Selden Volunteer Fire Department converts military vehicle into dual purpose truck

Special to the E-T
Pictured is a 2003 Stewart Stevenson truck before the Selden Volunteer Fire Department worked on it.

STEPHENVILLE, Texas – Selden Volunteer Fire Department members turned a 2003 Stewart Stevenson truck into a firefighting machine to help protect their community and surrounding area.

The fruit of their labor produced a brush truck with a slip-on unit that has a 2,000-gallon water tank and is capable of drafting from a pond, creek or pool. The truck was awarded through the Department of Defense Firefighter Property Program and the slip-on unit was purchased with a grant through the Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program both administered by Texas A&M Forest Service.

“One of the stipulations for receiving this truck was to paint it a nonmilitary color so our volunteers painted it themselves and plumbed it, making it ready for response as a dual purpose apparatus,” said Selden Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief Shad Parum. “The primary mission of the truck will be for wildland firefighting but it can function as a tanker since it holds a large quantity of water.”

The truck’s rugged all-wheel-drive makes it perfect for the Erath County terrain.

“The area is pretty rocky and has a lot of cedar so some of the areas are difficult to get to but this truck will be ideal for getting into the toughest areas,” said Parum “We don’t have much flooding here but it could also be used for high-water rescue if needed.”

Texas A&M Forest Service is committed to protecting lives and property through various fire department assistance programs. The Department of Defense Firefighter Property Program launched in Texas in 2005, is one such program and has released over 600 retired military trucks to volunteer fire departments across the state. The agency transports the vehicle from a military installation, performs necessary repairs and delivers it to the volunteer fire department at no cost to them. The Texas A&M Forest Service excess military equipment program is sponsored by the USDA Forest Service which also oversees the national program.

For more information on programs offered by Texas A&M Forest Service, please visit http://texasfd.com.

Pictured is a 2003 Stewart Stevenson truck after the Selden Volunteer Fire Department worked on it.