VICTORIA, Texas –
Raisin Volunteer Fire Department converted an excess military truck from Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services into a firefighting machine.
The truck was acquired through the DoD Firefighter Property Program, a partnership between DLA Disposition Services who collect excess military equipment and the U.S. Forest Service who makes the equipment available to state forest service for rural fire departments.
In Texas that agency that oversees the program is the Texas A&M Forest Service.
“This military truck conversion is a new addition to our fleet and will serve as a dual-purpose apparatus, primarily as a brush truck and secondarily for high water rescue,” said Raisin VFD President Wesley Schmidt.
During the conversion from military to firefighting truck a 500-gallon water tank was added. The tank was designed as an inverted “T” to allow seating for individuals during high water rescues.
“This truck will allow our department to have a larger water supply, giving us greater capabilities in the initial attack on a fire,” said Schmidt. “Because it has the capacity to be a dual-purpose apparatus it will be beneficial for high water rescue in lower lying areas.”
The truck is also now equipped with ground sweep nozzles and will carry wildland firefighting tools and personal flotation devices.
One of the stipulations when receiving an excess military truck is that it be painted a nonmilitary color and be service ready in 180 days.
“Several of our department members dedicated many hours to converting the truck and making it service ready within the designated time period,” said Schmidt. “Their time and efforts are greatly appreciated.”
According to Schmidt, training is ongoing to match the capabilities of the truck and it will be in service this month.
“This converted military truck will be an invaluable asset to Raisin VFD and Victoria County, especially during flooding events and periods of increased wildfire activity,” said Texas A&M Forest Service Regional Fire Coordinator Roel Esparza. “Our Agency remains committed to serving rural volunteer fire departments and the citizens of Texas through various grant programs.”
Raisin Volunteer Fire Department has been serving their community since 1967.