West gets new equipment, trucks from donations

The West, Texas Disaster Relief Fund was presented a $48,469 check for bunker gear

WEST, Texas — The West Volunteer Fire Department will end up better-equipped than before the April 17 plant explosion thanks to the generosity of donors nationwide.

Waco Trib reported that the West, Texas Disaster Relief Fund was presented a $48,469 check Wednesday night to buy 30 sets of bunker gear to replace gear that was up to 20 years old. The fund, established by the Waco Foundation, still has nearly $50,000 earmarked for the fire department, according to the report.

The department has replaced two of three fire trucks destroyed in the explosion and an announcement of a gift for the third is expected next week, according to the report.

One of the new trucks is a $250,000 tanker donated by the Pierce, Freightliner and Siddons-Martin companies, a major upgrade from the department’s 1979 truck, according to the report.

Scott Safety also donated air packs and masks to the department and was training the crew on their use Wednesday night.

“We don’t have a lot of needs left,” said Mayor Tommy Muska, himself a veteran of the department.

West Fire Chief Geroge Nors Sr. said although there’s no replacing the five West firefighters who died in the blast, the department had no trouble finding new firefighters in neighboring communities, according to the report.

Other donated funds have been designated for families of fallen firefighters and emergency workers, according to the report. Most of the donated money is expected to go directly to families, while some could be used for general community rebuilding, officials said.

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