AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Responding to emergencies for a population of about 20,000 people, Potter County Fire and Rescue keeps busy.
Wildfire season has already brought multiple fires. And thanks to a $15,000 grant, the departments now have updated tools to get the job done.
Potter County Fire and Rescue handles four major highways and the areas surrounding them. With a grant through the Texas A&M Forest Service, they were able to purchase new rescue tools and replace some outdated ones.
"We used it to get some extrication equipment, some vehicle stabilization equipment, and a thermal imaging camera that we added to our inventory on the department," says Chief Richard Lake.
"The thermal imaging camera, it takes that smokey environment where sometimes you literally can't see your hand in front of your face, and gives you the ability to pierce through that smoke with thermal imaging and see what's in front of you," says Troy Ducheneaux with the Forest Service.
Being a volunteer fire department, it is harder to recruit firefighters, and Lake hopes the equipment will make the department more attractive to prospects.
"Most of the time, the equipment that we're using to purchase with the grant money is equipment that we would not get otherwise," says Lake.
"If a department sees a volunteer agency that has very good equipment, the good training that goes along with it, they're more likely to get those volunteers to come in and volunteer their precious time to that department," says Ducheneaux. "And so that is definitely a benefit to have that new equipment there."