Georgia firefighters thinking of Texas volunteers

Georgia firefighters thinking of Texas volunteers

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Mountain Park, GA volunteer firefighters are praying for volunteers who responded to the Texas fertilizer plant fire.

Volunteer firefighters in Mountain Park, Ga. say they are praying for volunteers who responded to the deadly Texas plant fire.

Mountain Park's volunteer department formed in the late 1970s. Its 18 firefighters spend off-duty hours from their paid jobs responding to calls in the town of just under 600 residents. It's the last strictly volunteer fire department in the area.

They help provide fire protection for the west side of Roswell and parts of Cherokee and Cobb Counties. They say their thoughts are with the volunteers who went into action in Texas and their families.

"Those guys out in Texas, a lot of them were leaving their families. They probably weren't at the fire station at the time so that makes it that much more difficult for them," said Ben Reed, Mountain Park's volunteer fire chief.

In Texas, three to five volunteer firefighters responded to the fire call at the fertilizer plant. They recognized the seriousness of the situation and began evacuating people from the immediate area before the explosion.

"The economy's down, volunteerism is down, so it says a lot that these people still come out and give their time for free to do such a dangerous occupation," Nick Himburg.

Mountain Park says its firefighter training is at the same level or higher than paid departments. They say their commitment is at the same level too.

Authorities feared a law enforcement officer had also been killed in the blast, but he was accounted for on Thursday.

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