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Fire department converts 6K gallon jet tanker to water tender

At triple the capacity of its former tender, the new rig will haul water across the 780-square-mile jurisdiction


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By Fernando Del Valle
The Valley Morning Star

RAYMONDVILLE, Texas — A massive piece of military surplus has turned into priceless gear for local firefighters. The Raymondville Fire Department’s 6,000-gallon tanker, once a military truck used to haul jet fuel, now carries water to fires across the department’s 780-square-mile area.

“It’s like the big gun,” Raymondville Fire Chief Oscar Gutierrez said. “When it shows up, everybody’s ready.”

When Gutierrez applied to the Texas A&M Forest Service for a surplus vehicle about five years ago, he thought he’d be lucky to get a truck that rivals the department’s standard 2,000-gallon tanker.

Full story: Big transition: From jet fuel hauler to firefighting unit