The Crosbyton Volunteer Fire Department was the recipient of a retired military vehicle, donated by the Texas A&M Forest Service through a program run by the Department of Defense.
“This will be the third unit that we got from the forest service,” he said.
“This truck is for wildland. The area we cover has a lot of brush, and rough terrain and that’s really the greatest use,” Justus said. “Our trucks work city fires as well as rural fires. So it’s a multipurpose rig that we can use wherever we need to go, it’s ready to go, and is available and does a great job.
“We have a great need for this truck,” he said.
The program, launched in Texas in 2005, has provided over 300 military vehicles to volunteer fire departments across the state, according to Suzy Cossey, with Texas A&M Forest Service.
“Most of these trucks were military personnel movers, equipment movers and that stuff,” Justus added. “[It] had to be painted to get rid of the military colors. After about a year of service, the forest service will give you the title, and we will actually own that truck after that.”
Justus said the department would benefit from the free, 5-ton truck, saying that it allows for the small staff to more easily access fight flames.
“It’s a great program for small departments like ours. Small cities, small budgets. This truck, I believe, was like $100,000 when it was purchased by the government. And, it’s handed to us for free after the military is finished with it. There’s no way we could purchase a vehicle like this with our budget. The equipment we need, we just don’t have the funds for that,” Justus explained.