Possum Kingdom Wildfires

I decided to spend Friday helping out displaced and evacutated residents from the Possum Kingdom (PK),TX wild fires. Many evacuated residents and out of town firefighters are staying in Mineral Wells. I decided to drive to Mineral Wells to bring clothes/supplies and to offer any kind of help.

Helping Hand - Mineral Wells, TX

The first stop was the Helping Hand on 115 SW Third St. to drop off used clothes. The Helping Hand Operations had few workers and were very friendly. Kenneth Branch informed that I could provide help at old David”s Supermarket in Brazos Mall at 2801 Highway 180 E. So off I went.

The second stop at old David”s Supermarket had more people and action. Food and non-perishable items were being collected and sorted. Jim Rhodes was coordinating the efforts. There was much chaos and confusion of when and how the donations would be distributed to the evacuees and firefighters. I offered to buy poster board, dry white-board, sharpies, and tape to help with organization. Off to Wal-Mart I went. Target brought in a trailer just as I was leaving with supplies continuously flowing in from all over. The experience humbled me. People come together during tough times.

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FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENTS ONLY may be sent to the following address:

Possum Kingdom Firefighters Relief Fund

Graham Savings and Loan

PO Box 1490

Graham, TX 76450

For more info. please go to these links.

http://www.ponderapk.com/PK-April-2011-Fires2.php

http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2172/

Once the evacuation is lifted, I plan on visiting and will have more photos of the area. If you have anything related to the PK fires that you would like published, please contact me.

Citizens Firefighter Academy – The Colony,Texas

 Automatic sprinkler in HDR

The warehouse fire in Grand Prairie,Texas has kept me wondering. How could a fully sprinklered warehouse with modern fire protection systems and adequate fire department response completely burn down?

Without conducting a complete onsite investigation, there could be many factors. I decided to increase my knowledge of how fully paid local fire departments operate. Lo and behold one of the local fire departments had a Citizens Fire Academy program.  The Colony,Texas Fire Department was accepting applications from their citizens. My timing was perfect as the academy program is only offered once a year. After filling out the application and background checks, I was accepted.  Sweet!!  The program is 8-weeks with classes every Monday from 7:00 to 9:30 PM.

The agenda includes the following topics.

Week 1 – Welcome and introduction to the fire academy
Week 2 – Fire cause and determination and code enforcement
Week 3 – Protective clothing and self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA)
Week 4 – Careflite (medical helicopter) and emergency medical services (EMS)
Week 5 – Hose operation and driving
Week 6 – Search and rescue and vehicle extrication
Week 7 – Live online casino burn/family night
Week 8 – Graduation

I”m not sure if I”ll get any answers about the warehouse fire, but at least gain some valuable knowledge and insight. This will be a weekly series.  I may miss a class however I”ll still try have academy posts up once a week.  Also a quick disclaimer, these are my thoughts and opinions and do not represent any thoughts, opinions, expressions or positions on behalf of The Colony or the The Colony Fire Department unless authorized to do so.  Ok, now thats out of the way.  If you have any questions or comments about fire departments, please ask, I”ll do my best to get them answered.