From Blanco VFD The British Poet, John Donne, once wrote: “No man is an island.” Similarly, your BVFD is not alone in its mission to protect the citizens of our south Blanco County Emergency District #2 from the dangers of fire. As a rural county, with approximately 4000 citizens living in the district, a single fire department would have difficulty in successfully responding to all emergencies within the District. To compensate for that, your BVFD has written agreements, called Mutual Aid Agreements, with other departments in close proximity to our District. For example, we have a Mutual Aid Agreement with Comal County’s Spring Branch Fire and Rescue located just south of the Blanco County line. Also, we have an agreement with the Johnson City department. They, when requested, are dispatched to emergencies within the boundary of ESD#2 to assist the BVFD, or Blanco EMS, in responding to and controlling the emergency situation. These agreements not only make sense from a response perspective, but they are actually a requirement in the written contract that the BVFD (and EMS) has with our Emergency Services District. The ultimate purpose, of course, is to provide better protection for our citizens. Your department is not only aware of its responsibilities to provide the best protection possible to its citizens, but it is also aware of its responsibilities to do so at a reasonable cost. One avenue to satisfy that responsibility is to seek financial grants where and when possible. We were recently awarded two grants worth approximately $6500. These were awarded to purchase training materials for our fire fighters and upgraded computer equipment. We are continually reviewing grant opportunities and submitting proposals to satisfy specific needs. Closely associated with our success in responding to grant opportunities is the responsibility to become NIMS, or National Incident Management System, compliant. Many grantors require that the department be NIMS compliant in order to receive grant funds. Your department has initiated a program to achieve compliance by having its members complete recommended on-line courses offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Management Institute. Each of the examples above are indicators that your Blanco Volunteer Fire Department takes its mission and obligation seriously. We are here to serve YOU and are on the path to provide even better, more responsive, service. We welcome your ideas and suggestions! And we invite you to volunteer by calling Ron Sallman at 833-5009.