FROM STAFF REPORTS
MARBLE FALLS — The Marble Falls Area Volunteer Fire Department added a nice tool to its firefighting toolbox thanks in part to a cost-share grant from the Texas A&M Forest Service’s Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program.
The forest service program provided a $100,000 grant with the department contributing additional money through fundraising efforts and financial support from Burnet County Emergency Services District No. 6.
The department added a new Ford F550 brush truck, which is equipped with a 300-gallon water tank and a foam fire-suppressant system. The new addition has a pump and a hose mounted to the frame or chassis and is for quick assaults on grass and brush fires.
The size and build of the truck will allow volunteer firefighters to navigate the rugged terrain of some of the department’s 120-square-mile service area. This will also cut down on response time and possibly result in less property damage.
“This truck is replacing a 1997 F350 that was equipped with a 200-gallon water tank,” Chief Michael Phillips. “The new brush truck is shorter in length and higher off the ground, enabling quicker, easier access in rough terrain. It will give the firefighters a safer vehicle with greater water volume, which will be a benefit in suppressing fires in the rural areas that do not have a water source.”
The versatile brush truck, which is already in service, is also useful in structure fire situations and medical call responses.
“The grant has allowed our department to purchase up-to-date equipment and gives firefighters a tool to help protect lives and property in a safer, more effective manner,” Phillips said.
Founded in 1939, the Marble Falls Area VFD depends on volunteers.
“The department has open enrollment and is always looking for dedicated individuals who would like to give back to the community,” the chief said. “Marble Falls Area VFD could not function without committed volunteers. Anyone interested in joining may check the department’s website at mfavfd.org for more information and an application.”
The Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program is a cost-share program funded by the Texas Legislature and administered by Texas A&M Forest Service. The program provides funding to rural volunteer departments for acquisition of firefighting vehicles, fire and rescue equipment, protective clothing, dry hydrants, computer systems, and firefighter training.
Go to texasfd.com for more information on Texas A&M Forest Service programs.