Morgan’s Point Resort Fire Chief Billy Richards presented an update on the department at a recent council meeting.
In the past year, the department has fought 16 shore fires from the lake using their fire boats.
“It is surprising how much the boat is used. It is the only one on Lake Belton and we cover all 193 miles of shoreline,” said Richards. The boat was used to put out boat fires and grassfires and bonfires along the lake when the burn ban was being enforced.
The department has 37 volunteers who are constantly receiving training. During the past year the average time of response was seven minutes from when the call was placed.
“Paid departments would have a hard time beating that response time. We have great participation in training and the city does an excellent job support us. We are very fortunate in Morgan’s Point. I have been here eight years and we are still growing in terms of members,” said Richards.
With the support of the community through fund raising events the department has been able to consistently upgrade their equipment.
“Each year we are able to upgrade our equipment. That makes a big difference. Breathing apparatuses have improved 100 percent in the past 15-years. Those old steel air tanks weighed a ton loading down firemen. The new aluminum composite air tanks we us are light and hold more air. The breathing apparatuses we use don’t hang up on everything you run into,” said Richards.
During the past year the department received 521 calls for service including 64 fire calls in the city and in the county. They also responded to 26 boater assistance calls.
Their members went through 360 hours of training in the past year.
Their water rescue team servers the entire county and responds to all water related incidents included swift water rescue calls and shore line fires. They train once a month an added a zodiac boat for swift water rescues. They also assisted the U.S. Army during Ranger training on Lake Belton during winter months. “Sometimes it seems all we do is work on training,” said Richards.