Shamrock Volunteer Fire Dept. Shut Down

An area town's volunteer fire department no longer exists, for the time being.

Tuesday night, after a special city council meeting on Monday night, the city manager and fire chief told Shamrock's 22 volunteer firefighters they were disbanding the department.

Now, firefighters and residents worry about their response times in the event of an emergency.

For volunteer Krystal Franks, the news came as a shock: "the city people showed up last night and said this will hurt us and you but we're going to shut down and lock up. And we were like why?"

Franks says that question was not concretely answered, she says,"all I know is they told us anything that belongs to the city we had to return it and we did."

Now, Shamrock residents rely on fire departments on stand by in surrounding towns.

The nearest one is in Wheeler, 15 miles away.

Resident Susan Stephens says, "what if my house catches on fire? it will take them at least 30 minutes to get ready and come to my home."

Stephens says that is too long to wait for help.

Neither the city manager nor the fire chief would return our phone calls, but issued statements to the local paper saying changes must be made, but gave no reasons for those changes.

The city manger also says a skeleton crew of firefighters has been put together to serve in the interim, but residents we spoke with said they had not heard about that.