SSFD adds second new truck this year to its firefighting fleet

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

Sulphur Springs Fire Department recently added a new brush truck to its fleet, a 2006 F350 4-wheel drive pickup outfitted with skid unit, compliments of the city and a grant.

Sulphur Springs Fire Department Driver Jay McKee (left), and (third from right) Ast. Fire Marshal Eric Hill and firefighters David James and Mackey Maxwell show off their new brush truck to (2nd from left) Brian Toliver Ford Lincoln Mercury senior ssales consultant Oscar Strain and General Manager Brent Toliver Tuesday evening at the fire station. The new brush truck was paid for with a $23,000 grant from Texas Commission on Fire Protection and the $8,700 provided by the city to finish it out.

Texas Commission on Fire Protection awarded SSFD a $23,000 grant for the truck, and the city paid $8,700 to outfit the flat bed vehicle with a skid unit complete with a 225-gallon tank and motor. 

The department reviewed three bids for the truck, but due to increases in costs since the grant application was made had to reject two. They decided to go with Brian Toliver Ford Lincoln Mercury in Sulphur Springs for the truck.

"We couldn't have done it without Oscar Strain with the Ford fleet. He gave us a real good deal on the truck," SSFD driver Jay McKee noted of Toliver's senior sales consultant. "We were able to buy it from the company and build it up. If we'd had to purchase it [complete], it would have cost $35,000 to $40,000. It will be beneficial to the city in that it will replace an older truck with a newer one and the city won't have to spend so much money."

The truck will replace the 1978 mini pumper truck which firefighters said is not only aging but is often too bulky for the approximately 25 wildland and brush fires calls the department responds to each year. The new brush truck was put in service earlier this month at the Central Fire Station.

The brush truck marks the second truck the department has added to its fleet this year. In January, they also put a $297,573 custom built Sutphen Shield Series pumper truck in service at Station 2 to replace its 1995 Spartan truck, which was put in reserve status as a backup.

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