Wichita Falls, TX - The Wichita Falls Fire Department received a new brush unit this month. The truck cost over $125,000 and was 100 percent grant funded through the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System.
"This is an all terrain type 4-wheel drive vehicle, but it comes equipped with 500 gallons of water, Class A foam system, fully equipped with all the wildland firefighting tools," said Wichita Falls Fire Chief John Reese.
The all-terrain vehicle was delivered as firefighters await the late summertime grass fire season.
"It's primarily a brush truck for wildlife and firefighting, but it also has the capability to be used for all hazards response as well," said Chief Reese.
It's one of thirty-one trucks given to career fire departments throughout the state.
"They are pre-positioned throughout the state that will respond to anything from a wildfire to tornadoes, hurricanes," said Chief Reese.
While Texoma has not seen a ton of activity this season, Chief Reese said, "There are some pretty large fires in the middle to southern part of the state."
He said part of the grant enables local firefighters from different parts of the state to assist one another during disasters, similar to 2011 wildfires in Wichita Falls.
After that experience, Chief Reese said, the department made an effort to ensure all of its men were trained in hazards and mainland firefighting, which enabled them to qualify for the TIFMAS grant.
The TIFMAS grant was established to provide reimbursement grants to career fire departments and combination fire departments that cannot apply for grants under the rural volunteer assistance program.