Lake Mexia VFD converts military vehicle to enhance fleet

Posted at 10:57 AM, Jun 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-07 11:57:28-04

The Lake Mexia Volunteer Fire Department has transformed a military cargo truck into an emergency response vehicle.

Fire fighters stripped the camouflage paint from the five-ton Bowen-McLaughlin-York military cargo truck, and furnished it with a 600-gallon tank, standalone pump and fresh coats of white and pink paints.

Volunteers each put in 25 to 30 hours converting the truck into a firefighting machine.

Almost 30-percent of the department's volunteers are female. The department's volunteers chose the white and pink paints to show solidarity within their department as well as to support breast cancer awareness.

The truck has been used several times already for grass fires and swift water rescues, according to Texas A&M Forest Service Regional Fire Coordinator Matthew Schlaefer.

Officials say the new truck has improved the department's capabilities, especially for high and swift water rescues.

“We live on a lake and have had six floods since October. We used it then to rescue residents. This type of vehicle can get into areas where other trucks can’t,” Lake Mexia VFD Chief Gene Parrish said.

The truck was provided by the DoD Firefighter Property Program. The program, overseen by the USDA Forest Service, provides excess military equipment to fire departments and emergency service providers. Lake Mexia’s new truck is one of six DoD Firefighter Property five-ton trucks in Limestone County.

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