Since its inception in January 2008, the brigade has raised money to benefit the department. Fundraisers have included Pioneer Days,, spaghetti dinners, pancake breakfasts and Splash Days – but the biggest fundraiser is running the concessions stands each week at KAM Kartway, a mini-race track on Texas 114.
Later this month, the brigade will host a low-cost veterinary clinic 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Fire Hall.
The brigade also provides rehab for firefighters, but low membership has put that mission on the back burner.
“There are just three members,” said Cathy Moore, one of the three. “Used to, (the firefighters) would call us up, and we would bring food and water to them if they’d been out working a fire all afternoon. We can’t really do that anymore with just three members.”
To help resurrect that aspect of their mission, the brigade seeks members.
“We’re a group of volunteers helping another group of volunteers,” brigade member Joann Hiltebran said. “Through our fundraisers and some grants, the department is able to get the equipment that saves the community. All the money we raise helps (the department).”
The fire squad – comprised of one paramedic, three emergency medical technicians and one emergency care assistant – was the first Advanced Life Support (ALS) responder in the county, firefighter James Miller said.
“That means we can provide advanced medical care,” he added.
Although they are accredited, the firefighters are all volunteer.
“We have a lot of people who move in from the city and think we’re paid,” volunteer firefighter Jason Miller said. “We’re not. The fire department is all volunteer.”
The city of Rhome is considering creating a paid position for a first responder who would be on duty during the day, and the council is set to discuss it at a workshop in early October.
Firefighters and brigade members said they all volunteer for the same reasons, though.
“Everyone has a full-time job,” said brigade member Judie Hines. “The volunteer firefighters wear multiple hats. We wear multiple hats. But we do it for our community.”
For information on the brigade, call Hiltebran at (817) 538-2016 or Judie Hines at (817) 821-7205. To join the fire department, call the Fire Hall at (817) 636-2001 or City Hall at (817) 636-2462.
Rhome Volunteer Fire Support Brigade will host low-cost vet clinic 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Fire Hall (261 School Road). Proceeds benefit the Rhome Volunteer Fire Department.