On April 17, 2013, a massive explosion at a fertilizer storage and distribution facility in West, Texas, killed 15 people and caused hundreds of injuries. Of the dead, 12 were emergency responders from the Abbott, Bruceville-Eddy, Dallas, Navarro Mills and West fire departments who rushed to the scene.
West, Texas is a misnomer. West is the name of a small community in central Texas 20 miles north of Waco with a population of about 3,000. To get there you drive through peaceful rolling hills and pass vibrant green pastures, dotted with bluebonnets, evidence of recent spring rains.
West, Texas is where the terms EMS and firefighter are interchangeable. Firefighters serve as EMS and EMS back up the firefighters. There is a real sense of communal spirit, love and honor in small rural areas of Texas. Those feeling were deeply tried and tested in West on April 17, 2013.