The Jonesboro Fire Department has received an $18,000 slip-on unit grant from Texas A&M Forest Service's Rural VFD Assistance Program.
The slip-on unit grant will enable the volunteer department to add another truck with firefighting capabilities once paired with a vehicle, according to Fire Chief Bobby Buster.
The slip-on unit will replace a 1970 Chevrolet pickup that had been serving as a makeshift fire truck, and will be able to fight brush and grass fires, as well as service wrecks and blocked roads. The department also values the slip-on unit's ability to carry up to 500 gallons of water and deliver it in a more controlled fashion.
“Our old trucks could carry similar amounts of water, but the new unit's technology surpasses what we've had,” Buster said. “It tells you how much water you have and allows you to adjust the gallons it pumps per minute.”
The Texas A&M Forest Service appropriates about $21.8 million a year to fire departments that run entirely or mostly by volunteers, which account for over 85 percent of the state's departments.
“This program is great,” Buster said. “It helps small departments like ours who couldn't afford up to date equipment without financial support.”