And over in Madisonville, having to deal with the Texas heat on top of accidents and fires makes cooling off a priority when crews return to the station.
But in between the calls, volunteers take care of the Madisonville fleet of fire trucks, including a classic 1952 Mack Fire Truck.
“This is old school, way back old school,” said Madisonville Fire Chief Thom Jones.
You won’t find Chief Jones singing in Vegas anytime soon, but he will sing the praises of the fire truck that’s been a part of the Madisonville Volunteer Fire Department for 60 years.
“When everything else failed, it was always bring out the Mack,” said Jones.
After serving the city for so long, the Mack is showing its age but getting rid of the classic fire engine isn’t an option.
“Fire trucks in communities are like old buildings. It’s really the only part of history that a lot of cities have,” said Jones.
“I asked Tom if I could get it back to running,” said volunteer firefighter Greg Murray.
That’s when Murray came into picture.
The full-time auto mechanic wants to restore this piece of Madisonville history that so many people cherish.
“It just started out as a little thing to do for Tom, but so many people have gotten behind it. I’m doing it for everybody now I guess,” said Murray.
There is about $10,000 worth of work to do to the fire truck and Greg hopes to have the work done in time for the Madisonville Christmas parade this December
“It’s actually an honor to do it for the city of Madisonville. I really appreciate all the gratitude I’ve gotten just for doing it,” said Murray.
The truck won’t be used to fight fires in the future but keeping it around is important for the department. It’s practically a family member that’s been with them since the day they were born and will be there long after.
“We have firefighters that have been on the fire department for many, many years and they say when they die, they want to be carried to their grave on the Mack,” said Jones.
The Madisonville Volunteer Fire Department is raising donations for the work that has to be done to the fire truck, most of it body work.
If you’d like to help out you can send your donation to the department.
Madisonville Volunteer Fire Department
1617 E. Main St.
Madisonville, TX 77864