Texas A&M Forest Service awarded the Tolar Volunteer Fire Department a $12,354 grant to help them purchase a new truck chassis.

The truck, a 2016 Ford F350 four-wheel drive, is replacing a 2002 brush truck with basic equipment and required frequent maintenance.

Members of the department are working to transform the truck into a firefighting apparatus.

“We do the work ourselves so we will be adding a 300-gallon water tank and a 5-gallon foam cell, also a wench on the front and rear and spray nozzles on the front,” said Tolar VFD Chief Matt Hutsell.

According to Hutsell, 50 percent of Tolar’s fires are grass or wildland fires. The department plans to use the new truck as their first-out, quick-response vehicle for these situations.

Hutsell says having a quick and reliable vehicle will improve the department’s ability to respond to emergencies.

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.