Most people don’t realize that more than 70 percent of America’s firefighters are volunteers. Last night, in the town of West, Texas, those heroes sprang into action.
Following an explosion at the local fertilizer plant that registered 2.5 on the Richter Scale in Amarillo, Texas, the volunteer firefighters were the first to respond. The blast itself leveled many local businesses and destroyed between 50-75 homes. Currently, several have died, more than 16o are injured and a 3-4 firefighters are missing.
In a town of 2,800 people, many were volunteer firefighters, including the major.
As a volunteer firefighter himself, Peter is aware of the role they play in America. The organization was started Benjamin Franklin and Peter Stuyvesant. The fire house itself remains the focal point of small communities. And volunteer firefighters take on the same amount of training as paid firefighters including interior and exterior firefighting, EMT and CPR and as in Texas, hazmat (hazardous materials).
The primary concern when a firefighter enters the scene is for the people. In West, Texas, the fire was surrounding apartment buildings and a senior-citizen home. The volunteer firefighter dedicated themselves to getting the people out and to safety.
Peter joined the team at CBS This Morning to talk about the heroic efforts of the West, Texas volunteer firefighters.