updated 5:04 PM EDT, Apr 1, 2015
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Salado Volunteer Fire Department dousing flames

SVFD volunteers are first on the spot when lives, property are in danger

Now it is our turn to be on the spot for them

When the call comes, they answer it.

Doesn’t matter if it is during Sunday school, dinner time with the family, the middle of a Little League baseball game or the middle of the night.

When the emergency comes, they answer it.

And now the two dozen members of the Salado Volunteer Fire Department are asking us to help them to answer those calls. The SVFD will hold its annual Fish Fry at Salado Intermediate School 5-8 p.m. Sept. 14 with Chief Shane Berrier and other firefighters cooking and serving the fish to raise funds to help purchase equipment and pay for the training of the local first responders.

In addition to fires, the firefighters are very often the first on the scene of highway accidents and emergency 911 calls.

The firefighters have been able to maintain one of the best fleets for a small-town volunteer department through donations mailed in each year, fundraisers like the fish fry, an annual contract with the Village of Salado and the annual Smokin’ Spokes. This year, the firefighters are adding a Smokin’ Sneakers half-marathon on Oct. 12.

Because of support from locals and grants from the state Forestry service, the SVFD maintains the following fleet of vehicles:

Four booster trucks with 300-500 gallon tanks for brush and grass fires; a 5 ton brush truck with 1,200 gallon capacity; two engine trucks, one with 750 gallon capacity, the other with 1,000 gallon capacity; two tankers, one with 2,300 gallon capacity and the other with 4,000 gallon capacity; three rescue trucks and two command trucks.

The vehicles are housed at two stations: Station #1 is on Stagecoach Rd., which was recently made one-way for the expansion/construction of I-35 through Salado.

On a pay-as-you-go basis, local firefighters built the second station over a two year period. The fire department funds its $100,000 per year budget in several ways: $30,000 from a contract with the Village of Salado for emergency services, $30,000 from county runs, $8,000 from county EMS pay, reimbursements from private insurance for EMS and fire calls and donations and grants.