Logistics vehicle gets new life fighting fires

By Jake Joy Disposition Services

PRINT  |  E-MAIL

The small town of Acton, Maine – winter population 2,447 – hugs the border of New Hampshire and beckons vacationers to enjoy its many waterfront cottages during tourist season.

Acton was established in 1830, and like many rural villages, its citizens rely on a mostly-volunteer crew of three dozen firefighters to cover a 43-square mile, heavily wooded chunk of land in the state’s southeast corner.

Acton Fire Dept. recently activated its very first surplus military truck procured via DLA Disposition Services – a light medium tactical vehicle, or LMTV, and a 500-gallon tank to help department staff access hard-to-reach blazes.

Fire Chief Steve Johnson said they fight an average of six or seven fires in town, help on another 10-15 mutual aid fires with nearby jurisdictions, and deal with random brush fires each season. The vehicle, which they dubbed “Forestry II,” was just pressed into service after undergoing upgrades.

 “[Retrofitters] put a lot of work into it,” Johnson said, noting that part of the agreement with getting the vehicle meant Acton would use it to help around the state if needed. “The thing’s awesome.”

U.S. Forest Service personnel oversee the Firefighter Property Program that allows federal, state, municipal and rural firefighters throughout the country to access the kinds of vehicles and equipment DLA Disposition Services specializes in redistributing when warfighters can no longer use them. 

For just over 20 years, the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps has relied on as many as 17 different variants of both the 2.5-ton LMTVs and 5-ton MTVs as workhorse supply vehicles around the world, and fielded as many as 70,000 of the vehicles at once. Some of the LMTVs that recently made it all the way through DLA’s reutilization schedule without being requisitioned were ultimately auctioned to the public via the agency’s commercial sales rolling stock contract for upwards of $25,000 apiece.