What you might not have heard, however, is that the volunteer fire department and EMS agency took casualties.
11 casualties, to be precise. Possibly more, as the final counting of the bodies is yet to be completed.
Five West volunteer firefighters.
A retired firefighter who assisted West.
A Dallas Fire-Rescue captain who lived in the town.
Four emergency medical technicians.
Folks, these people volunteer. They have regular jobs that pay the bills, and, as is so common in small towns and communities, they give freely of their time to help their neighbors by serving on an ambulance, or a fire engine, or a rescue squad. One of them was retired, but heard the call for help and went anyway. You can take the man out of the fire hall but you can't take...
They do this without thought of monetary reward, because there's no money to be had.
And in doing this, 11 people lost their life.
The lives lost have no price. No amount of money will bring these folks back.
In addition, the blast destroyed several buildings, including the EMS station and the equipment stored there.
Times are tough for all of us. Here at Chateau JB, we're pinching pennies and making do without, as are so many other folks. But maybe you can find a few spare dollars to help them rebuild.
For now, here's how you can chip in:
West Volunteer EMS Fund
200 W Oak St. West, TX 76691
Phone: (254) 826-5333
As PayPal or other on-line options come available, I'll post them here. For now, if you can, please consider a donation. If you can't donate, then please spread the word.