Bullard Volunteer Fire Department gets new fire engine, US
Smith County Emergency Services District 2 and the Bullard Volunteer Fire Department in the US have received a new fire engine. The purchase of the engine was made as part of the capital improvement plan for the district. The plan replaces aging equipment throughout the district. The new engine is up-to-date with modern fire fighting technology. The Pierce PUC features a Compressed Air Foam System (CAFS), 1 000 gallons of water, which is an upgrade above the 500 gallons that was carried on the previous engine. Fire fighters are completing training on the operation of the new engine. A traditional ‘Push-In’ ceremony at Bullard Fire Station No 1 located at 213 S Houston Street in Bullard were held on Sunday, 7 February 2021. Justin Walker, Bullard fire chief, said the push-in ceremony is a tradition that has carried over from the 1800s.
“When equipment was drawn by horse, it was difficult to get the horses to back it back into the station but the horse team just didn’t want to do that, so the fire fighters would let the horses free up from the equipment, and push the equipment into the station. That’s become a little ceremony for welcoming a new piece of equipment,” Chief Walker said.
The ceremony is a commonly practiced tradition to fire departments when receiving new vehicles. At the ceremony, Smith County Emergency Services District 2 Commissioner Johnny Brown blessed the truck, followed by a social meeting. “It was an opportunity to celebrate the Smith County ESD 2 and Bullard Fire Department’s effort in getting that truck purchased and delivered,” Commissioner Brown said.
The station covers about 90 square miles in both Smith and Cherokee counties. This vehicle was purchased as part of a capital improvement plan. The new engine is equipped with modern firefighting technology and up to date equipment.
“This truck has got double the water-carrying capacity of what the prior truck did. We have a thousand gallons of water which will give us a much more sustained initial attack on fires, which could make all the difference,” Walker said. “If we’re able to get the fire knocked down when it’s still small it makes a huge difference on not only how long we’re on scene but how much we’re able to save.”
Most departments are not able to receive a brand new vehicle. “It means a lot to have a brand-new one,” Chief Walker said. “With most fire departments and volunteer fire departments their revenue flow comes from fundraisers, chili cook-offs, donations, and things of that nature and so it’s just not within their means to purchase a brand-new truck.” The city of Bullard has not received a new fire engine since 2008. With a minor increase in fires in the area and an increase in call volumes, which are already at 600 calls for this year, there was an essential need for a new truck. “About 12 years is the lifespan of a front line pumper, so we were approaching that. The prior one didn’t have the water carry capacity that we like to see out in the county. It could be a while before your support vehicles and neighbouring departments show up and bring more water to you, so we just felt like it was necessary to get more water on scene to begin with,” Chief Walker said.
Walker said every year, the call volume is increasing as they’re seeing residential growth in the Bullard area.
“[Receiving of the new equipment] means increased capabilities of what our crews can do. It’s going to be an increase in emergency services and the effectiveness of the crews that arrive on scene. They’ll have the tools to get it done,” he said.
Source: Tyler Morning Telegraph and KLTV