Hopkins County Commissioners Court and County Fire Chief Andy Endsley Monday morning recognized Brinker Volunteer Fire Department members for their dedication and 25-years of service to the community.
“This is part of the ongoing celebration of not only Hopkins County Fire Department’s 20th anniversary but celebrating all the VFD’s in our county. It’s a great honor to be able to do this,” said Endsley.
“I would just like to thank the commissioners. Without you, we wouldn’t be. I look forward to working with you and appreciation your support. I’m honored to do this,” said Wade McDaniel, captain for Brinker VFD.
McDaniel said that he was a volunteer in Sulphur Springs previously. So, when he moved to Brinker he approached the fire chief and was allowed to continue his passion of serving his community as a member of the volunteer fire department. He also expressed appreciation for all who helped lower the ISO rating for the area, which has allowed him to save a lot of money on his house insurance.
“We love our community, and do anything we can for them. We appreciate you and Andy as well,” said Jamie Foster, chief of the Brinker VFD.
“The thing to emphasize to anyone listening is that they are volunteers, that servanthood that’s beyond the call of duty. They are not getting paid anything. It’s just because you want to serve. That’s huge. In the past it’s been used, today it’s even more. So thank you very much,” Newsom said.
Mack Pitts, who was present during Monday’s court session, said he lived behind Brinker VFD. When his mother-in-law lived with them, his family called upon Brinker for a couple of times for assistance when his wife needed help getting her mother up. He commended the firemen on the professional manner in which the members do “exactly what they need to do.”
Pitts complimented Endsley, who served as Brinker’s chief prior to accepting to position as HCFD chief, and noted the current officers are following in his footstep, establishing an “excellent reputation” for the volunteer fire department.
The department was formed on March 24, 1994, as Brinker Volunteer Fire Rescue by Carl Nix, who served as chief; with Lee Huff as president and Teresa Hugg as secretary treasurer; and members Brian Knowles, Allen Story, Harrell Hettich, Max Bradford, Glenn Smith, Dusty McIllwain, Jerry Horton, Bobby George, Don Brooks, Beth Gilpin and Ronald “Squirrel” Wells.
Brinker’s first fire truck was attained due to the efforts made by area fire departments outside Hopkins County and the Texas Forestry Service. The volunteer department’s first service call was to a grass fire on County Road 3341 on Aug. 8, 1994.
In 2001, the department suffered a catastrophic fire in the station’s bay area, and had to rebuild. In 2004, The Brinker Volunteer Fire Rescue was awarded a FEMA grant for a custom pumper. Another grant from the Texas Forestry Service allowed funds for a tanker.
The department prospered from 2005 to 2011 with Herb Scott as fire chief, followed by the leadership of Chief Andy Endsley and the Fire and EMS Academy – Fire In Texas.
The current members of Brinker VFD are Chief Jamie Foster, Assistant Chief Austin Corley, Captain Wade McDaniel, Carl Nix, Conner Nix, Jeff Strickland, Brady Crouse, Mike Corley, Brandon Foster, Brody Sproles and Brenden Clark.
“The Hopkins County Commissioners Court urges all citizens to applaud the outstanding efforts of the Brinker Volunteer Fire Department, to recognize the dedication in their perseverance to provide protection to all people and their property and, offer heartfelt appreciation for the servanthood of each one. Thank you very much,” County Judge Robert Newsom read from a proclamation, which was framed and presented to Brinker VFD officers Monday morning during Commissioners Court.