Through a $200,000 grant from the Texas A&M Forest Service Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program, the Hartley Volunteer Fire Department now has a new water tender to be used for wildfire suppression and emergency response calls.
“This 2018 tender will be a great asset to our department since we offer fire service to a rural area with limited access to a water supply,” said Hartley VFD Fire Chief Scott White. “Not only will it carry 2,000-gallons of water but can draft water from a pond or stream and because it is new, it will resolve our problem of having expensive repairs on an older truck.”
Hartley VFD was able to retire a 1978 water tender from its fleet. The new tender carries up to five firefighters with self-contained breathing apparatus capability in the back seat and a foam injection system.
“We have a lot of response calls for hay and cotton module fires,” White said. “The foam is made to help cut the oxygen supply to the fire and allows for a faster knockdown.”
The tender will primarily carry water to the scene of a fire but will also be used for traffic control and to house rescue tools.
“We are very grateful for the generous support of the local businesses that made this purchase possible, stated White. “Between all of the in-kind donations and the HB-2604 grant, the department was able to make the purchase that will be a tremendous benefit not only to the community but also to the surrounding areas where we mutual aid. This type of truck just wouldn’t happen for departments like ours without grant opportunities and local support.”
Since 1994, the Hartley VFD has offered fire service but firefighter availability has changed as small farms are replaced by corporate businesses. Chief White is proud to serve with 18 committed and loyal firefighters and welcomes new recruits. For more information or to request an application call the station at (806) 361-5126.
Texas A&M Forest Service is committed to protecting lives and property through the Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program, a cost-share program funded by Texas State Legislature and administered by Texas A&M Forest Service. This program provides funding to rural Volunteer Fire Departments for the acquisition of firefighting vehicles, fire and rescue equipment, protective clothing, dry-hydrants, computer systems and firefighter training.