New Rehab 88.
We have acquired a 96 Model E350, power stroke diesel with 70,000 miles. We hope to get it into service by summer.
Juan Gonzales out of Hillsboro donated his time and resources to paint the truck. See the results below.
October 5, 2011
ESS celebrates 20 years of service to the community and to Johnson county fire fighters!
December 31, 2011
I would like to start out 2012 with a look back at 2011. The year 2011 was a record breaking year for us. We broke call volume record like most in a day, most in a month. We were called for service a total of 82 times, we were able to answer 81 of them. We responded to several calls a day and even some at the same time. The calls lasted longer than ever as well. Even though they were pushed hard the volunteers of ESS endured with great pride and dignity, knowing that no matter how hard it was on them, it was worse for our firefighters. They made many personal sacrifices, like Melinda missing her mother's surprise birthday party, because nobody else could respond! Captains Donald Dale and Carl Bryce working 12 and 18 hour days at work and still going to fires. As a new obstacle got in the way our members found a way around it.
Our year was filled with many blessings as well, a record number of new volunteers is the best one of all!! Our ranks are swelled with some of the best members to date. For that I thank God each time our tone goes out. We got a chance to fellowship and celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the ESS.
We faced challenges like helping collect, deliver and distribute supplies to the firefighters at the first Possum Kingdom complex fire. We ask our friends and strangers for help and they followed through in an over whelming manner!
Johnson County ESD#1 also blessed us with trust and new high tech cooling system in order to serve our responders better and for that I am very grateful! Anytime we needed help this year our awesome fire departments came through for us, yet another reason the be thankful! There were many changes in 2011 we said good bye to people that had another paths to follow. and witnessed changes in Johnson County Fire Department history as Lillian VFD and Midnoth VFD closed their doors.
September 4, 2010
We at the ESS want to thank all the fire departments of Johnson County ESD #1 for their support and help in our funding increase. We also want to thank the comissioners for the funding increase as well, it was much needed and will be wisely used to continue our support for our county's bravest!
New carport for the trucks
This carport was donated by American Steel Carports, Inc in December. It will protect the trucks from the elements of nature, especially during the w inter and summer months. It is large enough to put two trucks under and will help tremendously when it is being loaded up in the rain. See more pictures in the Apparatus section.
Birth of Rehab 288
This Chevy stepvan was used by the City of Cleburne Fire Department as a squad. It was called Squad 1. After using this truck for many years it was then given to the Police Department and used as a SWAT Team truck. It then went to the County Task force for several years. After they finished with it, it was sent back to City of Cleburne with a few mechanical problems. The City decided to put it up for auction. A plea of our behalf from the Cleburne Fire Adminstration the city donated it to us to make a second truck to carry our cascade system. It currently is being repaired and made road ready for the next phase of its life supporting our bravest. See more photos in the Apparatus section.
Grass Fire Rages West Of Osceola
A large grass fire in the Blanton community west of Osceola was battled by 11 volunteer fire departments from Hill and Johnson counties Saturday afternoon, February 28.
Covington and Blum firefighters were initially dispatched about 12:25 p.m.
High winds and low humidity allowed the flames to spread quickly, according to Hill County Sheriff Jeffrey T. Lyon.
Over 400 acres was destroyed by the fire, which was bordered by Farm Road 934 and HCRs 1430 and 1444.
Hill County Sheriff's Office deputies went to homes in the area and put residents on notice that evacuations might be required.
The Texas Forestry Service brought in an attack truck and bulldozer, plus provided aerial observation assets.
Motor graders from Precinct #1 and #4 were also used to cut fire breaks.
Food and drinks for the firefighters were provided by Emergency Support Services of Johnson County's rehab trailer.
A tractor pulling a shredder off HCR 1430 apparently started the fire, according to the sheriff.
Fifteen structures were threatened by the fire, but the only losses were a tractor and pickup, reports indicated.
Assisting Lyon in coordinating the firefighting effort was Hillsboro Emergency Management Coordinator Marty Penney.
Other volunteer fire departments responding included Rio Vista, Woodbury, Peoria, Whitney, Aquilla and Grandview.
There were no injuries.
See photos here.
Mexico - October 2008
(Jerry Pena and Randal Goodwin's adventure)
We spent a year of collecting equipment and supplies for Chihuahua Fire Department in Mexico. This year we took a twenty foot trailer full of over 50 sets of Bunker gear, 20 air packs, 32 rolls of 1.5" hose, 27 rolls of 2.5" hose, 250 gallon skid unit, and multiple boxes of EMS supplies. We had lots of help in our collection effort from our friends at:
Bono Volunteer Fire Department
Brazos Point Volunteer Fire Department in Bosque County
Briaroaks Volunteer Fire Department
Grand County EMS, Grand County Colorado
Johnson County ESD #1 (thanks to Interim Director Lynn Sweet and her crew)
Cedar Hill Fire Department
Grandview Volunteer Fire Department
Venus Volunteer Fire Department
Jack Baker owner of firetechrescueservices.com
Laurie Fish at Southeastern Emergency equipment
We started out with our loaded trailer with its four “may-pop” tires and no spare tire early on Tuesday, October 28th. Our trip was filled with challenges, fun and a bit of luck! Our first challenge came in Midland, Texas when we stopped for gas and as we pulled out Jerry noticed that one of our trailer tires had a large bubble on it! Our first bit of luck came when we found a used tire shop and bought three good tires and a spare. We finally arrived in El Paso, Texas about 10pm excited, thankful and tired.
The following day we contacted one of our friends in Delecias and informed him that we were in El Paso. He told us that there have been flooding in the area and several fire departments lost their equipment. We were also told of many vicious killings by drug dealers in cities on our route as well. We set off for the border and went to the Mexican customs office in order to get proper permits for the donated equipment. There another of several challenges met us.
During the passing time from our last trip the laws for importing donated equipment had changed. Instead of being up to each individual office, all donations have to be permitted by a central office in Mexico City, a process that could take two or three weeks. Good news about this is we now have a set of written rules for next year. Jerry put his Cedar Hill FD driver training to the ultimate test he yet again backed the trailer up with great ease and skill. We headed back to the USA to work on another plan and make a few phone calls.
After several phone calls back and forth, we had almost run out of options. In a last chance effort Jerry made one more phone call to the Chief Domingos of the Chihuahua Fire Department. With that call came our next bit of luck! By chance and God’s divine intervention he was two hours away on his way to inspect two fire engines he had purchased and had spent weeks getting the proper permits in order to bring them to Chihuahua. He asked us to meet him at a church next door to El Paso FD station 19.
Three hours later we met him and one of his firefighters, an El Paso firefighter named Ray and a retired El Paso firefighter named Jerry. Chief Domingos and the others were so impressed with the generosity of our donors they immediately agreed to help us get this equipment to the small volunteer fire departments in need. So in a dark Lutherans church parking lot we went to loading equipment on to the trucks. After several hours the trucks were packed as full as we could get them. With handshakes of gratitude and thanks from both them and us we left only with an empty trailer and some boxes of catheter kits.
We still had the challenge of how to get the remaining boxes to the Mexican Red Cross and what to do with the trailer that belongs to Jerry’s father. Unable to get his fathers trailer to him without paying $600 in taxes that he did not have we started for a hotel for a good night’s sleep and to look for a solution. We first thought of leaving the trailer with Jerry’s uncle but could not because code enforcement said there were too many vehicles there. After talking with Jerry’s mother who came up by midnight bus to see him the decision was made to sell the trailer and give the proceeds to his mother and father. Once again we had yet another piece of luck. We called Ray from EPFD and ask for his help. About half an hour later another firefighter from EPFD named Max called and bought the trailer from us. Now our only challenge left was the catheters kits. We called the Red Cross in El Paso and explained our problem and they agreed to store them until the Red Cross from Juarez could get them two days later. We dropped them off on the way to deliver the trailer to Max.
Instead of going back the way we came we set a course through New Mexico towards Ruidoso to see some sights. We ate a picnic dinner in White Sands National monument and spent the night in Alamo Gordo. We went to Capitan to see the Smokey the bear museum and visit the grave of Smokey the bear. Our last stop before home was to Roswell, New Mexico. The one thing we had planed was a trip to the UFO Museum and International Research Institute. We expected people with aluminum foil hats in an old Quonset hut. Instead we found a very nice museum that provides the information and lets you draw your own conclusions about UFO’s.
With a stop at PO’s for some stuffed sopapillas we pointed the truck east and headed home. We arrived home about 4:30am on November 1. Even though this trip did not go as planned, we accomplished the goal and made new friends and learned valuable lessons to apply to next years trip. We would like to thank our very generous friends for all the donated equipment and look forward to next year. We would also like to thank our families, especially our wives (Crystal Pena and Grace Goodwin) for their support and patience.
This month brought increased activity for us at the ESS. We went to Rio Vista and collected some old equipment for the Fiered Department in Mexico. We went to the Bono Fire Department Chili Supper and had some really good chili. This event is always held in March and is a really fun time. We saw a bunch of friends and were well fed. I do recommend that everybody do this at least once. At the end of the month we responded to a structure fire in Liberty on Cross Timbers road. We were out with Liberty Chapel, Grandview and Rio Vista and did not get back to the station until 2:30 am. The following night we responded to another structure fire this time in Keene, we only thought the Liberty Chapel fire was wet. I can not remember being that wet at a fire. We were on the scene with Keene, Alvarado, Briaroaks and Joshua. That night an old friend came back home. Welcome back to Richard Cox of Joshua. He returned after three years with Granbury. March 31st Briaroaks held their annual Fish Fry I went to visit my friends and get me a great big plate of fish, hush puppies and fixins another must do in Johnson County. Finally, this month marks the start of snack collecting for burn camp. I am collecting individually wrapped snacks to give to kids at camp. Any donation would be greatly appreciated.
The month of January only saw us responding to a illegal dump fire with Mid-North Fire Department.
The year 2006 marks our 15th year of service to the emergency services of Johnson County. It also brought many changes and challenges to the ESS.
1. In January of 2006 while at a structure fire response with Midnorth Fire Department, I was told by the Chief the the Johnson County Emergency Services District #1 took away our $6,000 budget. They did not even notify us of the pending cut.
2.Even with the loss offunding from the ESD, we answered a total of 38 alarms this year( up about 10%) without missing a single call. This was done with some financial help from a lot of our friends( Bono Fire Department, Alvarado Fire Department, Joshua Fire Department, Briaroaks Fire Department, Liberty Chapel Fire Department, Crowley Fire Department and Sommerville county Fire Department just to name a few)
3. We answered a record number of calls in July of 2006. We answered 14 calls.
4. The biggest calls for the year were a 18 wheeler load of Hay that burned on Interstate 35W, on that same call we responded to a 10 vehicle collision. We also spent 2 days on a missing child call that by the grace of God was found safely. Then in the cold of December we responded to a mobile home manufacturing plant in Burleson we Rehab over 100 firefighters. Then we finished the year with our third missing person call.
5. Without funding from the cESD, fundraising became a larger priority. We taught a large number of CPR and First Aid classes and concentrated on old standby methods as well. Along with that we started a Balloon twisting for birthday parties and other civic function.
6. We were able to purchase a new AED this year as well as horse trade for the newer Squad 88.
7. 2006 also saw the passing of Battalion Chief Charles Gill of the Joshua Fire Department. He was not only a strong support person and leader for Joshua FD he often backed us up at fires where we needed assistance.
8. This year also brought about the closing of the Nolan Volunteer Fire Department too.
9. Goals and new project were set for 2007 they are as follows:
A. Cultivate new funding sources and continue to develop and refine our proven methods.
B. Develop a new recruitment campaign.
C. Get Squad 88 ready for official service as our air truck.
With the year 2006 behind us we are able to look back upon the challenges we faced and overcome with the help of our friends and turn toward 2007 with determination and hope.