To meet medical needs in the area, the department recently began providing another service without additional funding from the county or hospital district.
With no ambulance station in the western part of the county, the department began providing first responder service in August to their own fire service area as well as portions of the Adell-Whitt area, according to Robertson.
The first responder service for medical calls helps bridge the gap until the arrival of paramedics from Weatherford, Springtown or Willow Park LifeCare stations.
The volunteers are routinely ahead of the responding ambulance by about eight minutes in some areas they serve, according to Robertson.
Since they began providing the service, the number of calls they are responding to has increased approximately 75 percent, according to Robertson.
The department is feeling a pinch in the pocketbook in other areas, as well.
They’d like to upgrade their 1997 model fire engine, purchased used about four years ago.
It has developed some issues with the worn-out pump that make it difficult to use and maintain their ISO rating during their annual pump test, according to Robertson.
It would cost $15,000-$20,000 to fix the pump alone, according to Robertson, adding that replacing the old engine with a newer model used truck could run the department about $150,000.
Both brush trucks are in need of significant repairs, as well.
As the wildland fire season approaches, it’s something they have to consider and plan for, according to Robertson.
There are several reasons the department wanted to go with ESD No. 7, Robertson said.
They’ve trained monthly with the Millsap and Greenwood departments for the last three or four years, he said, adding that the departments work well together and most of the calls include the three departments.
“We felt like the leadership and board of commissioners for the ESD have their act together,” Robertson said.