Fire chief on new tender: "It changes it 100 percent" - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Fire chief on new tender: "It changes it 100 percent"

JONESBORO, TX (KXXV) -

A Central Texas volunteer fire department has more power to fight fires thanks to a grant for a tender. That's a truck that holds and takes water to places where there isn't any nearby.

You might remember that was a problem when a roofing company building caught fire in McGregor in February. Jonesboro Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bobby Buster said he hopes the department's new tender can help with a problem like that in the future.

"We've been waiting for it for five years and we finally got it. They got us a 2017, 3,000-gallon tender," Buster said.

Buster said it replaces a 20-year-old, 1,600-gallon tender. Now, Buster said the department has almost double the water to cut running back and forth from a fire in half.

"It changes it 100 percent compared to what we used to have," Buster said.

He said he wouldn't have it without the help of a $200,000 grant from the Texas A&M Forest Service.

"We provide 90 percent of the cost of the apparatus that they purchased," said Mitchell LaMonte, the fire coordinator with the Texas A&M Forest Service.

"That was awesome because our budgets were not going to allow us to add to our fire departments and with the help from the forest service, we've been able to," said Coryell County Commissioner Ray Ashby.

"Out here in rural country, it's especially important because they have a low water supply out here. So, if they have an adequate water supply, they can fight fires a lot more efficiently," LaMonte said.

Buster said he knows all too well what it's like to not have enough water to fight a fire. He helped shuttle water as a volunteer on the roofing company fire in Mcgregor in February.

"So, it's a great loss to somebody," Buster said.

A great loss, Buster said he hopes the new addition to his department can help prevent in the future.

"It really helps our community," Buster said.

LaMonte said the Texas A&M Forest service has granted a total of $600,000 to Coryell County volunteer fire departments giving $200,000 each to Jonesboro, Turnersville and Ogelsby.

To apply for a grant, head to the Texas A&M Forest Service website.

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