Georgia-Pacific Makes Donations to East Texas Fire Departments
Triple-digit temperatures, smothering heat indices, and very little rainfall have put the triple whammy on East Texas for the past six weeks. I hate to be the bearer of more bad news, but we've got a lot more summer to go.
This heat wave has already caused challenges for East Texas firefighters. Numerous grass fires continue to put a strain on department manpower and equipment. Georgia-Pacific is offering some relief to these first responders in Lufkin, Diboll, Fuller Springs, and Hudson by donating funds that will help local firefighters make much-needed repairs on equipment and give them the ability to purchase new technology for their departments.
“The contribution will help the Fuller Springs Volunteer Fire Department repair equipment, which includes our fire trucks,” said Bobby Cranford, Fuller Springs Volunteer Fire Chief. “We’ve already responded to almost 100 calls this year. From a lot of grass fires to structure and motor vehicle accidents, our equipment has been put to the test. These funds come at a critical time and we are very grateful for the money.”
Meanwhile, the Diboll Volunteer Fire Department will use its funds to purchase new tri-band radios. “These radios are essential to everything that we do,” said Aaron Smith, Diboll Volunteer Fire Chief. “Tri-band radios have the ability to transmit and receive over multiple frequencies—and with the diverse number of calls we receive, it’s important that we are able to consistently and effectively communicate with all emergency agencies.”
This year the Lufkin Fire Department is averaging about 500 calls per month. Among those emergency calls, Lufkin firefighters have seen an uptick in the number of potential carbon monoxide exposures. “With that in mind, we are using the Georgia-Pacific funds to purchase gas detectors that can sense and identify chemicals in residential or industrial settings,” said Jessie Moody, Lufkin Fire Chief. “With more homeowners utilizing generators, we are finding that many are placing them too close to their doors and windows. A good rule of thumb is to always set generators at least 50 feet from a structure.”
Moody says the Lufkin Fire Department always looks forward to receiving the additional funds from Georgia-Pacific to purchase equipment, like the gas detectors, that are not always included in the department’s annual budget.
The Hudson Volunteer Fire Department also understands budget constraints and how they can impact general maintenance efforts. “The Georgia-Pacific donation comes at a time when we need all the funds we can get to make the much-needed repairs on our equipment,” said Joe Burton, Hudson Fire Chief.
In addition to supporting Angelina County firefighters, Georgia-Pacific donated $44,000 earlier this year to Polk and Sabine County volunteer fire departments.
“Georgia-Pacific is proud to partner with local firefighters who dedicate their lives to keeping our families, homes, and property safe. Thanks to their bravery and tireless efforts, we can all rest easier knowing help is only a phone call away,” said Yana Ogletree, Georgia-Pacific Public Affairs Manager-Texas.
Fuller Springs Volunteer Firefighters - Pictured from (l to r) are Richard Brookshire, Fuller Springs Volunteer Firefighter; Yana Ogletree, Public Affairs, Georgia-Pacific; Bobby Cranford and Steve Lumbley, Fuller Springs Volunteer Firefighters.
Diboll Volunteer Fire Department - Pictured from (l to r) are Aaron Smith, Diboll Volunteer Fire Chief; Daryl Roberts, Asst. Chief; Sam Coleman, Captain; Ruben Terrazas, Treasurer; and Pat Aldred, Vice President of Composite Panels, Georgia-Pacific.
Lufkin Fire Department - Pictured from (l to r) are Lufkin firefighters Michael Parrish, Jeff McReynolds, Brett Due, and Shaun Bowers; and Yana Ogletree, Public Affairs Manager, Georgia-Pacific.
Hudson volunteer firefighters - Pictured from (l to r) are Holly Hayes, Macey Sobolewski, Andrew Framer, Briceton Flurry, Nathan Small, and Tyler Bryan.