SAN ANTONIO – When there is an emergency in San Antonio, our first responders are on it. Sometimes they can be there for hours enduring the South Texas heat with no water, food or access to restrooms.
That’s where the nonprofit Fire Scene Rehab, comes in.
“A lot of times being at a scene, they can’t leave,” Frank Castillo, Fire Scene Rehab public information officer said. “They can’t go to the store, they can’t use the restroom.”
In 2000, Bobby Briggs founded the nonprofit. It started out with just a van. Now, the 24/7 all-volunteer service group has an air conditioned bus and a trailer that totes a portable potty. The bus is stalked with ice chests full of water, Gatorades and snacks. They custom built benches for first responders to be able to sit and cool off during a rotation at a scene.
“The rotation on the rehab for those fire crews is essential for their health,” Castillo said. “If they don’t have the opportunity to do that of course, they can get dehydrated and the risks are there for bad things to happen.”
The star of the nonprofit is a rescue emotional support dog named Titan. He’s been with the organization for about a year. And when the engine starts, he knows it’s go time and hops onto a front seat ready to work.
“Titan comes into play especially with the kids,” Castillo said. “They come in, get consoled by petting him. He’s kind of an icebreaker. He helps a lot with that, but also for first responders.”
Titan takes his job seriously. As long as he gets lots of belly rubs and treats.
But most importantly, Titan and the Fire Scene Rehab volunteers rely solely on donations to keep the nonprofit serving our local first responders.
The most expensive item is keeping the vintage bus and trucks up to date and running.
“Preventative maintenance is always an issue,” Castillo said. “We do our best with the upkeep with the funding we do receive, but we always appreciate the monetary donations we can get for that.”
If you would like to make a monetary donation, follow this link or scan the QR code below with a smartphone or smart device.