Peoria VFD receives grant for new brush truck

Editor: Shannon Cottongame

September 1, 2021

Peoria Volunteer Fire Department is enhancing its firefighting capabilities with a new brush truck that was purchased with the help of a Texas A&M Forest Service grant.

Peoria Volunteer Fire Department recently acquired a 2022 brush truck thanks to a cost share grant through the Texas A&M Forest Service Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program. The truck has an 800-gallon water tank and foam capability.

“This new brush truck can not only shuttle a large quantity of water as a first-out truck, it is built to carry more firefighters,” said Peoria VFD Fire Chief James Wantland. “It is very high-tech with a remote-controlled monitor, special seating for three firefighters and storage for extra air tanks (self-contained breathing apparatus).

The bumper sprayers, monitor and whip lines will allow firefighting from any direction around the truck and will be a benefit in areas with few fire hydrants.

“Peoria VFD’s response area is predominately farming and ranching,” said Texas A&M Forest Service Regional Fire Coordinator Matthew Schlaefer. “This new fleet addition will help increase the department’s capacity to protect their community and also in mutual aid response in the surrounding area.”

The department members will be conducting special training on the new apparatus to become familiar with how the truck operates and performs.

“I would like to extend a special thank you to our community for their support during our fund raisers that help meet the needs of the department,” said Wantland. “Also, to Texas A&M Forest Service for having the grant opportunities available to volunteer fire departments.”

Peoria Volunteer Fire Department was established in 1974 and serves a 35-square-mile area.

Texas A&M Forest Service is an agency operating within the Texas A&M University System and as the Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program administrator is committed to protecting lives, property and natural resources.

The Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program is funded by the Texas Legislature and provides cost share funding to rural volunteer fire departments for the acquisition of firefighting vehicles, fire and rescue equipment, protective clothing, dry-hydrants, computer systems and firefighter training.

For more information on programs offered by Texas A&M Forest Service, visit

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