Buckholts VFD uses $99,000 grant to add firefighting power to fleet

A new 2017 Ford F550 is now housed at the Buckholts Volunteer Fire Department. The brush truck has a 400-gallon water tank and foam capability, giving the department greater capacity to protect the farming community.

“Buckholts is a rural community with limited water sources, so having extra water at the scene helps generate a faster knock down of a fire,” said Buckholts VFD Fire Chief Robert Rodriguez. “The brush truck can also draft from a pond or creek and has 4-wheel-drive that enables firefighters to get in and out of plowed fields where the ground can be soft or difficult to maneuver.”

The dual function apparatus will be used for wildland, structure and car fires, and traffic control, adding value when providing aid on State Highway 36, the main road through Buckholts. 

“The grant helped to add a very reliable small brush truck to the department’s fleet,” said Texas A&M Forest Service Resource Specialist Bryan Burns. “The dependability and significant water carrying capacity impact fire suppression abilities.”

Funds were raised for the cost share portion by having a “wash pot stew” fund raiser.

“We appreciate the support of the community during our annual fund raiser,” said Rodriguez. “We are also grateful for the grant programs that are offered by Texas A&M Forest Service.”

Buckholts VFD has been serving their community since 1930 and have open enrollment for anyone wanting to give back to their community as a volunteer or junior volunteer. All volunteers receive training on firefighting safety and techniques. An application may be picked up at the fire station located at 115 West Main Street, the second Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m.

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 through 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. 

For more information on programs offered by Texas A&M Forest Service, please visit http://texasfd.com.