Fire Department Bolstered as Boom Presents Hazards

COTULLA — Richard Prado has learned a number of rules in his six years as a firefighter. Among the most important, he says, is to know your equipment.

If only he had some.

Taking inventory at La Salle County’s only fire station, an easy-to-miss garage on this South Texas town’s cracked-up Main Street, would not take long: a small, 12-year-old fire engine, two brush fire trucks and a closet with mismatched protective gear — all of it donated over the years, and much of it secondhand.

Not on that list? Baffles that stabilize the trucks’ water tanks and prevent the ...

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