Firefighter's Death Brings Out Other Departments

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12-30-06 While Denison Firefighters deal with the loss of one of their own, Sherman Fire Chief Jeff Jones says departments from as far away as Austin, Texas are volunteering to do whatever they can to help.

As darkness fell on Texoma Saturday night, so did heavy hearts. Flags already at half-staff for the late President Gerald Ford are now waving for a man who gave his life in Denison.

"That was his last alarm, you'll see firemen acknowledge (Townsend's) duty and his commitment," Jones said.

Jones knows that commitment and the dangers that follow everyday. From badges covered with black bands, to volunteers from as far away as Austin, Lewisville, and Hurst calling in to help.

It's all evidence that Saturday's loss reaches farther than just Denison. A brotherhood of firefighters who risk their lives everyday.

"I've had 50 grown men come up to me today and put their arm around me. We tell each other we love us and it's truly a brotherhood," Jones said.

A brotherhood between Denison and Sherman Firefighters that grew as the news spread. One of Sherman's fire companies was called to assist Denison crews, and were on the scene when Townsend lost his life.

"The fire alarms kept coming in... the medical calls, someone has to get up and go and they can't think about what's going on in their personal life... because we have a duty... we're going to take care of that duty first," Jones said.