The Ross Volunteer Fire Department received an excess military truck and converted it into a tanker for firefighting with grant support from the Rural Voluntary Fire Department Assistance Program.
Texas A&M Forest Service administers both programs.
“Our department is very pleased to have received the 2003 5-ton apparatus and a $20,000 slip-on unit grant that allowed us to convert the truck into something that can be used as a large brush truck or tanker, since it can carry 1,700 gallons of water and has foam capability,” Ross Volunteer Fire Department Chief Joey Jaska said.
The department’s service area not only includes homes and structures but also farm and pasture land.
“This truck will allow the department greater capacity when protecting their service area, giving them an increased water supply and a dependable means of transporting it,” said Matthew Schlaefer, Texas A&M Forest Service regional fire coordinator.
The excess military vehicle was made available through the Department of Defense Firefighter Property Program. The Texas A&M Forest Service administers that program as well as the Rural Voluntary Fire Department Assistance Program, which provided the grant.
Ross VFD was established in 1976.
“Our community understands the importance of having local fire service and is very supportive,” Jaska said. “The grant stipulations for accepting the military truck was to paint it a nonmilitary color and make it service-ready. Their generous contributions helped in building this truck into the firefighting machine that it is.”
The Department of Defense Firefighter Property Program launched in Texas in 2005 and has released over 700 retired military trucks to volunteer fire departments across the state.
The agency transports the vehicle from a military installation, performs necessary repairs and delivers it to the volunteer fire department at no cost to the department.
Get local news delivered to your inbox!
Subscribe to our Daily Headlines newsletter.