Editor’s Note: In Cherokee County, many volunteer fire departments answer the call of duty, with only a small operating budget and the help of donations. The Daily Progress will highlight departments in this series. The Reklaw Volunteer Fire Department is the 10th featured.

REKLAW — The 14-member volunteer fire department of Reklaw saw their calls double during the drought from October through December 2005, according to Reklaw Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bill Traweek.

“The calls increased probably 100 percent — they easily doubled from October 2005 to December 2005,” Traweek said. “We have about five calls a month. In the summertime, it runs about 8 to 10. Some months, we don’t have any calls.”

Traweek, who is also the city’s mayor, said the department covers an area close to 300 square miles and serves approximately 500 people.

The department has been fortunate to receive grants and donations, Traweek said, however, as with other volunteer fire departments in the area, extra money for special budgetary items sometimes spreads thin.

“We’re paying off a grant from a big pumper truck that we normally use,” Traweek said. “Through the Forest Service, we got a grant for that. We’re always needing money for insurance because it’s so high.”

The department currently has a grass truck, a pumper truck, and one tanker truck.

“We’ve had quite a few people who have donated,” Traweek said. “We don’t ask for donations, but we’re glad to get them.”

RVFD runs on a $4,000-5,000 yearly operational budget that is given by the county, which excludes donations, Traweek said.

Monetary donations can be left at Reklaw City Hall, or mailed to Reklaw Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 8, Reklaw, TX 75784.

Traweek added that the department is open to fundraiser ideas and suggestions.

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