Howdy Ponder! Hope all had a blessed, joyous and fun Christmas and New Year! December was a busy month for the PVFD. We had two of our members-Cole Delcambre and Peyton Ford-graduate from the fire academy at NCTC. They are now eligible to be hire as career firefighters. Congratulations!! We finally got to put our new brush truck we acquired from the Texas Forest Service in service. This unit was a fraction of the cost of a new one and will also be able to be used during high water emergencies. Though 2017 was a good year for the PVFD we ended it on a scary note. As everyone is pretty much aware, we had our new engine get hit from the rear while blocking the highway for an incident we were already on. Fortunately none of our members were seriously hurt: however, our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the vehicle that hit us. We wish them a full and healthy recovery. We are in the process of determining the extent of damage to the engine and if it will need to be replaced or can be repaired. The PVFD thanks all who sent their prayers and words of concern. It is truly, truly appreciated. A burn ban was in effect for a couple of days and then the rain came! Please do not get a false sense of security as the grass is still very dry. The ground is wet but the grass is dry! We had our first ice event and I am sure there will be at least one more. PLEASE, PLEASE remember that you need to reduce speed, increase your distance between vehicles and don't slam on your brakes. Apply the brakes slowly and gently. Also make sure you take care of your pets. If you don't shut off your lawn sprinklers, be careful when going outside and walking on the sidewalk, going up steps and the driveway. Be careful with portable heaters in the house and shop. Make sure they are not near any combustible materials. Make sure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working. If you haven't changed the batteries recently, it would be a good time to do so. Speaking of busy, we ran 57 calls for the month of December. For the first time in the department's history, we ran over 500 calls. Our "in the city" calls have increase also and will continue to do so as more homes are added. That means higher operational cost due to fuel use, equipment/vehicle repairs and replacement, restocking of supplies, etc, etc. It is the nature of the service, but we will continue to provide the level of service we always have and look forward to your continued support. Our members gave up 130 man hours this month to answer these calls. With the demands of family during the holidays, we are deeply grateful to them and their families. Have a blessed, safe and fruitful New Year Ponder. God Bless and take care!!