Hopkins County’s volunteer fire departments received two new air cylinders apiece today as part of an ongoing grant to fund their replacement, according to county fire marshal Andy Endsley.
This is the second year VFDs have received replacements, Endsley told the commissioners court this morning at their regular Sept. 27 meeting. In 2020, all VFDs received four air replacement cylinders.
Contrary to popular belief, the tanks citizens see firefighters carry are not filled with pure oxygen, but compressed atmospheric air. According to Endsley, the cylinders have a useful life of 15 years before they must be replaced.
“All of our cylinders went out at the same time,” Endsley noted. “That’s never any good and it’s a huge cost both to the volunteer fire departments and the county.”
Endsley noted that the county was attempting to “spread out” the grant they received for air cylinders by metering out the number each VFD received per year.
“We appreciate the VFDs because they’ respond with us every day and they do this for free,” he noted. “They’re a huge part of our system.”
“These men and women are the best of the best,” county judge Robert Newsom noted. “Y’all don’t realize that everyday, especially in this drought… they are everyday putting out fires around the county. They really are the best.”
By Taylor Nye