Agency provides Texas emergency response assets

By Jeff Landenberger DLA Dispostion Services

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Using an excess military five-ton truck, the Anson Volunteer Fire Department in Texas recently rescued a stranded motorist from flood waters.

The truck was acquired by the department through the DoD Firefighter Property Program, where DLA Disposition Services works with the U.S. Forest Service to get used military equipment into the hands of firefighters in rural communities.

Fire Chief Perry Thomson, Jr. explained that they had just put the truck into service when the area experienced heavy rain.

Signs were posted to warn drivers that Highway 83 was flooded, but some disregarded the warnings and became stranded in water up to their doors.

“We went out there with that big five-ton truck, got them loaded up and brought them up to the higher ground,” Thomson said.

The truck has helped rescue six people so far.

He said water rescues were not the primary reason why Anson acquired the truck. The truck is mainly there to help fight fires with its 1,200-gallon water tank add-on.

According to Thomson, this tough truck has six-wheel drive and wide tires that provide traction in the sandy areas of their farming community. Rural areas there heavily depend on the department’s response to protect their homes, fields and farming equipment that can cost thousands of dollars.

“It will be a great asset, helping us get the upper hand on wildland fires or whatever the emergency,” Thomson said.