Almost a year and a half ago, the Cromwell-Halsell Volunteer Fire Department was destroyed by a tornado that ripped through northern Choctaw County. Now, fundraisers like this one have helped the fire department return to almost full operation. There are still come reminders of the twister from last April, but the building is almost 100 percent restored.
Chief Willie Bryant of the Cromwell-Halsell Volunteer Fire Department tells us, "We are 90...I'd say about 90 percent of getting back into full operation now. On this side over here, we have a little bit of wall work we have left to do, and on the other side over there, we have to do the floors, we gotta get the ceiling in, and then we'll be ready to go."
Bryant credits the community's support in helping them recover from the tornado.
"Community has been tremendous behind us. We've gotten better support since the storm than we got before the storm. It's been real extraordinary; I mean it's been real good," says Bryant.
The community support has been so great that it has allowed the fire department to expand and add features that weren't present with the first building.
"Everybody rallied around us and we were able to do some things that we haven't done," Bryant says. "We were able to put the building back bigger than it was...probably a third bigger than it was, add some facilities that we did not have in the first place. All that comes with dedication and support."
Bryant says he hopes to have the building completely finished by September 29, almost a year and a half to the day that the tornado hit.