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Rise in oil, gas prices costs area volunteer fire departments pretty penny to fuel their fire trucks

Gillian Cox is a captain for the Rockport Volunteer Fire Department. She expects the cost for fuel to run their engines will double this month.

ROCKPORT, Texas — The high cost of fuel is putting a strain on first responders in the Coastal Bend. 

Michael Lobstein has been responding to emergency calls with the Rockport Volunteer Fire Department for almost two years.

He knows just how busy its been across the county and beyond.

"We get a whole bunch of calls you know, EMS, fire alarms, grass fires," Lobstien said. "And in the night time its even more busy."

Lobstein is one of 40 volunteers with the department, meaning they do the life saving job all for free.

He will tell you it takes a lot of heart and dedication, and lately more out of the wallet.

"Its effecting us pretty hard," Lobstein said.

Gillian Cox is a captain and also a treasurer with the department.  She expects the cost for fuel to run their engines will double this month.

That's not including the cost, volunteers like Lobstein will see by sometimes use their own personal cars to respond to a fire.

"I've personally run through a tank of gas running back and forth responding to the fire department," Cox said. "And that is a heavy burden on some of our volunteers.  

But despite being stretched both with the number of calls and stretched financially, Cox said they've been through it before and will make it again.

"We've been known to carpool.  We've been known to wait a little bit longer for that last person to jump on the truck," Cox said. "About 15 or 20 seconds for that last person to jump on the truck, so that less vehicles are having to travel out of town."

No matter the cost she said they will always answer the call to serve their community. 

They are always looking for more volunteers.  You can find information on the department's website.

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