Funds donated to firefighters will go toward equipment lost in wildfires

Funds donated to firefighters will go toward equipment lost in wildfires

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Area fire departments are trying to get back on their feet after wildfires earlier this month burned for several days. But they are now rebuilding.

For days, flames overtook the Panhandle as wildfires ravaged the area. And fire departments from all around our area and beyond came together to fight them.

But during that fight, a lot of equipment was damaged.

Thursday, Atmos Energy donated $44,000 to the 100 Club of the Texas Panhandle to benefit the Dalhart, Fritch, Panhandle and Potter County Fire Departments.

"When you have major fires that impact your department for several days to several weeks, equipment costs start adding up fairly quickly," said Potter County Fire Chief Richard Lake.

"We've lost some tires on trucks where we've run over things that we couldn't see, hoses that got burned or nozzles that got damaged, things like that and of course all the equipment is quite expensive," said Fritch Fire Chief Ed Adamson.

Dalhart's department experienced an even bigger loss, when firefighter Ryan Beattie went down on the job with a heart attack, and they plan to use their funds on something a bit different.

"Saved him with an AED, so Dalhart ordered 5 more AEDs for their fire trucks to carry on those wild land trucks with us, so this will be very handy to help pay for those," said Dalhart Fire Chief Curtis Brown.

The Skellytown Fire Department totaled one of their vehicles while fighting the wildfires, so Atmos provided them with a new one. Chief Ryan Bennett said this takes a tremendous weight off their shoulders.

"I can't put into words how grateful we are. This means so much to us. Just to see everyone come together and help out the ranchers, the fire departments, the victims is overwhelming."

You can still help. Although Ryan has been released to get back on the job, you can still donate here.

The 100 Club of the Texas Panhandle is always accepting donations to help them fund public safety personnel. You can make those by clicking here.

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