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Tyler's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Tyler, Texas | CBS19.tv

East Texas volunteer fire department transforms military truck into fire fighting machine

It's the first new piece of equipment the Pleasant Grove VFD has gotten since 2014.

PLEASANT GROVE, Texas — The Pleasant Grove Volunteer Fire Department has battled many fires over the last 36 years since it was founded in the Big Sandy area. However, the department faces an issue, there are no fire hydrants in the rural area.

The fire engine and brush trucks carry water when firefighters respond to an incident. Chief Scott Mischnick says a new piece of equipment will help the VFD have an easier time putting out blazes.

"Texas Forest Service is running this program, where they help to get retired military vehicles to volunteer fire departments with the opportunity to turn them into brush trucks," Mischnick said.

The department received a former military truck in February and had six months to transform it to meet their needs through the Department of Defense Fire Fighter Property Program and a slip-on unit grant through the Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program.

Credit: Pleasant Grove VFD

The truck, nicknamed "Truck 20" is equipped with a 500-gallon water tank, which will help with carrying water and also allow firefighters to better handle wildfires.

"These trucks can handle much more difficult terrain," he said. "They can also haul more water than your typical brush truck."

Credit: Pleasant Grove VFD

It's the first new piece of equipment the Pleasant Grove VFD has gotten since 2014, when it purchased a new engine through a grant.

The department is considering a dual-purpose role for Truck 20 and utilizing it as a rescue truck as well.