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Spicewood gets first full-time firefighters

Spicewood Fire Rescue staff during a badging ceremony at the fire station on May 21, 2024, are (from left) Capt. Dakota Meyer, Capt. Andrew Hunt, Chief Lark Comacho, and new full-time firefighters Justin McPherson, Joell Bowen, and Brad Wilson. Photo courtesy of Spicewood Fire Rescue

Spicewood Fire Rescue badged its first three full-time firefighters and honored two of its captains on Tuesday, May 21. 

“Earlier this year, Spicewood Fire Rescue hit a major milestone in hiring our first-ever full-time firefighters to help bring 24/7 coverage to the community,” reads a media release from the small department.

The three firefighters served the department as either part-timers or volunteers prior to being bumped up to full time. They recently completed a probationary service period, clearing them for their new roles.

Joell Bowen had served as a part-time firefighter since 2023. Justin McPherson had been volunteering since 2022 and became a certified firefighter while with the department. Brad Wilson was a veteran firefighter and paramedic who had served part time since 2023.

Captains Dakota Meyer and Andrew Hunt have been volunteers since 2020 and 2019, respectively, and were honored for their service during the ceremony.

Even with the addition of the full-time first responders, volunteers and part-time staff remain an integral part of the department.

A map of Burnet County Emergency Services District No. 9 shows the coverage area of Spicewood Fire Rescue. Image courtesy of Spicewood Fire Rescue

Spicewood Fire Rescue provides fire protection service to Burnet County Emergency Services District No. 9, which encompasses a large portion of southeast Burnet County, including the unincorporated community of Spicewood. 

ESD No. 9 was created in 2014 to fund Spicewood Volunteer Fire Department and Emergency Services. The volunteer department was upgraded to Spicewood Fire Rescue in 2020, which led to a series of improvements. Professional first responders were brought in and the fire station was overhauled to allow for overnight staffing in 2021. A state-of-the-art fire engine was put into service in 2023.