GARRISON, Texas –
Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services and the U.S. Forest Service work together to get excess military equipment into the hands of firefighters through the Defense Department Firefighter Property Program.
One of the stipulations when getting a truck through the program is the fire department must paint the truck a non-military color. The Volunteer Fire Department in Garrison, Texas, took it to a whole new level recently, and for a good cause.
The Garrison VFD said they wanted to share hope and support for the community by literally showing their colors when they converted the excess 6x6 military truck they acquired from DLA.
The truck was received through DOD FPP the slip-on unit was procured through the Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program, both administered by Texas A&M Forest Service.
“Garrison Volunteer Fire Department invested many man hours into the conversion of this Stewart Stevenson that will not only be used for grass and woods fires and high-water rescues but as a focal point of community outreach,” said Texas A&M Forest Service Regional Fire Coordinator Ricky Holbrook.
The truck honors individuals and bears their names on ribbons, stressing hope and awareness.
“This truck is painted pink with pink neon lights and is dedicated to Cancer Awareness, Wounded Warriors, PTSD, Suicide Awareness and Fallen Officers,” said Garrison VFD Assistant Fire Chief Grant Wheeler. “If you see us out and about you are more than welcome to come sign the truck in memory of a loved one or those that are still in the battle for life.”
The conversion was completed in-house and the slip-on unit has an 800-gallon water tank and foam capability, steps and handrails.
“About 70% of our fires are wildland-type fires, so this new addition to our fleet will be used as a brush truck, but in the last few years we have had increased flooding, so the truck was built to accommodate individuals during highwater rescues,” said Garrison VFD Fire Chief Ricky Colle.
Having foam capability is important.
“Previously, wildland hand tools were our main source of control for grass fires that occurred in some of our more difficult terrain because our other trucks could not get into those areas, but this 6x6 will get out there with foam and more water for a faster knockdown,” said Colle.
Garrison VFD expressed gratefulness to all who contributed to increasing the department’s firefighting capacity with the addition.