I would like to thank the Whitewright Volunteer Fire Department volunteer firefighters and Chief Joshua Clouse who served a 96-square-mile area with expediency and proficiency.

Editor’s note: On Tuesday, the Whitewright City Council voted to create a city-run fire department and distance itself from the Whitewright Volunteer Fire Department.


I would like to thank the Whitewright Volunteer Fire Department volunteer firefighters and Chief Joshua Clouse who served a 96-square-mile area with expediency and proficiency.


Firstly a salute to the volunteer firefighters who served with diligence and passion, who were the first to arrive to roadway accidents, who left their families to help others, who trained local school children about fire prevention, what to in case of fire, how to use fire extinguishers and to always have two ways out, who took money from their own pockets for essentials that the city, county and donations didn’t cover.


Equally, a salute to Chief Clouse who was dedicated to improve the Whitewright Volunteer Fire Department ISO rating — without financial backing — in order to improve the safety of the citizens and reduce property insurance rates, who arranged funding to educate school children and for extensive firefighter training including emergency medical that saved lives and reassured victims while waiting for the ambulance, who, before West, had firefighters trained on risk-assessment before entering burning structures.


It is not obvious how many hours this group of volunteers and their leader gave.


There is nothing residents can do to about the city’s decision, but grieve the loss of service by the 125-year-old Whitewright Volunteer Fire Department and an exemplary fire chief.


Ella Fitzbag


Whitewright