ROCKDALE, Texas –
Texas’ Minerva Volunteer Fire Department recently increased its fleet capacity by adding an excess military truck received through the Defense Department’s Firefighter Property Program.
At the federal level, the Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services collects the still-usable military equipment and partners with the U.S. Forest Service to ensure items finds their way to firefighters that can put it to use, often in rural environments.
“This new addition will increase our wildland firefighting power and our ability for high water rescues,” said Minerva VFD Fire Chief Ernie Glenn.
One of the stipulations for receiving a former military vehicle that that they be painted a nonmilitary color.
“Our department members spent a lot of hours painting the truck and making it service ready,” said Glenn.
The truck will carry a cache of wildland firefighting equipment and water rescue devices.
“This military truck gives the Minerva VFD firefighters a versatile apparatus to help respond to the wide range of emergencies in the area,” said Texas A&M Forest Service Regional Fire Coordinator Matthew Schlaefer. “It will help increase their capacity to save life and property.”
Minerva Volunteer Fire Department has been operating since 1974 and its leadership expressed appreciation for the opportunity to add new firefighting capabilities via DLA.
“The cost of the truck conversion was met through donations from our community, Chad Harris, Drake McLean, County Judge Steve Young, and Milam County,” said Glenn. “We greatly appreciate all of the support and for Texas A&M Forest Service having the grant programs available to volunteer fire departments.”
The DOD FPP was launched in Texas in 2005 to help increase the capacity of the state’s volunteer fire departments.