EULA, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Eula Volunteer Fire Department has unveiled their newest piece of firefighting equipment, thanks to a Texas A&M Forest Service grant.
The Eula, Texas Volunteer Fire Department was awarded a $20,000 grant through the Texas A&M Forest Service Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program. With the money, the VFD was able to purchase a new slip-on unit and attach it to a 5-ton Stewart Stephenson military truck.
The slip-on unity has a 1,000 gallon poly water tank that will increase the department’s capacity to respond quickly to wild fires.
The unit was attached to an ex-military vehicle the department received through the Department of Defense Firefighter Property Program. The program, overseen by the USDA Forest Service, has provided over 500 retired military vehicles to volunteer fire departments. These vehicles are repaired and transported to departments statewide at no cost to them.
The main purpose of the vehicle is to respond to wild fires and structure fires, but with the height of the vehicle, it will be useful in high water rescues as well.
“The new slip-on unit has a 1,000-gallon poly water tank that will help increase our capacity when responding to wildland fires,” said Eula VFD Assistant Chief Charlie Dawson. “Having a large volume of water will give the firefighters increased firefighting ability by allowing them to shuttle water to the farms, ranches and undeveloped areas that do not have access to fire hydrants.”
“The Stewart Stephenson is very tough and was built to maneuver the type of terrain that we have,” said Dawson. “It has an automatic transmission that is beneficial when fighting a wildland fire for hours. We no longer have to keep a foot on the clutch for long periods of time.”
The Eula Volunteer Fire Department was established in 1984 and serves a 140 square mile protection are. Eula Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief Joe Arispe oversees the 18 member response team