Brindlee donates brush truck to 'Extreme Makeover' fire department

Extra apparatus bay that renovation crews created was filled thanks to donation from Brindlee Mountain Fire Apparatus

When ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition sent in their own response team to help a firefighter who lost her home while responding to a massive wildfire in Texas last year, they didn't stop there.

As well as rebuilding Firefighter Mizzy Zdroj's burned house, their crews went to work next door on renovating the Heart of the Pines Volunteer Fire Department's fire station.

But the goodwill kept coming — the extra apparatus bay they created was filled thanks to a donation by Brindlee Mountain Fire Apparatus.

"We had a great time with the show," said Billy Claunch, vice president of sales at Brindlee.

The company donated a 2001 Ford 4x4 Brush Truck, complete with a 100 GPM pump and a Foam-It Foam System with a 20-gallon tank.

Claunch said he was alerted to the fire department's plight when show producers made contact.

"They wanted to replace a truck that was badly damaged in the fire," he said.

That truck was used for shelter during the wildfire by Fire Lt. John Banning, and repairs to it have cost upward of $14,000 so far.

"The donation of that truck made a significant impact on our capabilities," Lt. Banning said, improving them by about 50 percent.

Luckily, Heart of the Pines has not had to use the new truck in a fire. Since many of the department's members were displaced by the Bastrop Complex Fire, it is relying on mutual aid for some parts of the day.

But that time is perfect for training on the truck.

"We're in the process now of equipping it so we can put it in service," Lt. Banning said.

"It's been fortunate for us to be able to take time to get everyone up to speed on the vehicle."

The largest wildfire ever in Texas, the Bastrop Complex Fire burned 34,356 acres, destroyed 1,645 homes and killed two people. It was finally extinguished 36 days after it began in September.

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