KEMPNER, Texas –
Under the Department of Defense Firefighter Program a five-ton truck from the military transferred to the Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services as excess is now fighting Texas fires with the Kempner Volunteer Fire Department.
The program is a partnership between DLA Disposition Services and the US Forest Service. The intent is to get used military equipment into the hands of firefighters in rural communities.
Upon acceptance of the truck the department met the conversion challenge by doing the work in house, while keeping in mind the growing community and the future addition of Fire Station NumberThree.
“We have a new subdivision being built that will have over 190 new homes,” said Kempner VFD Fire Chief Dan Hause. “We built this new fleet addition with the knowledge that it could be useful in helping to protect those homes and our predominantly rural area.”
The truck was designed for rough terrain and longer staying power.
“Typically brush trucks are smaller and carry less water so this tender with its 1,000-gallon water capacity will be a great asset,” said Hause.
According to Hause the truck is well equipped for the job and can also be used as a tender that can transport water to an emergency scene and has defensive capability to suppress fires.
“Like a lot of volunteer fire departments, staffing can be a problem at times, but we equipped this truck so if we have only a few firefighters to respond to a call they can knock the fire down quickly and safely,” said Hause.
This rugged apparatus with all-wheel drive makes this truck a great option for transporting water to fire trucks engaged on the fire line in the field.
“It will be an enormous benefit to Kempner Volunteer Fire Department to have this large brush truck in their fleet,” said Texas A&M Forest Service Regional Fire
Coordinator Matthew Schlaefer. “Having a large quantity of water at the onset of a fire will give the firefighters the upper hand to help slow the fires growth.”