PORT ARANSAS, Texas — Port Aransas Fire Department is set to receive a fire truck on loan from Texas A&M Forest Service on Friday, Sept. 29 to temporarily replace one damaged by Hurricane Harvey.
Hurricane Harvey devastated the Port Aransas Fire Department leaving it without a single fire truck and many of the firefighters have been dealing with damage to their own homes. An interdepartmental team of firefighters from the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System has been on duty in Port Aransas assisting with local firefighting duties, until Port Aransas Fire Department gets back on their feet.
Today, through an emergency vehicle loan, Texas A&M Forest Service is delivering a state owned fire truck to the Port Aransas Fire Department.
The fire truck was acquired though the Department of Defense Firefighter Property Program and is kept on hand to be used in situations when fire departments suffer catastrophic equipment loss. The truck will help the fire department service the community until permanent equipment is in place.
“I am grateful to the men and women from Texas A&M Forest Service who have worked tirelessly to assist our city in rebuilding our fire department,” said Port Aransas Mayor Charles Bujan. “We are extremely humbled by their generosity. This truck is an essential piece of equipment that our firefighters require to protect the citizens.”
Statewide 145 fire apparatus have been confirmed as damaged or destroyed. Twenty-four fire stations were completely destroyed and hundreds more have wind and water damage. Hundreds of sets of protective clothing, and pieces of equipment here damaged while responding to calls for assistance during the disaster.
“It is our goal to help restore fire protection for the communities devastated by Harvey,” said Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Chief Mark Stanford.
The Department of Defense Firefighter Property Program, overseen by the USDA Forest Service, provides excess military equipment to fire departments and emergency service providers. Launched in Texas in 2005, this program has released over 500 retired military trucks to volunteer fire departments across the state to help them better protect lives and property. Texas A&M Forest Service transports the vehicle from a military installation, performs necessary repairs and delivers it to the volunteer fire department at no cost to them.
For more information on programs fire department assistance programs offered by Texas A&M Forest Service, please visit tfsweb.tamu.edu.