Texas A&M Forest Service recently awarded the Weldon Volunteer Fire Depart with a grant to purchase a new slip-on unit. The slip-on unit pictured above is a complete, self-contained fire-fighting apparatus designed for a pick-up or custom-built vehicle platform. (Courtesy Photo/Special to the HCCourier)
Special to the HCCourier
LOVELADY - Texas A&M Forest Service recently awarded Weldon Volunteer Fire Department with a $17,635 grant to purchase a new slip-on unit, through the Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Grant Program.
A slip-on unit is a complete, self-contained firefighting apparatus designed for a pickup truck or custom-built vehicle platforms. It is intended to become a fast, initial-attack firefighting component used for wildland firefighting, structure and automobile fires.
"This new slip-on unit is replacing one that was in service for about 10 years. It had a 400-gallon water tank that started leaking and needed a lot of repairs," said Weldon VFD Chief Dennis Taylor. "This new slip-on has a 500-gallon water tank and a 10-gallon foam tank."
The increase in water capacity is a benefit to the department.
"The challenge we have is water. Our area is rural and we don't have access to fire hydrants," Taylor explained. "We do have a relief valve near the fire station. It has connections that we can hook-up and fill our tanks but we have to haul water to all the fires in the area."
The unit has been put into service, but has not responded to any calls yet. "We received a lot of rain recently so that has helped to eliminate fire calls for a little while," said Taylor.
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 the Texas State Legislature and administered by Texas A&M Forest Service. This program provides funding to rural VFDs for the acquisition of firefighting vehicles, fire and rescue equipment, protective clothing, dry-hydrants, computer systems and firefighter training.