The new building, says Volunteer Fire Chief Thomas Mengers, is a vast improvement over the old one.
“There was no floor, no insulation, when it rained we often got an inch of water on the floor and we had rodents.”
The new station, the result of a saving program of 10 years, is bright red, steel, insulated, larger with a concrete floor.
“It cost us $45,000,” Mengers says. It was built in about two months.
“It’s a good facility,” said Precinct 4 County Commissioner Ken Haggard, who paid $180 from his own pocket to buy the caliche for the station’s driveway and parking lot before an asphalt topping.
Eunice Jostes, who is 96, cut the ribbon to officially open the station — named for her and her late husband, Frank — who dedicated much time and effort to promote and sustain the volunteer fire department here.
“He would be very proud of it, for sure,” Eunice said of Frank after the ribbon cutting. Frank died in 2000.
One on side of the station, cafeteria mess tables and folding chairs for the guests. On the other, divided by steel shelving for uniforms and equipment, the Tynan VFD pumper truck. It is a veteran of more than 1,500 fire calls.
“We average about 30 calls a year,” Mengers says. “This truck is from the 1970s.” It was home-built and it still works. “But we need something more modern.”
Another truck is planned.
The department’s 15 members have their eye on a $160,000 brush truck they hope to purchase with the help of a Texas A&M grant.
“They pay about 90 percent,” Mengers says. “The rest will be up to us It will be our first-out truck.”
The truck will be designed primarily to fight brush fires and automobile accidents.
“We’ve probably had only five house fire calls in the last 20 years,” Mengers says.
“They need a little help,” Haggard noted, who says he plans to “knock on some doors” to help the department’s finances.
The ties linking the Jostes family to the station might seem to be deteriorating with the passing years, but don’t count on it.
Eunice lives right across the street from the station. And, Kyle Jostes, a distant cousin, is the Tynan Volunteer Fire Department’s newest member.
Frank would approve of that, too.
Bill Clough is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 122, or at beepic@mySouTex.com.