FFA, VFD collaborated to save county money
Miller Grove’s volunteer fire department is finally ready to bring home their new 5-ton truck, courtesy of the hard work of the Miller Grove Independent School District’s Future Farmers of America club.
After a new paint job and other work by Miller Grove’s FFA, the truck went from camouflage to bright red, and will be rechristened either Booster 13 to retain uniform style North Hopkins, or Brush as it is a wildland fire engine brush truck.
“We’re really appreciative to the kids. They did a great job,” MGVFD captain Ray Sparks told the News-Telegram. “We took a couple of the ag[riculture] boys to the parade and they got to ride on it. They’re very proud of their work, and we’re certainly very proud of them.”
Sparks says the VFD has reserved a spot on the truck to put a logo sticker acknowledging the school’s input.
The MGVFD picked the 5-ton truck up Aug. 27 with monetary assistance from Texas A&M Forest Service (TFS) grants including $20,000 to equip the 5-ton truck with fire suppression and skid unit, according to Sparks. After the work by the FFA, the total cost of the truck to the VFD will come in at around $1500 including all supplies the FFA used.
“It’s great for that price on a 2008 model with 4,000 miles,” Sparks said. He estimates that the FFA saved the fire department approximately $2,500 in labor. “And it looks nice,” Sparks said. “We could have got a cheap paint job and it would have looked cheap.”
As a way to thank the FFA for their help, the MGVFD helped to put on a demonstration on proper machine shop safety as well as the use of fire extinguishers in September.
The truck currently resides at the school, where students are still adding handrails. Despite this, the truck made its first call to a 1.5 acre grass fire off Highway 19, where MGVFD provided water and filled up other trucks, Sparks says.
The truck is the culmination of a grant handed in almost four years ago, Sparks says, and the MGVFD still has two grants out for larger trucks they hope will come to fruition in the next few years.
“We’re just trying to do the best to be smart and frugal with our money,” Sparks said.