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La Feria Will Now Have Fire Department with Full-time Personnel

A volunteer firefighter trains another volunteer in La Feria Fire Department. Photo: Tony Vindell/LFN

by Tony Vindell/LFN

Up to three full-time fire fighters could soon make up the first La Feria Fire Department.

City Manager Jaime Saldoval told the city council about the latest development which could make the municipality the first in South Texas to have its own fire house staffed with personnel ready to respond quickly to fires and other emergency situations.

The city filed and was awarded $244,000 under a Safe Grant Program and will use the fund to hire the full –time fight fighters.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, will provide funds and the city will allocate matching money based on a three-point formula over a five-year period.

“The application was submitted to hire three fighters,” Sandoval said. “This will help the City of La Feria to have a full time fire department.”

La Feria’s fire department has 20 volunteers who give part of their time to fight home and structural fires and who respond to other emergencies.

Robert Guerra, the assistant fire chief, expressed optimism about Sandoval’s announcement during Tuesday’s meeting of the council.

“That is the hope,” he said about hiring the full-timers. “It will help a lot.”

Guerra said about 90 percent of the volunteers work elsewhere and many of them have to travel from other cities to La Feria when the call of duty comes up.

He said having the full-timers will make the department more efficient.

Sandoval was scheduled to meet with FEMA to work on the project final details.

If the project becomes a reality, the city’s 6,000 plus population will become the first beneficiaries of a full-time fire department.

Smaller cities such as Santa Rosa, Combes, Raymondville and Los Fresnos each have volunteer fire departments.

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