Local Business Hosts Fundraiser for Firefighters

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - With one of the worst grassfire seasons in Texas history, some local fire departments are struggling to stay afloat.

As NewsWest 9 has reported, the West Odessa Volunteers have higher gas bills than they can afford and now one local business is stepping up to help.

"These guys are dedicated," W.C. Dixson said. "They don't get paid to do this so they just need all kinds of help."

And help is exactly what the West Odessa Volunteer Fire Department got.

Saturday was day two of a barbecue fundraiser put on by Becky Sam's Tropical Bar and Grill.

Owner W.C. Dixson said this extreme fire season has taken a toll on the firefighters and their equipment.

"It's overextended them and they have truck repairs they need done so we decided to pitch in and help," he said.

But lately the department has been struggling financially, making it harder to keep up with all the response calls.

"We got three trucks that are down," James Langston, with the West Odessa Volunteer Fire Department, said. "Just miscellaneous problems. Our air tanks are out of air. We have to get new air tanks."

Dixson said the volunteers do a lot of good in the community on limited resources and he wants to change that.

"That is a very big concern. That's why we need to keep their equipment updated so they can respond immediately," he said. "They need more modern stuff to do the job efficiently."

"These guys spend their time at the station repairing their equipment," resident, Dorothy Appleton, said. "They're taking money out of their own pockets, away from their own families so that they can do this for us."

Friday's fish-fry fundraiser raked in $2,500. An auction Saturday afternoon brought in over $1,100. Several at the fundraiser said donating is the least they can do to show their appreciation.

"These guys are our lifeline out here," Appleton said. "They're the first ones on scene if we've got a problem if we have a fire or if we need medical help. They're the first ones that are there. We really need to support them the best way we can."

"I admire them and I appreciate they're work," Dixson said.

And the West Odessa Volunteers couldn't be more thankful.

"We're in a lot better shape than we were last week," Langston said. "Everything we do is giving back to the public what they're giving back to us."