On Saturday, the department will be looking for a few good men and women to learn to operate and fight fires with that equipment.
“How would you like to drive an 80,800-pound, million-dollar fire truck through downtown Beeville with lights and siren going?” Assistant Fire Chief Lanny Holland asked Monday.
That could be a reality for someone who signs up to join the BVFD Saturday.
Firefighters will have some of their state-of-the-art equipment set up in the parking lots at the H-E-B Food Store and Wal-Mart Supercenter from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11.
The department will be recruiting new members during that time.
Not anyone can apply. An applicant must be 19 years old and have a good driving record, no criminal history and have lived in the Beeville area for at least six months.
Holland and Fire Chief Donald Morris said the department is looking for energetic, community minded, dedicated men and women who are not afraid to don $1,000 worth of firefighting equipment and plunge right into a burning building.
Holland said the front-line firefighters are guaranteed to get up close and personal with some pretty exciting fires several times a year.
The experience is not only challenging, it is rewarding. Firefighters are often on the front lines of some of the area’s worst traffic accidents and weather emergencies.
When someone is trapped in a wrecked vehicle, it is a team of highly trained firefighters who are called upon to perform the rescue.
Everyone who is accepted into the department will receive 258 hours of training. And that training will qualify a firefighter to apply to any professional fire department in the country.
Beeville’s own firefighters are required to complete five different levels of training to achieve their basic firefighting certificate. But that training costs the firefighter nothing.
In addition, firefighters are required to train for two hours three Tuesday nights out of every month.
Also, weekend training sessions will be provided several times a year.
The BVFD has one of the best and most comprehensive training facilities in this part of Texas. Fire departments from all corners of South Texas send their members to Beeville to train in the facilities here.
Local firefighters will have the opportunity to work with the equipment on three, top-notch fire engines. Engine 4 is a Pierce Contender that carries a crew of five in the cab and provides a variety of pumping and firefighting equipment, specifically designed for urban fires.
Engine 3 is an International loaded with specialized equipment designed to fight rural fires. The driver of that truck can literally put out huge wildfires using a joy stick control while driving the vehicle.
The BVFD’s newest truck, and the star of the department, is a $1 million Pierce tower truck that carries a fully equipped firefighting platform at the end of a 100-foot, hydraulically controlled ladder. That vehicle can fight fires in tall, urban buildings and can even be used to pull stranded victims from raging waters.
Department members are hoping to see a good turnout at each of the two locations Saturday.