Danie M. Huffman
Tin Top volunteer firefighters are short a tanker and are wondering how their station will be run.
It is unclear what specific problems the department is facing.
According to Parker County Fire Marshal Shawn Scott, county officials are attempting to assign the department to (ESD) Emergency Service District 6.
The ESD is currently responsible for the area, said Scott, while authorities are trying to make up contracts between the county, ESD and Tin Top.
The final decision must be approved through commissioner’s court. The matter is apparently on the agenda for the Jan. 12 meeting.
Scott said Tin Top’s tanker was not “confiscated” as some have reported.
“It belongs to the county, and was in a state of needing repair,” Scott said. “[It] will be returned when it’s operable.”
Questions have risen where the tanker will go when it is repaired — if the department will get it back or if the county will hold it until a final decision about the ESD is made.
“Depending on how the final contract works out, the county will decide where the tanker will go,” Scott said.
He added the ultimate goal was to get the tanker back in the area, servicing the community again.
Meetings have been held concerning the department contract, but Scott said he has yet to meet with Tin Top fire officials to discuss their options.
If joining the ESD is in the stars for the area, Tin Top will join Cresson and Horseshoe Bend, servicing the southern portion of Parker County.
What has been discussed is how firefighters serve their district, but no solutions have been set in stone.
Scott wants to assure firefighters they will be allowed to provide the services they are required to do.
He added an ESD is a new concept to “simplify the services in the county and limit the redundancy in paper work.”
It will remain within the contracts if current volunteers will be able to continue their service.
The issues began in September when a contract agreement was suggested with ESD 6.
Tin Top was added to the ESD in 2006, but currently has no contract.
Scott made it clear the decision was not up to his office.
Firefighters are complaining but are still functioning as a department.
Tin Top Volunteer Fire Chief Beau Morgan said he is not sure what is going on.
“The ESD and Parker County will not negotiate and will not tell me why,” Morgan said. “Parker County decided to use us as the first department to pull contracts the county holds.”
An ESD meeting has been scheduled. See Friday’s Democrat for further coverage.
Danie M. Huffman