There are few moments in life I can remember as clearly as the first time I sat in the front right seat of an ambulance. I’d been aware of the risks of being a 911-dispatched EMT, but there’s something about being the Officer In Charge for the first time that makes you realize just how vulnerable you really are. You can be sent into anything at any time, and it’s up to you to keep your crew safe. That’s what really drove the disaster in West, Texas home for me, the idea that it could just as easily have been me arriving in the first unit on scene. Now someone is organizing a 2-gun match near Marble Falls, Texas with all proceeds going to benefit the West, Texas EMS . . .
From the match website:
The West, Texas Benefit Match is being held in order to raise much needed funds to help the West, Texas EMS system rebuild.
In the aftermath of the tragic explosion that occurred in West on April 17th, 2013 the town has been left with a severely crippled EMS system. Relying heavily on mutual aid from adjacent agencies since the event, the citizens of West need their EMS system restored to full capacity to begin the difficult task of rebuilding.
There are a hundreds of news articles out there with the details of the explosion, the many lives lost, people injured and the horrific damage caused. However while the town, state and nation mourn the loses, look for answers to very difficult questions and try to figure out how to proceed and rebuild, the first responders (Police, Fire and EMS) still have the same job and responsibility they had before the explosion. They are still tasked with providing the emergency services needed by the community, but they are now doing it with drastically reduced capacity. These people are still responding to car accidents, medical emergencies, fires and saving cats from trees; they’re just doing it with less people, less equipment and even without an EMS station!
I have been in contact with the West, Texas EMS president and some of their medics. They appear to be in a situation that we could directly assist with support. They need to make extensive repairs to their building before it is operational again, replace their communications system and replace their ambulances. These are all steps that can be taken one at a time, each achievable step will restore a significant amount of capability to the EMS system in West and bring the community one step closer to restored service.
I have been told that West is in fact a Central Texas town that has many firearms enthusiast! Some of which will be attending the benefit match, off duty West EMS personnel will be at the event to provide medical standby if they are available.
We are doing everything possible to not only raise money for West EMS services but also let the community know that we support them. We will be bringing the famous Kolache’s from West Bakery down for lunch, and some of the Heart of Texas Cowgirls from West will also be assisting at the event.
The benefit match will help raise some of these much needed funds, it may only be a drop in the bucket compared to what they need, but I plan to do everything I can to make the biggest splash possible!
I ask anyone in the area to come out and show their support, if you can’t spend a whole day to shoot the match, come out for an afternoon and shoot some machine guns, grab some Kolache’s, meet some of the amazing people from West and show them that we care.
The match is being held at the Copperhead Creek Shooting Club on June 8th and 9th, although the match takes only one day to shoot (you can shoot it either day). Registration is $65 and I’ve already mailed off my application to shoot on Saturday. The match is a handgun and rifle only match, shotguns need not apply!