeiffer.
To volunteer or make a donation to Bigfoot VFD contact 210-213-0554. They hold training on the first Thursday of the month at 7 pm.
A Big Thanks to Natalia VFD members:
Patrick Bourcier, Cory Bradley, Donna Brite, Sarah Brite, Chuck Brown, Chuck Byrd, Mable Byrd, Derrick Caddell, Jesus Castellanos, Saul Castellanos, William Campsey, Elizabeth Cargile, Greg Cargile, Marcus Esquibel, Royce Francies, Mike Gass, Justin Glass, Justin Gonzales, Bryan Graham, Andrew Helton, Don Helton, Josh Helton, Patricia Helton, Alvin Hernandez, Delbert Hoover Jr., Russell Johnson, Robert Juarez III, Kiara Lintz, Emilio Martinez, Matthew Martinez, Justin Newman, Leonard Paull, Viola Potter, Alex Rodriguez, Gilbert Rodriguez, Roy Reyes Jr, Albert Saldana, Danny Sanchez, David Sanchez, Sammy Sanchez, Sergio Sanchez, Brian Soberalski, Nicholaus Torres and Ronnie Vasquez.
A Big Thanks to Lytle VFD members:
Chief: Matthew Dear, Asst. Chief: Logan Medina; Captains: Kevin Dear, Rene Flores; Lieutenants: Chad Tilley, Pedro Fuentes, and Osvaldo Guerra. Firefighters: Roger Garcia, Joe Arriaga, Vanessa Garcia, Wil Swan, Ryan Espinosa, William Howell, Joseph Perez, Alex Arrambide, Josh Contreras, Andres Cantu, Roy Sauceda, Luis Enriquez, Jeremy Seuferer, Lucas Martinez, Brock Christie, Ryan Bauchman, Kyle Goslin, and Honorary Member Jesse Camarillo.
A Huge thanks to Castroville VFD members:
Chief Rick Lair, Asst Chief 1 Dan Huber, Asst Chief 2 Dan Thornly, Captain Marquis Fuentes, Lt 1Melanie Godwin, Lt 2Billy-Jim Perez , Admin/Medical Officer Deanne Lair, Training Officer Al Niebruegge , Stephen Anguiano Firefighter, Joshua Baily Firefighter, Melissa Baily Firefighter, Kevin Cody Firefighter, Grant Davila Firefighter, Steven Lee Firefighter, John Longoria Firefighter/EMT, Dwayne Starkey Firefighter, William Swan Firefighter/EMT, Carolina Tait Firefighter, Denver Tedford Firefighter/EMT, Garrett Wurzbach Firefighter/EMT.
A Big Thanks to LaCoste VFD members:
Chief Joe Wells, Assist. Chief Mike Nolen, Deputy Chief Ernest Christilles, Lieutenant Henry “Tony” Iagnemma, Lieutenant Paul Cleary, Lieutenant Jacob Schuetz, F.F. Jarrett Ferris, F.F. Danny Duron,F.F. Russel Keller, F.F. Johnny Kendricks, F.F. Travis Smith, F.F. Yvonne Ramsdell, F.F. Frank Aroacha, F.F. Christopher Ramsdell, F.F. Dannie Wagoner, F.F. Jackson Ramsdell, F.F. Jermey San Miguel, Chris Tenorio, Dave Ennist.
The recruitment coordinator for LaCoste is Jarrett Ferris, and his phone number is 830-335-1787, and his email is email@example.com. The station is located at 11370 S. Front St. LaCoste Tx. 78039 at the corner of Castro and S. Front St.
A Big Thank you to Yancey VFD members:
Chief Tim Leal, Asst chief Seth Ralph, Captain Shane Blythe, Lt. Ryan Laird, Operation manager Mark Blythe, Secretary Paula Stanley, Firefighters: Eddy Luna, Amy Blythe, Frank Stanley, Ross Jones, Jake McNeese, Barrett Philps, Joe Guajardo, Kevin Krowsey, and Taylor Wilson. To volunteer or donate you can contact 830-426-9221. Yancey VFD meets at the station on Tuesdays at 7 pm.
A Big Thanks to Hondo VFD members:
Chief Gaylon Schueling, Chelsey Barrientes, Johnny Barrientes, Cameron Camacho, Freddie Castillo, Spencer Dominguez, Thomas Foster, Eden Gauna, Adolfo Gonzales, Chris Gonzales, Joe Gonzales, Pete Hernandez, John Henry Martinez, Blake Mayfield, Tom Mayfield, Jerry Morin, Vance Salazar, Butch Schueling, Doris Schueling, Johnathon Schueling, James M. Williams and Mario Ybarra.
To volunteer or donate to Hondo VFD, contact Gaylon Schueling at 830-931-4847.
“We need man power, and if business owners would be willing to let our volunteers take off when a call comes in. Daytime is the hardest time for calls because everyone has a job. We have run somewhere around 200 calls this year,” Chief Schueling said. “I also like to remind people to just use common sense before you burn. If it’s windy and the grass is dry, please wait a day or two to burn.”
Huge Thanks to D’Hanis Volunteer Fire Department members:
Chief Bobby Ibarra, Firefighters: Chris Alvarez, Dylan DeLeon, Charlie Koch, Alvin Lopez, Isaiah Lopez, Issac Lopez, Pat Perez, Toby Valenzula, Gerald Valenzula, and Dean Zinsmeyer. President Roland DeLeon, Vice President Steven Deleon, Secretary John Gonzales, Treasure Louie Aguilar, Guard Justin Koch.
D’Hanis VFD meets the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month at the fire house. To ask about volunteering contact Bobby at 830-426-1712 .Donations can be mailed to PO Box 123 D’Hanis, TX 78850. D’Hanis VFD does not have an ESD with tax funds, and operates on donations only.
Big Thanks to Mico VFD volunteer fire department members:
Chief Mike Tudor, Firefighters Joe Benedetti, Felipe Garcia, Caitlin Schmidt, Kelly Whitley, Josh Trevino, Dawn Ross, Ed Dennis, Rick Sorenson, Destiny Zabel, Greg Hall, John Tinsley, Lieutenant Susan Tinsley, Lieutenant Ian Zabel, Captain Chris Smith, Deputy Chief Jamie Esquivel.
Why do we love being volunteer firefighters?
Local departments are always in need of more volunteers, and these men and women are so important to our community. Here are the stories of several local volunteers who shared what they love about volunteering:
Bigfoot Volunteer firefighter Denise Woody commented, “I love being a volunteer firefighter because it’s a great feeling to know you may have been able to help someone having a really bad day. Learning about the science and mechanics of fire behavior and suppression is fascinating. The volunteers I work with are great people–always willing to share what they know. It’s a real team effort and we all look out for each other. I really appreciate all the support we receive from our community, especially with our fundraisers. We all work together to keep our community safe.”
When asked: “Why do I love firefighting?” My bottom line answer is, “It is always a joy to help other people when they don’t even know who you are,” said Devine VFD Firefighter and Chaplain Daniel Ehlinger. “When you think about a fire department your immediate impression is people being there in the time of an emergency with the appropriate resources and equipment to help. The members of the volunteer fire department are required to do the same amount of work and skill as paid firemen….or so I have been told by paid firemen numerous times at the emergency sites. A volunteer fire department has no one being paid, waiting at the station for emergency calls. Many times, volunteers are working at their current jobs and when they can, they will drop anything to help others out. Sometimes it is a minor call. Sometimes, it’s a very real, life threatening situation.
Everyone on the fire department gives of their time–even when it is not convenient….Thanksgiving and Christmas, in particular, are days you hate to leave a family party to go to an emergency. If we don’t go to the call, then who will? That is the motivating question for every call…..There is always something to do at the fire station…training, cleaning the station, cleaning the trucks, and of course truck repairs…..A firefighter sees people in, often times, their most difficult periods of life. What a blessing to have the training and skills to be able to help. With that, I want to support my community the best way possible. It is something I believe in doing with all of my heart.”
“Being able to help someone in need or comfort someone that is scared,” said Devine VFD FF Justine Hruzek, when asked why she loves being a volunteer firewoman. “There is always something to do, be it paperwork, computer work, looking for equipment, cleaning equipment and trucks or educating others on Fire Safety….Those are just a few things that I love about Volunteering for a Fire Department.
Devine firefighter Justin Olivares comments, “I joined the Devine volunteer Fire department because I was tired of getting off of work and sitting in front of the television. I was looking forward to helping my community and meeting new friends that would be good influences in my life. Since I joined the DVFD I have learned something new each day. I have attended trainings provided by TEEX and Rescue Training International that put you in real world flood and fire scenarios in order to prepare us to help Medina County in the event of tragedies. The Officers voted into leadership roles are friendly, always willing to help, and answer questions that arise. I’ve made lifelong friends that I trust with my life when on scene. The camaraderie is unlike any other I have experienced, joining the DVFD is easily one of the best decisions of my life.”
“I love giving back to the community. I love being able to prevent loss of life and property and protect the citizens of Devine and surrounding areas. It’s a brotherhood a second family for me. I love all the volunteers,” said Chief Christian Jones of Devine VFD.