BROWNSVILLE, Miss. (WJTV) – Volunteer Fire Departments provide a crucial first line of defense in rural communities across Mississippi. From heart attacks to house fires, someone from the V-F-D is on their way. AMR and 12 News are happy to give Brownsville Chief Ricky Huerta some well-deserved recognition as we Focus on Those Who Serve. It’s a Volunteer Fire Department that’s run like a well-oiled machine.
Joey Perkins is the Assistant Director of Emergency Management for Hinds County Fire Service.
He explains, “Those are your first responders. When you dial 911, they’re going to be the first one’s there, whether it is a medical call or a fire.”
Brownsville VFD responds to an average of 4 calls per week. Under the leadership of Chief Ricky Huerta, the districts fire rating has gone from a Class 10 down to a Class 7.
Chief Heurta recalls,”We’ve had several people come up to us and say, ‘Thank you. Thank you for what you have done.’ We had one individual contact me and say, ‘My insurance premium was cut by $1,200.’ So he was very excited.”
In addition to his a regular full-time job, Chief Huerta usually spends 20 hours a week with the VFD. That includes, calls, paperwork, maintenance and training.
Malcolm Robinson is an AMR paramedic. He is also Brownsville’s Assistant Chief.
He says, “We have the same passion for the community that we serve, and he does a great job of instilling that in all of our firefighters, and all of our members to make sure that we do a good job out there in the community.”
On Chief Huerta’s watch, the department has secured grants for a variety of life saving equipment. The Lucas machine performs chest compressions with the consistency of a never tiring cyborg. The LifePak15 is the most advanced cardiac monitor and defibrillator out there. It can relay real-time information to a hospital. Then there is the Cascade machine. It easily fills up oxygen tanks for Brownsville and neighboring fire departments.
Malcolm explains, “So, he’s very instrumental in making sure that we have the equipment that we need to take care of the needs of our community when they have that call for service.”
In addition to all of that, Chief Huerta is a tireless recruiter. Volunteers are always needed.
Chief Huerta says, “On a car wreck, we’ll use you to direct traffic.”
And don’t worry, the department, the county and AMR will get you ready.
Malcolm says, “We’re not just going to throw you out there to the wolves. We’re going to get you trained, and we’re going to show you what you need to do, because safety is our biggest issue.”
And from Brownsville to Bolton folks can rest a little easier knowing the Chief Ricky Huerta is always on call.
Chief Huerta concludes, “I’m thrilled. I’m happy, and just I appreciated you guys coming out.”
Thinking of becoming a volunteer firefighter. After your first year, you’ll get a hundred dollars off your Mississippi car tag.