Gardendale volunteer fire department needs radio tower reattached

Gardendale volunteer fire department needs radio tower reattached

ECTOR COUNTY, TX (KWES) - At the Gardendale Volunteer Fire Department, Chief Marvin Jennings said communication is a top priority.

"You got people's lives out there at stake. We need communication," said Jennings.

The problem is the department's station is still reeling from a lost fight to mother nature.

"We had some high winds about four years ago now, and the tower just laid over the building. We had poles down and everything," said Jennings.

Without a working radio tower, their station's repeater and dispatch system can't function properly leaving them to use of short range Walkie Talkies and cellphones.

"We get by with it. We've just been very fortunate that we haven't had an incident yet, that's why I said earlier, it's a safety thing more than anything," said Jennings. 

Though as another dangerous brush fire season approaches, Chief Jennings says communication between departments is crucial, "we need to be able to communicate with the other departments, because you can't be on a cell phone while out there fighting a fire, you can't talk and drive, or hold a nozzle."

That's why his department has asked the Ector County Commissioners Court for a $2500 budget amendment to get that radio tower fixed.

"I hope that they can all agree and see the need that we have out here for it," said Jennings.

For Jennings, making his community a safer place doesn't feel like work to him, but he realizes that he's the first line of defense between the people of his community and tragedy.

"Whatever the need is, if they need emergency personnel or response, that's what we're here for," said Jennings.

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