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La Feria New Fire Department Soon to Be Up and Running

La Feria fire substation in Bluetown seeks volunteer firefighters. Photo: Tony Vindell/LFN

by Tony Vindell/LFN

Having a fire department staffed with four full-time firefighters is getting closer to became a reality and it should be up and running before the end of this year or in early 2019.

The city applied and received a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to create its fire department.

So far, the city will continue taking applications for the four slots and, once on board, they will be under the direction of David Phinney, the department chief and the only person to draw a full-time salary.

Once the grant money is exhausted, the city is set to allocate money to fund the department.

In the meantime, the department’s substation built more than two years ago on south FM 505 in Bluetown sits idle.

An idea is to rotate two of the four full-timers there but no decision has been made about that yet.

Asked about the substation, Phinney said earlier it would be ideal to get volunteers from around the Bluetown area to manage the facility.

However, getting it equipped is another matter.

La Feria has 16 volunteer firefighters and the hope is they will stay as such.

The city council recently approved increasing its emergency service fee of $1 added to all water bills to $5.

The additional revenues made under an amended ordinance will go to fund the police and fire department to provide better services so they can buy new equipment, vehicles and trucks.

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