Vernon Fire Chief, Kent Smead, has confirmed the new addition of a Brush truck to the Vernon Fire Department. This particular type of engine they're being awarded is built to fight "wild land" fires (brush fires) and would cost about $100,000 without the grant. There is a condition to the grant, and that is the truck and two volunteer fire fighters can be called into service if wildfire help is needed elsewhere in the state
The Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) is delivering more than $800,000 worth of equipment to eight fire departments as part of a grant program administered through Texas Forest Service. The awarding of this equipment is the first of its kind and is part of a long-term strategic plan to develop TIFMAS resources around the state.
New fire engines are presented to eight Texas departments in Vernon, Borger, Midland, Weatherford, Travis County, Pharr, Lufkin and Galveston Fire Departments.
The TIFMAS grant program was created in the 2009 Legislature under Senate Bill 1011 and is maintained by Texas Forest Service. The TIFMAS grant program is a collaborative effort of the Texas Fire Chiefs Association, State Firemen's and Fire Marshals Association, Texas State Association of Fire Fighters, Texas Commission on Fire Protection and Texas Forest Service.
TIFMAS, under the direction of Texas Forest Service and the TIFMAS state coordinator, offers training, equipment and vehicle grants, credentialing standards and mobilization systems to make statewide use of local resources. The program was first mobilized during Hurricane Ike to provide an organized response strategy for the needed resources. Since its inception, TIFMAS has mobilized both resources and personnel for significant state events including Hurricane Ike, 2009 winter wildfires, Hurricane Alex and 2011 Texas wildfires.