ACE - Thanks to a grant from the Texas A&M Forest Service, the South Polk County Volunteer Fire Department reached a milestone as it was able to purchase a new tanker truck that will provide more water to fire scenes in the area.
The new 2017 Kenworth T-370 Tanker, built by Fouts Brothers, has a capacity of 3,000 gallons and is the first machine of its kind at the small fire department in Ace.
According to Fire Chief Christopher Moehlmann, the truck was a much-needed upgrade from the department’s older trucks.
“It has doubled our capacity and now we can get more water to these rural areas that don’t have pressure water sources,” he said. “We will also better assist the other local departments.”
Representatives from the Texas A&M Forest Service visited Ace on Tuesday to formally present the $200,000 grant check to Moehlmann, Asst. Chief Richard Tullos and Asst. Chief Randy Touchet. Local officials were also present, including Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy, State Rep. James White and representatives from U.S. Representative Brian Babin’s office.
The grant was issued under the Texas Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program, which provides funding to rural departments for the acquisition of vehicles, equipment and training. The amount granted for the tanker was a 90 percent matching fund, provided by the Texas A&M Forest Service.
The South County VFD was able to provide the remaining $22,225, most of which came from community fundraising efforts in the past year.
“Without the community’s help, this would not be possible.” said Moehlmann. “We are very thankful for their support.”
The department’s next Annual Fall Fundraiser event will take place Oct. 1 from 11 a.m – 2 p.m. and includes all-you-can-eat soup, chili and sandwiches for $10 a plate.
Community members are welcome to visit the fire station on Mondays for training at 6:30 p.m. to check out the new tanker. For more information, visit the South Polk County VFD Facebook page at facebook.com/SPCVFD.