Gainesville Daily Register

Features

February 20, 2013

Upcoming event to help support fire departments

Cooke County — A support organization now in its fourth year of operation will use proceeds from an upcoming meal and auction to supplement local volunteer fire departments.

The annual event — benefiting the Cooke County Fire Support & Rehab Team — is set for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 23, at the “reach out center” of First Baptist Church, 503 N. Lee St. in Valley View.

This year, the event’s auction items will include farm and ranch supplies, automotive equipment, pet items, homemade gifts and gift packages.

During the 2012 event, also held at the Valley View church, visitor Parker Luke said the auction participants and dinner crowd were helping enable a truly worthy endeavor in progress.

“Many of the individuals are enthusiastic about helping out, and it’s a good cause,” he said. “If we didn’t have events like this, there wouldn’t be any source of true funding.”

During the past three years, representatives of the rehab team have purchased more than $12,000 in equipment for volunteer fire departments throughout Cooke County. Specifically, the team uses their raised funds to buy medical gear for firefighters such as medical bags, hydration supplies, gas detection meters and “cooling chairs,” which provide firefighters physical relief from the heat their jobs entail.

The team’s financial focus is always on helping firefighters but its members are also certified in rescue techniques, which means they’re available to assist victims on the scene if needed. During local disasters that demand volunteer fire departments, American Red Cross is also a valuable resource for fire disaster scenes. But that agency specializes in helping the victims after the fire itself is already under control, and so its medical staff isn’t always immediately on the scene.

The Valley View rehab team is already coordinated with local fire departments, however, and its members arrive when they do. In March 2012, the rehab team was asked to become the official assistance to all Cooke County firefighters.

But during last year’s annual dinner, event auctioneer Ken Pearse said the team has already performed to that effect, unofficially, for nearly as long as it has existed.

“We want to raise a little more because they will be responding to everybody,” Pearse said.

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