RUSK, Texas (KETK) — On Friday, KETK recognized the Rusk Fire Department for the service they provide to their Cherokee County community.

“I’m very proud of the men standing here today. We are a brotherhood here at Rusk Fire Department and it takes a lot of courage to do the things that we do. It’s also a sense of selflessness and dedication to your community, it’s one of the big things that drives us,” said firefighter Taylor Clay.

Rusk Fire Department is one of the many departments across East Texas that is made up of a majority of volunteers, with only three paid firemen and 27 volunteers. Clay said that it’s important to balance one’s time at a job like this between family, a regular job and volunteerism.

“I think we seem to make it work pretty well and we have a good group of guys where we have pretty solid turnouts to every fire that we have to attend,” he said.

Clay also explained that the city of Rusk has “a really good small town feel” with lots of local businesses that are run by “wonderful people” that make great contributions to the community.

Peters Chevrolet and Peters Autosports also made a generous donation of $1,250 to the department to help them finance new equipment that they need.

“We’re proud of this organization… They do put their lives on the line at the drop of a hat. Any phone call they get, they’re there, they don’t ask questions,” said Peters Chevrolet Manager Chris Smith.

Peters Chevrolet Buick Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat provided team members with a free lunch to show their gratitude. Peters Chevrolet is also making donations to different groups of East Texas first responders this year.