AXTELL, Texas: The Leroy-Axtell Volunteer Fire Department has new life-saving equipment thanks in large part to the community banding together to raise funds.
With outdated equipment, the department was unable to respond to potentially deadly car crashes. Instead, dispatchers would send departments from neighboring West and Bellmead.
Amanda Ruble knew that needed to change.
“We started a farmer’s market to kind of raise that money and help bring awareness to the community of what was needed and why it was needed so bad,” Ruble said. “All the vendor fees from the vendors that come is what we give to the fire department to raise that money.”
In the four months Ruble has been running the farmer’s market, she raised more than half the funds needed and was given the “Be Remarkable” award by the Daniel-Stark law firm.
With money still needed, Danny Daniel knew his team could help.
“When she told us about that, it was heavy on my heart for about 24 hours,” Daniel said. “I’m in the business of helping people who were hurt in catastrophic crashes and I just couldn’t imagine that her local volunteers right here in this community want to respond to a crash right down the road and they can’t, because they don’t have the equipment.”
With Daniel-Stark picking up the rest of the tab, the Axtell volunteers now have the equipment they say will make a huge difference.
“It takes minutes off our response and minutes can save lives,” deputy chief Justin Schwettmann said. “With us being able to respond quicker to that, being able to get the patient out of the vehicle faster and everything, it helps out tremendously.”
Ruble says they are now using the farmer’s market to raise money to build a park in Axtell.