Houston firefighters are answering a new kind of call

HOUSTON, Miss. (WCBI) – Firefighters in Chickasaw County have answered a new kind of call.

Houston Fire Rescue worked to make a difference in its city by making it cleaner.

A litter problem sparked the idea for firemen to do something about it.

Now, the department has adopted the city’s biggest park.

Houston firefighters said the goal is to help make the town a cleaner and better place to live.

They’ve also challenged others to do the same.

The Houston Kids Park sits in the heart of town.

It’s the city’s largest park and also its dirtiest, until recently.

“Just tops, cups and bags, you know, chip bags and just everything. Whatever they had, they just left,” says Houston firefighter Billy Watkins.

“For some time now, you’ll read on Facebook, you’ll hear people talking about the trash and the different things that people find inside of our kid’s park and we just decided that we could do something about it, maybe we can help fix that. Our job is all about safety,” said Houston Fire Chief and Chickasaw County Fire Coordinator Jonathan Blankenship.

Blankenship walks each morning.

This park is part of his route, and he started noticing a problem, but he also had a solution.

“I see the trash for myself and I just felt like we could make a difference and so our guys at the fire station jumped in and they were all in and each day, we come down to the kids park and pick up trash in this area, and it’s making a difference.”

Two weeks after the fire department added the litterbug problem to its daily duties, there have been some improvements.

“It’s crazy how, you know, how people will leave that much and we’ve got trash cans right over there, by the pavilion.”

Although you’ll spot a firefighter out here with a trash bag and trash picker, there’s still garbage every day they report to park duty.

“We did it for a week before we actually said anything on Facebook and put it out there and we’re just kind of in hopes that may be other groups, people, businesses, individuals, who ever, would join in with us. Pick a spot in the city that they want to help out with and if everybody pitched in and would do just a little bit, it would make such a huge difference.”

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