JOHNSON CITY TEXAS VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT
FIRE & RESCUE SERVICES
MISSION: We provide fire and rescue services under contract to North Blanco County Emergency Services District, who provides tax supported revenue to us. We service an area of 600 square miles of northern Blanco County, with a population of 4,000 people. Our response district encompasses the Johnson City Independent School District & the communities of Johnson City, Round Mountain, Hye and Sandy. Our territory includes 3 major highways, LBJ National Park, Pedernales Falls State Park, and one of the top hunting and scenic areas in the State. Note: EMS services are provided by our sister organization, North Blanco County EMS (www.NorthBlancoCountyEMS.org).
ORGANIZATION: We are an IRS 501-c-3 tax exempt, non-profit organization. We have an elected 4 member Board of Directors from within the membership. The Fire Chief reports to this Board, and is in charge of Operations.
MEMBERSHIP: We have 24 members. All of our fire personnel are volunteers. We have a very active group on non-fire volunteers who assist with the administrative needs of this organization.
MEETINGS: We meet on each Wednesday at 7:00 pm at the Fire Station. Training on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Wednesdays, and Business Meeting on the 4th Wednesday.
LOCATIONS: We have a single location, which houses our fire apparatus, administrative offices, day/night staff crew quarters, and training center. We are located in Johnson City, the birthplace and hometown of President Lyndon Baines Johnson. We are located in the heart of the Central Texas Hill Country, and are approximately 50 miles west of Austin, our State Capitol.
CAPABILITIES: 11 trucks: Tanker 1 & 2, Rescue 1, Utility 1, Engine 1, Arial 1, Brush 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5
SPECIAL MISSION REPORT:
The Johnson City Volunteer Fire Department and North Blanco County EMS responded to a water rescue call at Pedernales Falls State Park on Wednesday the 25th, 2007. The call came out as two people in the water. Upon arrival to the campgrounds all units had to continue on a gravel road. The units then reached the end of the road and all rescuers were then on foot for another 1/4 of a mile. The first fire unit then dismounted and went ahead of the main party. They had to cross a creek, which was chest high water, to get to the area where the people were. Due to the fact that no one had any contact with the victims or anyone on scene, Star Flight was requested. Pedernales Falls Park staff accompanied the firefighters across the creek.
Johnson City firefighters Roy Burdett, Kemp Elliot, and Captain Shane Buck had entered into the water to retrieve the victims. Chief James Dildine remained dry on land relaying information. They also reported to the rest that there are actually three people in the water clinging on to trees. Communications were sparse with the firefighters due to the radios being left on the shore. They did relay updates when they would reach shore with a rescued victim. Star Flight did arrive to the scene and hovered trying to find the firefighters and victims that are still in the water. Star Flight ended up landing on the opposite shore and watched the rescue. They did mention to the firefighters that if they needed help to let them know. Captain Buck replied that they were retrieving the last victim and that they should be o.k. Once all victims were on shore, Captain Buck relayed information to EMS unit 315 that they were heading toward the ambulance. Unit 315 relayed to the dispatcher that all victims were out of the water. Once all victims arrived to the ambulance, warming measures were initiated and no one complained of any injuries. The firefighters were injury free also. Folks, what you have here are three very courageous individuals. Swift water operations are very dangerous work. I have been trained in swift water rescue and I don't like it. The task at hand was larger then the firefighter's own safety. I am sure that the fact one of the victims was 9 years old played a big part as to why they decided to get wet. From where the main party was we could not see the rescue. I found out later from Firefighter Burdett, that they were in water where they couldn't touch the bottom. I'm sure it was difficult for everyone else as it was for me to not see if they were alright. If you see Buck, Burdett, or Elliot, you know what I'm gonna say, Slap 'em on the back and tell them how much you appreciate them. They did a very brave and great job. By Tim Vasquez, NBCEMS Director
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