Harbin Volunteer Fire Department now has immediate access to 1,000 gallons of water thanks to a $199,000 grant through the Texas A&M Forest Service Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program.

“This 2019 tender is extremely important to us because of our lack of fire hydrants,” said Fire Chief James Brunson. “The large quantity of water that it can carry will give us a significant upper hand when fighting a fire. It will be one of the first of our trucks to roll when we receive a call, giving us greater firefighting power and filling the need for a water supply.”

According to Brunson the terrain is much diversified, making the tender’s four-wheel-drive important as well. They may receive emergency calls in a rocky hill area or farming regions where trucks can bog down in the plowed fields.

 “This new truck is a boost to the department’s capacity when responding to grassfires or other emergencies,” said Texas A&M Forest Service Resource Specialist Travis Sagebiel. “Fire Chief Brunson and department members expressed their appreciation for having an addition that helps them better protect their community and surrounding area.”

Brunson said community support, along with the grant offered by Texas A&M Forest Service, made it possible for their department’s new addition to their fleet.

“The department has been serving the area since 2009 and always looks for ways to improve, but without the current support systems, growth would not be possible for a small VFD,” said Brunson.