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Sandy Oaks Volunteer Fire Department shutting down

BEXAR COUNTY, Texas - On the first day of 2013, the Sandy Oaks Volunteer Fire Department is closing its doors.

Taylor Squires with the Sandy Oaks Volunteer Fire Department said Saturday that they will no longer be responding to fire or EMS calls in the South Bexar County area as of 12:01 a.m. on January 1.

The news comes as Emergency Services District number 6 issued a termination letter, stating that the department is and has been in breach of their contract with the district.

However, Squires said terminating their contract will also terminate insurance, which means they can't even use their trucks for medical calls.

"You are putting roughly 40,000 lives at risk," said Squires.

However, Sylvia Mendelsohn with ESD 6 said Saturday that there's no reason that the Sandy Oaks Volunteer Department, who still has a contract with University Hospital, can't purchase their own insurance.

And even if they don't, Mendelsohn said ESD 6 is prepared to take on medical and fire calls with their agreement with ESD 2.

"There is going to be one truck, one brush truck, one command truck, with a total of six personnel to cover our area and another fire department's area," said Squires.

Squires also said with 17,000 houses in their area alone, that's not enough. Residents like Rick Quebe agree.

"It's very concerning," said Quebe. "This is the first time I've heard of this and as you can tell everything out there is very dry."

New Year's Eve is also a concern, said Squires, because of the fireworks that will be set off that evening.

He said the department will meet with their attorneys later this week to try and iron out a temporary restraining order in hopes of continuing service after the new year.

For a list of recent stories by Stephanie Serna, click here.


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