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Area departments pick up slack after Kicaster VFD’s closure


Firefighters from here and from Eagle Creek are working with Wilson County officials toward a temporary coverage solution, following the closure of the Kicaster Volunteer Fire Department. On Dec. 31, at 11:59 p.m., Kicaster shut down after more than a quarter century of service to an area southwest of La Vernia along the Bexar County line. As 2015 drew to a close, only two certified firefighters remained on Kicaster’s roster and just one community member had signed up to join. The contract required four active, certified members.

Chief Jason Scheel of the La Vernia Volunteer Fire Department said since the start of the New Year, his firefighters responded to one call in Kicaster’s area, which was on Jan. 2 for a fire alarm. While Scheel does not want to speculate as to how a split coverage area will affect his department because of there being “too much left on the table,” the chief believes that residents should not see a difference in response rates, due to Kicaster’s proximity to Station No. 2 of the Wilson County Emergency Services District No. 1. The station, he said, is within five road miles of much of Kicaster’s former coverage area, which also will mean that fire-insurance rates should remain unaffected.

The Wilson County Commissioners Court could consider a 9-month split-coverage contract for Eagle Creek and La Vernia at its Jan. 11 meeting.

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