MAYPEARL — Funding from the state and an endowment has allowed the Maypearl Volunteer Fire Department to continue its mission of protecting lives and property with the purchase of a new fire truck.

Ellis County Emergency Services District 1, which operates the department, used funding from the Texas A&M Forest Service Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program.

According to the Texas A&M Forest Service website, the program provides funding to rural volunteer fire departments for the acquisition of firefighting vehicles, fire and rescue equipment, protective clothing, fire hydrants, computer systems and firefighter training. It is a cost-share program funded by the Texas State Legislature.

Departments eligible for this program have to be recognized non-profit volunteer fire department operated by its members. Any part-paid and part-volunteer fire department with 20 or fewer paid members are eligible.

“We have got it set up on a 15-year replacement program for engines. What this is going to do is this new engine is going to go on front line service. We will put our 2001 Pierce truck as a reserve,” Maypearl Fire Chief Trey Moon said. “This engine will play a vital part in lowering the Insurance Service Office rating, which all the insurance companies use for homeowner’s insurance. We cover 90 square miles, so we went with this heavy-duty truck.”

The program allowed the department to replace a 1975 Ford pumper with a 2017 Spartan pumper/tender that has a Compressed Air Foam System, 1,000-gallon water tank, 40-gallon foam tank, deck gun and 10-inch dump valve.

“This new vehicle is well equipped with the rural area that we serve,” said Ellis County ESD 1 Board Treasurer Jim Morrison. “It carries a large amount of water and has the capability to draft water from a stream or pond. The CAFS is especially important because the foam allows a firefighter to do more with less.”

A CAFS system is used in firefighting to deliver fire-retardant foam to extinguish a fire or protecting unburned areas and has the potential to give more firefighting power while using less water. The foam system can aid in quickly exterminating a fire which helps limit the damage that fires can inflict and help increase firefighter safety because the foam smothers the fire, rapidly reducing the temperature and smoke, giving the firefighters greater visibility.

“The department appreciates the grant programs that are available through Texas A&M Forest Service,” said Morrison. “This purchase would not have happened without funding assistance through their grant program. Our cost-share portion came from funds donated through the Lorene Kirkpatrick Endowment. Mrs. Kirkpatrick was very well known and admired by those in our community. The tender was proudly named Mrs. Kirk, in her honor”.

Moon shared Morrison’s thoughts about the grant and the endowment that played a vital role in the purchase of this new apparatus.

“Lorene Kirkpatrick has been a lifelong teacher in Maypearl. We used some of the funds there to complete the training room. We felt that it would be best because she was always about education,” Moon stated. “Then we used some of the funds for this new engine. We were able to get this engine completely paid for. There is no note on it. It is a true blessing.”

Moon said the fire engine is still currently being outfitted with equipment and expects it to go into service next month.

Residents who are interested in volunteering with the Maypearl Fire Department can pick up applications at the fire station during the department’s weekly Tuesday night meeting at 7 p.m. The fire station is located at 750 N. Main St. in Maypearl. For more information about the fire department go to the city’s website at www.ci.maypearl.tx.us and look under the city’s services tab.

For more information on programs offered by Texas A&M Forest Service, please visit www.texasfd.com.