Texas VFD transforms military truck into firefighting vehicle
The department was able to renovate the truck through a $16,300 grant from the Texas A&M Forest Service
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Texas
LORENZO, Texas — The Lorenzo Volunteer Fire Department accepted a $16,300 grant through the Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program to help convert an excess military Stewart Stevenson truck into a firefighting vehicle.
The Texas A&M Forest Service administers the assistance program and the Department of Defense Firefighter Property Program, which awarded Lorenzo VFD with the truck. The plan is for the Stewart Stevenson to replace an older truck that was having motor problems.
"The new addition's main purpose will be for wildland firefighting since it has a slip-on unit with a 500-gallon water tank and foam capability, but we could also use it for structure fires and rescue," said Mark Majors, Lorenzo VFD Fire Chief.
The truck has other features that will be an asset to the department, including high ground clearance that can help in flash floods and wildland firefighting tools.
“In May of 2019 Lorenzo, and some of the surrounding areas experienced flash flooding that covered some of the Farm to Market roads, leaving people stranded,” said Majors. “In one incident, two individuals had to be rescued from the roof of their truck. Situations like that make this new addition of great value for assisting with high water rescues.”
The Lorenzo VFD was established in 1928 and serves 1,700 residents. About 70 percent of Texas fire services are done by volunteer fire departments, making the truck a big help in how the Lorenzo VFD can serve those in the community.
“The Stewart Stevenson is now completely converted, equipped with fire suppression equipment and ready for service thanks to the support of our community,” said Majors. “Our department appreciates community participation in our fundraisers with the proceeds helping pay for the conversion. We also appreciate Texas A&M Forest Service and their grant programs that keep volunteer fire departments functioning.”
(c)2020 the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (Lubbock, Texas)