Heat Relief for North Texas Life Savers | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Heat Relief for North Texas Life Savers

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    NEWSLETTERS

    North Texas first responders are trained to save lives, but during triple digit temperatures, volunteers are helping them stay safe in the blistering heat. (Published Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015)

    Even the life savers need a little help sometimes, and that’s where Kim Groff comes in.

    Groff is the president of Box 620: a group of about 12 volunteers out of Little Elm who provide rehab to fire departments and first responders in eastern Denton County.

    "We try to have everything that any first responder, that we can provide extra service to them,” said Groff.

    The group has their own rehab truck that they custom built out on a small bus and stock with everything from water, Gatorade, and food to fans, chairs and even a mobile bathroom.

    Box 620 has worked with about 10 different agencies in Denton County, generally responding to calls in Little Elm’s mutual aid district, but rehab teams like theirs exist in or work with most Metroplex fire departments.

    Many own their own rehab trucks, but often rely on retired firefighters or other volunteers to staff and run them while the firefighter respond to calls.

    This time of year, it couldn’t be more crucial.

    Groff’s team saw that first hand when responding to a fatal house fire in Oak Point last Friday.

    Box 620 was working almost non-stop at the six-plus hour call to provide firefighters and police with essential fluids, shaded cooling areas and to help coordinate break shifts every 10 minutes or so for the life savers who were wearing full firefighting gear in the 100-plus degree weather.

    "They are crucial to what we do and those people that volunteer are very important to the task and job that we have at hand,” said Deputy Chief Michael Ross from the Lake Cities Fire Department.

    However from Box 620 to department run rehab units, most rely on volunteers and community support to help those first responders out.

    Aside from fundraising events, Groff said supply donations are welcomed by most fire departments, especially theirs in Little Elm, to help make what they do possible.

    "So that these guys can do their job and then come back to get home safely,” she said.
     

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