Volunteer fire departments are the backbone of rural communities around the Coastal Bend, and on Tuesday, they received a big thank you.

A total of 32 South Texas volunteer fire departments were on the receiving end of over $60,000, donated by Flint Hills Resources and the Koch Pipeline Company. The donations ranged from $250 to over $31,000.

This is the second year the two companies have handed out cash to area volunteer fire departments.