An East Texas police and volunteer fire department are in need of upgraded equipment. To raise money, Coffee City is hosting its first ever charity fishing tournament.
With a population of about 300, Coffee City is small community, but it’s never alone.
“The police department and the fire department as well, they are here to serve and to protect,” said Mayor Pam Drost.
Ever since Tyler started selling liquor in restaurants, Coffee City’s sales tax has decreased.
“We’ve had to really tighten our belts and tighten our budgets,” said Mayor Drost.
The police and volunteer fire department are in need of updated equipment, training and vehicles.
“We have two Dodge chargers and one Dodge truck,” said Chief of Police Scott Medcalf. “All three of those vehicles are above 100,000 miles and they have a high level of maintenance so we eat a lot of our budget for vehicles to try to maintain those vehicles.”
Along with that, he’d like to increase uniform and training budgets.
“I’m the only full-time employee but I do have several reserves that dedicate their time to volunteer here to the city and the citizens,” said Chief Medcalf.
One of the biggest upgrades needed for the fire department is around two or three new Automated External Defibrillators or AEDs. The problem is the ones they currently have are eight-years-old and each one costs around $2300.
“So when we’re on those calls and somebody’s having a heart attack at 2 o’clock in the morning, we’ve got equipment that we don’t have to worry about it working,” said Fire Department Chaplain and EMT Bob Fisher.
Fisher said most of their equipment is about 10-years-old.
“At 10 years, the National Fire Association wants to get rid of the stuff and get new,” he said.