CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — This is a story we’ve been following since January when Beeville Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bill Burres told us more volunteer firefighters were needed.
Burres said there have been 121 calls so far this year, the number from January to April of 2022, much lower at 63 calls.
“We’ve had pole fires, electrical fires, gas leaks, fire alarm calls, assist EMS calls,” Burres, the Fire Chief of the Beeville Volunteer Fire Department, said.
Lieutenant Gregory Garcia said being a volunteer with the increase in calls is tough.
“We get calls sometimes 1 to 6 times a day. It ranges from gas leaks to grass fires, to structure fires, you know, electrical lines down,” Lieutenant Garcia said.
“Then we have our freezes and frost, and you have the dead grass, and that is what contributes to the fire starting early the season,” Fire Chief Burres said.
“As the years progress, the grass is starting to dry faster, and we are starting to get a lot more fires,” Lieutenant Garcia said.
Burres said being shorthanded with 48 volunteers makes the job challenging. As we reported in January, the department can have 70 members.
“And sometimes you know we may have a call and about 2 or 3 people may show up, and we have to deal with what we have,” Fire Chief Burres said.
Burres said they do that by calling in other fire departments through the mutual aid agreement they have.
“We all come together, and we work, and we knock it out together as a team,” Lieutenant Garcia said.
If you would like to be a volunteer for the Beeville Volunteer Fire Department, they meet Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. at the fire station located at 100 W. Cleveland Street.
You must be 18 years or older to volunteer.