Bells Across America in Borger to honor fallen firefighters

Bells Across America in Borger to honor fallen firefighters

Borger, TX - This weekend is known for celebrating Bells Across America and although this is a national ceremony, the city of Borger paid tribute to fallen fire heroes.

"All across is honoring those who have fallen to fire," said Borger Mayor Robert Vinyard. 

Hutchinson County Fire Departments were tolling a bell 107 times, to honor 107 firefighters who lost their lives last year in the line of duty in the United States.

Vinyard, along with Hutchinson County's Fire Departments, and members of the community came out to Huber Park in Borger to not only honor the fallen firefighters, but support their local heroes.

"On a daily basis, we never know where these people will be called out to do," said Vinyard.

Although there were no firefighter deaths in the Panhandle last year, some say this ceremony was needed.

"It's very important that all departments get together and show their solidarity," said Chief at The Stinnett Fire Department, Alan Wells.

Especially when you consider all that fire fighters risk every day.

"I had on occasion where my wife, who also works for the fire department as well, was hurt when a structure fell on top of her. She was transported to the hospital and it was tough," said Wells.

Even though times can be tough, members of the Hutchinson County's Fire Department do their best to stay tough themselves.

"We do a lot of training 3 to 4 times a month just to keep everybody on the ball and to know what they're doing every time they leave to go on a call," said Chief of Hutchinson County Fire Department, Jason Wright.

And in a true testament to just how strong the bonds of brotherhood are, firefighters stick together -even when they don't know each other.

"I was in Connecticut last week and Hartford had a line of duty death, even though they're not in my department, it still hits home," said Wells.

The ceremony also reflected on The Double Diamond Fire that burned in Fritch in May, and how thankful there were not serious injuries during the blaze.

Members of the Fritch, Borger, Stinnett, Sanford, Hutchinson County, Crutch Ranch, Phillips, and Skellytown Departments were present. Along with the National Park Service and the County Fire Marshal. The Borger High School Choir, Jordan Langehennig, and Stella Saulls also paid special tribute by singing and playing the bagpipes.