Volunteer firefighters operate fireworks stand, 'safe zone'

Public thinks it's a novelty, Ata-Bexar volunteer firefighter says

BEXAR COUNTY, Texas – For five years, a fireworks stand in South Bexar County that is operated by the Ata-Bexar County Line Volunteer Fire Department has helped the department make ends meet. 

The public considers firefighters selling fireworks a novelty, said Jan Johnson, a firefighter with the Ata-Bexar County Line Volunteer Fire Department. Yet the fireworks stand she operates on 281 South inside Loop 1604, helps their small department make ends meet.

Johnson said, like many other volunteer fire departments, Ata-Bexar VFD depends on help from Bexar County and donations from the community it serves. She said the department’s share of the proceeds, usually several hundred dollars annually, helps to maintain the equipment and trucks they use to respond to fires, wrecks and other emergencies.

Johnson said she’s been selling fireworks for 20 years, but the stand has been helping the department for the past five years.

“I try to keep it very safe and very family friendly for everybody that comes out here,” Johnson said.

She said, for instance, an open field nearby purposely blackened by fire, serves as a “safe zone” for setting off fireworks.

With firefighters on scene, Johnson said, “It’s great to be able to come out here and have a safe place for the kids to play and a safe place to do fireworks.” She said the fireworks stand will be open New Year’s Day as well.

In addition to fireworks being illegal to buy or use within San Antonio city limits, the Bexar County Fire Marshal’s Office has other fireworks prohibitions.

To find out if a specific location is included or to report illegal use of fireworks, call the Bexar County fireworks hotline at 210-335-3473.

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