The women behind firefighters
For 42 years, the Bridge City Volunteer Fire and Rescue Ladies Auxiliary have been behind their firefighters, both literally and figuratively. “What ever they need,” said Angie Breaux, president of the local auxiliary. That includes driving the “rehab” truck to fires that keep the firefighters on site for extended periods.
When the ladies get on the scene, they set up a table furnishing cold water, Gatorade, snacks, fruit and cold wet rags to help cool the firefighters down — anything to keep them hydrated and energized.
Battling fires zaps the strength quickly of new firefighters and veterans alike. Auxiliary members take turns being in charge of restocking the rehab truck to be ready at a moment’s notice.
When the auxiliary is not in the background at fires, they hold fundraisers such as barbecues or sell cookbooks to help buy equipment for the fire station. Always looking for service projects to help the community and local kids, they bring treats and throw a party for the students at the Hughen School at Christmas. In October, they host an adult costume Halloween dance at the Orangefield / Bridge City Community Center. Baskets of food are distributed during the holidays.
Presenting scholarships to two Orangefield and two Bridge City seniors each year is also a high priority on their “things to do list.” This year’s scholarships were for $150 each. Members hope to increase that amount in the future.
The firefighters meet first Thursdays for business, and auxiliary members supply snacks. On fifth Thursdays, they cook supper for the firefighters and “have something fun for the guys,” said Breaux.
They provided all of the food for the “uncoupling” and open house at the new fire station in Orangefield earlier this year.
The auxiliary has bout 20 regular members with three lifetime members of more than 30 years: Mary Callahan, Dorothy Breaux and June Land. Originally, one had to be related to a firefighter to join the organization: husband, brother, father or uncle. But now, membership is open to anyone who has a driver’s license and insurance. New members are put on a three-month probation to make sure they are up to the task.
Local conventions are in April and October, with next April’s event set for Bridge City. Persons interested in joining in the auxiliary should fill out an application at the fire station, 330 Bland, or visit a regular auxiliary meeting. For more information, or to suggest a service project to benefit the community and area youth, call the fire station at 735-5386.