If there's a group of people who understand what it's like to lose a fellow firefighter, it's the men and women of Bryan Fire Department. It's been almost two months since the department lost two men in a fire at the Knights of Columbus Hall.
I spoke with Bryan Fire Chief Randy McGregor about how departments handle these situations.
In a matter of moments, the entire town of West was altered. In the hours that followed an explosion at a fertilizer plant, it was very apparent that the men fighting the original fire were missing, or worse, dead.
"It's just an overwhelming experience," said Bryan Fire Chief Randy McGregor.
Bryan Fire Chief Randy McGregor knows what it's like to be on a fire scene that rapidly changes. Just about two months ago, two Bryan firefighters were killed during a fire at a Knight's of Columbus Hall. How a department responds those moments after is crucial.
"Is everybody okay? What do we need to do to take care of these people? Obviously the ones directly affected, the survivors and such, are always the immediate needs you gotta make sure they're okay, immediately," said McGregor.
"The main thing we try and do is stay focused.What's happening? What do we think is about to happen? And deal with it as it occurs. Many times you have no idea what is about to happen next. Situations like this are just completely unpredictable," said McGregor.
In the case of West, Texas, they can prove deadly.
Thursday, the Bryan Fire Department announced it's Honor Guard is headed to West to help pay respects and honor those firefighters killed in the explosion.