Responding First: Local Volunteers Making a Difference for South Texas
ORANGE GROVE, Texas – In rural South Texas, there are a lot of aspects that draw people to live their lives, build their businesses and grow their families. Becoming a part of a community that hearkens back for generations is appealing to many, but it takes effort to bring together such a special bond. Residents find common interests with each other that make big differences for both the individual and the community. This is even more true during special situations that affect the whole area.
The residents of Orange Grove, Texas know it is a sweet spot in Jim Wells County. The 2020 U.S. Census proves that its population has grown as the Covid-19 pandemic declines. In this patriotic rural city, individuals who volunteer with the local Orange Grove Volunteer Fire Department are essential; their service goes above and beyond expectations.
Their reasons for volunteering are various: Some join to learn about leadership, some to challenge themselves, while others simply wish to serve the community they love. No matter their reasons, these volunteers represent the importance of a team effort in the face of adversity. Many of them come from a wide range of diverse backgrounds. Each of these passionate individuals wants to push the limits of representing their community with pride by facing the heat of reality.
Volunteers such as the Orange Grove Volunteer Fire Department rely 100% on their own volunteers to continue their first responder services for emergency management. Sometimes, their services are even needed outside their own area, in a supplemental or assisting role. Most of the individuals that comprise the VFD have their own jobs and/or are self-employed full time, in addition to having their own families. They must maintain compliance as well as certain other aspects of viability to remain an organized unit that stays in good standing with local, state, and federal government. These sorts of challenges can be extremely stressful as a VFD is not guaranteed any sort of assistance. As such, the community helping with whatever it can financially is always a massive relief.
Ask yourself: what can you do if you live in Orange Grove, Texas? Well, the organization has weekly meetings on Thursdays at the fire station to help recruit volunteers as well as discuss department business. “Volunteers” don’t have to be just the brave souls who go out and extinguish fires; they can be anyone and everyone. From community members that help fundraise or those that assist with meals and other components on a daily basis to those that help to maintain vehicles and structures, every volunteer makes a big difference to public safety and gets nothing but pride and gratitude in return.
This is the time to help! Advocate for your local service heroes with your friends and family. Try to speak to other community businesses and government sectors to discuss the importance of these types of services. Contact your own local fire department, or even contact Orange Grove’s Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief Jeff Mcfatter, and discuss how you might help create new resources and relationships. Remember, at the end of the day, each of us can make a difference that brings new positive opportunities that can put out the fires in the bank and keep the focus on fires in the field