West explosion brings attention to volunteer fire departments - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

West explosion brings attention to volunteer fire departments

Posted: Updated:
  • CBS19.tv Web ExclusivesMore>>

  • Web Exclusive: Ultra HD TVs

    Web Exclusive: Ultra HD TVs

    (CNN) -Some people just have to have the latest in television technology. The newest TVs on the market- ultra-high definition TVs- or UHD TVs. They have higher screen resolution than current high def screens, and are also known as "4-K" sets. "More >>
    (CNN) -Some people just have to have the latest in television technology. The newest TVs on the market- ultra-high definition TVs- or UHD TVs. They have higher screen resolution than current high def screens, and are also known as "4-K" sets. "More >>
  • Web Exclusive: A product to help keep sharks away on sale

    Web Exclusive: A product to help keep sharks away on sale

    Monday, July 28 2014 9:40 AM EDT2014-07-28 13:40:46 GMT
    If you're headed on a beach vacation, there's a product you may be interested in to help keep sharks away.  The device is called a Shark Shield.  It is now being sold in Florida.More >>
    If you're headed on a beach vacation, there's a product you may be interested in to help keep sharks away.  The device is called a Shark Shield.  It is now being sold in Florida.More >>
  • Web Exclusive: Back to School costs really add up

    Web Exclusive: Back to School costs really add up

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:14 AM EDT2014-07-25 13:14:59 GMT
    Before you know it, fall will be here and it will be time to go back to school.  For parents that means stocking up on notebooks, number two pencils, and back to school clothes, all of which usually take a big chunk out of a family's budget.  So, just how much do parents will pay to send their kids off to school this year?More >>
    Before you know it, fall will be here and it will be time to go back to school.  For parents that means stocking up on notebooks, number two pencils, and back to school clothes, all of which usually take a big chunk out of a family's budget.  So, just how much do parents will pay to send their kids off to school this year?More >>

(KYTX) - Ryan Cobb is a firefighter for the Winona fire station. A small, East Texas volunteer fire department in a town of less than 1,000 people.

It's a job he knew he always wanted to do. A career that has required many hours of training.

"It's a numerous amount of training from anything that can happen, to anything that will happen. A lot of it is things we don't expect," said Cobb.

Ryan, and fellow firefighter Lance Harrod, get paid to fight fires. However, their station relies mostly on volunteers.

A fire department not much different from West.

"You just think, that could have been us," said Lance Harrod.

Volunteers go through the same training that paid firefighters receive, but with fewer required training hours.

However, many volunteers end up choosing to take the same number of training hours required of paid departments.

"There's always room to learn, nobody knows everything. You're always learning something new and everyday is a new day," added Harrod.

We visited a classroom at the Kilgore Fire Academy filled with future firefighters. Today, their lesson is on safety.

"Training is the backbone of any good fire department," said Mike Fennell, lead instructor.

These firefighters will go through 474 hours of training required for paid firefighters. Forty of those hours will be geared toward dealing with hazardous materials.

They will learn how to look up chemicals and identify them.

"Basically, any type of chemical before they even arrive, they're looking it up in there books and kind of getting a feel of what's going to be in front of them," said Fennell.

But even with all that training, firefighters in small towns face challenges that aren't in their control.

"A lot of times it's manpower, water supply, resources," explained Fennell.

As investigators try to figure out what caused the fire and explosion in West, these firefighters mourn the loss of a few of their own.

"Those are our brothers and sisters down there. Our hearts go out to them and their families everyday," said Cobb.

Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KYTX. All Rights Reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices.