New efforts could improve fire response in rural areas.

Jared Janes, The Monitor

In rural Hidalgo County, Edinburg firefighters come prepared.

No response to any verified fire is complete without a veritable convoy: a rescue truck, pumpers and tankers filled with fire-squelching water. The full-fledged response is partly the learned mentality of a profession where seconds count, but it’s also the result of a persistent threat they’ve learned to live with.

But even on rural streets lined with expansive houses, there’s no guarantee of fire hydrants.

“We can’t run a truck out there and say, ‘Don’t worry. We’ve got water here,’” said Edinburg fire Chief Shawn Snider, whose department responds under a contract with the county to fires in unincorporated northern Hidalgo County. “Our expectation is we take everything with us. If we’re blessed with water resources (on site), we use them. If not, we’ve got it with us.”


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