Hoover Valley VFD welcomes new brush truck

Glynis Crawford Smith

Joe Schreiber, chief of Hoover Valley Volunteer Fire And Emergency Services admires features of the new 2017 Ford F 550 brush truck delivered to the department Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 20. It will be christened the Iva Avery in honor of the citizen who rounded out the purchase price of more than $100,000, funded primarily by the Texas Forest Service.





By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

It was a red letter day for Hoover Valley Volunteer Fire And Emergency Services on Wednesday, Dec. 20. They took possession of a new, state-of-the art brush truck to be known as the Iva Avery.

A check representing an almost $100,000 grant to purchase the vehicle was delivered, along with the truck by Nicole Lang, central branch fire coordinator for the Texas A&M Forest Service.

Brush Truck 5350 will be christened the Iva Avery for an important reason. That is the name of a single supporter who made sure the purchase would happen as soon as the grant came through. The volunteer fire department had been in line for the grant since 2014. To be sure they would be able to meet their match of a small percentage of the purchase price, Avery made her donation in advance.

“She gave us the money two years ago,” said Capt. Marc Talamantez. “We are very grateful. The name Ida Avery will be displayed on the truck.”

The grant came through the Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program of the forest service.

“It is volunteer departments that do most of the fire fighting in Texas,” said Lang.

“Volunteer firefighters make up two-thirds of the firefighting forces in Texas. More than three-quarters of the almost 1,900 fire departments scattered across the state are staffed by volunteer firefighters.

The program, under House Bill 2604 is administered by the Texas Forest Service to provides grants for engines, fire and rescue equipment, protective gear and training.

“Since inception, the Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program has funded more than 1,600 fire trucks, 4,000 requests for sets of gear and 64,000 training opportunities, awarding more than $213 million in total grants,” Lang explained.

She said the department's wait for a grant is about typical.

“There are more than 2,800 outstanding requests on file, totaling over $167 million,” she said.

Revenue for the program is derived from an assessment on certain property and casualty insurers. A grant is especially important to a department like Hoover Valley that receives no Emergency Service District support.

Hoover Valley Volunteer Fire And Emergency Services now has 13 members. Like most volunteer departments these days, the non-profit department is hungry for firefighters and for volunteers who can help with administrative work.

The new truck will be deployed at the department substation on Temple Drive (off County road 135) along with another brush truck. In addition to two brush trucks at the substation, the department now has an engine, another heavy brush truck, a light brush truck, a tender and a command vehicle at the main station at 303 County Road 118b, off Hoover Valley Road southwest of Burnet and southeast of Buchanan Dam.

The department protects approximately 25 square miles, or 15,000 acres of property along Park Road 4, Farm to Market Roads 2342 and 3509, bordering the east side of the Upper Colorado arm, starting at the Ranch to Market Road 1431 bridge of Lake LBJ and the eastern border of Inks Lake.

To learn more about the TFS grant program, visit www.texasfd.com. To learn more about the Hoover Valley Department or volunteering in some capacity, visit www.hoovervalleyvfd.org or call Jon Bourgeois, president of the board of directors, 714-390-7176.

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