Victoria County to purchase new fire truck

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

Oct. 21, 2013 at 5:21 a.m.

The Victoria County Fire Marshal is set to take on a $300,000 piece of equipment.

The commissioners court voted Monday to accept a grant from the Texas Forest Service for the new tanker truck. By voting to upgrade the equipment, the forest service will pitch in $218,000, leaving the county with a $74,302 bill for a $292,302 piece of equipment.

The Victoria County Fire Department owns a 1998 Chevrolet tanker that was purchased in February 2000 for $86,000.

With the upgraded equipment, which includes a compressed air foam system, the county fire department can use it to fight fires at the Victoria Regional Airport, where it is headquartered, as well as across the county.

The foam systems change the physical property of water to make it a better heat absorber, at the same time allowing the water to better soak and stick to combustible materials.

The other option, costing $251,241, would have included a $200,000 cost-share from the forest service and a county portion of $31,241 but did not include the foam system.

County Administrative Services Director Joyce Dean said the availability and use of the upgraded option makes it a better choice.

"We're better able to make use of (the state's) funding by providing ourselves with a compressed air foam system," she said. "It gives us a brand new tanker with new technology."

The 1998 truck will likely be auctioned, she said.

Commissioner Gary Burns was concerned about the cost to operate the truck compared to one that uses water.

"Is it expensive?" he asked.

Dean said operating the foam truck will cost $200 to $300 to replace foam each time. The fire marshal will absorb that cost into his budget.

Fire Marshal Ron Pray was at a conference Monday and not at the commissioners meeting.



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