hewitt — With the heat temperatures climbing so is the call volume for a group of local volunteers who dedicate their time helping first responders.
“We're basically that group that if you want to help the community when it comes to disasters, but you don’t want to run into burning buildings, or you don’t want to hold that gun, you can still help the people who are doing it,” Heart of Texas Fire Corp Commander Jeff Wilhelm said.
The Heart of Texas Fire Corps is a volunteer group who provides rehab such as hydration and nutrition, medical monitoring, shelter, and heating and cooling to first responders.
"They're out there in the middle of nowhere. They have no shade, no air-conditioning,” Wilhelm said.
With the recent drownings house fires in McLennan County, they are in need of more volunteers.
"Our squad is down to about fifteen people, and we need to get it back up,” Wilhelm said. “We want to double that at least. Just so it won’t kill everybody.”
The Waco Fire Department said the fire corps is very beneficial to them.
"Especially with the temperatures, the way they are now,” Lt. Keith Guillory with the Waco Fire Department said. “They supply us with shade, they bring out tents to keep our temperatures cool, they bring Gatorade, water, and check our vitals. They are very important to this organization.”
The Heart of Texas Fire Corp said there's no better feeling than helping out.
"When we get there the first responders are thanking us,” Wilhelm said. “But we're there because we're thanking them. We really proud of what we do.”
The Heart of Texas Fire Corps do not have any funding and raise money on their own.
They are asking the community for bottled water and gift cards for snacks. Donations can be sent to Heart of Texas Fire Corps PO Box 1071 Hewitt, TX 76643. Or call 254-227-1713