Martinsville Fire Department helps 'brothers and sisters' in Texas

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MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WDBJ7) The Martinsville Fire Department has what they call a "toll gate" each year to raise money for operations, but this year they gave all the money raised to the Plum Grove Volunteer Fire Department in Texas.

"As needy as our little department is, they needed it more than we did," says Martinsville Fire Chief, Ted Anderson.

Martinsville Fire Chief, Ted Anderson says the toll gate was already scheduled for last month.

He got together with the treasurer for the volunteer department and decided their Texas family needed it more.

"When we would tell them what this was for people would reach down and dig deeper for this toll gate. Our goal was $5,000 that day and we raised over $8,500," says Anderson.

Chief Anderson and his wife were able to hand deliver the check to Texas this weekend, and they saw all the devastation that remains.

"People's personal items there, between the mattresses, the pictures, the clothing," he says.

But, the Plum Grove Fire Department is in good spirits.

"This will be the first week we're back in normal operations, in our firehouse, back to the grind," says Plum Grove Fire Chief, Joe Johnson.

They decided to distribute the money among the 13 volunteer firefighters to help them get back on their feet.

"Actually everybody is very happy. The morale is going back up," says Johnson.

Anderson and Johnson both say being a firefighter means you're a part of the family.

"Some of the antics and the hearts of those people are the same as they are here. It is a brotherhood. It is a sisterhood," says Anderson.

Chief Anderson says that Martin Travel Agency in Martinsville helped he and his wife out with the trip by paying for one of their flights.

Anderson paid for the other flight himself just to be able to meet all of the members of that fire department in person.