Salineno Volunteer Fire Department Receives Grant, Military Truck
The Salineno Volunteer Fire Department converted a 5-ton military cargo truck into a firefighting apparatus. The department also accepted a $19,900 Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program grant to purchase a slip-on unit for the conversion. The truck is an excess military vehicle from the Department of Defense Firefighter Property Program (DOD FFP). Both programs are administered by Texas A&M Forest Service. Recipients of the DOD FFP program are required to convert the vehicle into a service-ready unit within 180 days of acquisition. “This truck will primarily be used for brush fires and as a support unit for structure fires,” said Fire Chief Jorge Oyervides. “Part of our protection area is prone to flooding so it will also be useful in high water rescues.” The truck has an 800-gallon water tank and foam capability. “Some of our area can’t be reached with a small brush truck so this apparatus is rugged enough to get into the ravines and over the rough terrain,” said Oyervides. As a military veteran, Chief Oyervides had experience with these types of trucks. He conducted training with his department on preventive maintenance and driving technique.
“We are very grateful to Texas A&M Forest Service for having grant programs that assist volunteer fire departments and to Commissioner Roy Pena for being so supportive,” said Oyervides. Salineno Volunteer Fire Department has been serving their community since 1999 and currently has open enrollment. An application is available at the monthly meeting held the last Saturday of every month at the station, 70 Salineno Road in Salineno. “We have open enrollment for volunteers and junior volunteers,” said Oyervides. “Parental permission is needed for high school volunteers who would like to learn about firefighting.” Texas A&M Forest Service is committed to protecting lives and property through various fire department assistance programs. The Department of Defense Firefighter Property Program launched in Texas in 2005, is one such program and has released over 600 retired military trucks to volunteer fire departments across the state. The agency transports the vehicle from a military installation, performs necessary repairs and delivers it to the volunteer fire department at no cost to them. The Texas A&M Forest Service excess military equipment program is sponsored by the USDA Forest Service which also oversees the national program. For more information on programs offered by Texas A&M Forest Service, please visit http://texasfd.com.
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