AP NEWS

Klein Volunteer Fire Dept. donates truck to fellow VFD

May 17, 2019

To aid another fire department in need, Klein Volunteer Fire Department and Harris County Emergency Services District No. 16 has given one of their own vehicles to Jones Creek Volunteer Fire Department.

The vehicle, a 2003 mini pumper truck with a 340-gallon tank and 20-gallon fire retardant foam cell, was given to Jones Creek VFD on May 17 during a small ceremony between members of the organizations before being transferred to Jones Creek, TX.

Gus Cancino, fire chief for Jones Creek VFD, said the department is glad to receive the vehicle considering the poor condition of the truck they currently use for wildland fires.

“The skid (on the current truck) right now needs to be replaced and we’re not funded by a whole bunch of people,” he said. “We’re non-city funded. We get ESD money, a little bit of county money and then we have fundraisers we have to do, which we only do one fundraiser a year.”

The two departments were able to collaborate after meeting during a public relations event, Cancino said. After initially speaking with Dennis Bonnen, Speaker of the Texas House, Cancino was connected with Jeremy Wagner, chief law enforcement for Texas A&M Forest Service.

Wagner said he would talk to an ESD that could possibly help out, Cancino said. After some back and forth for a few weeks, Cancino received a call from Klein VFD telling him Jones Creek VFD would be receiving one of their trucks. Cancino said he is thankful for the potential of the truck, including brush work and traffic control, for the smaller department south of Houston.

“This is going to help us because we’re more rural than anything else,” he said. “We have one blinking light in town and everything else is grass and ranchers and stuff like that so it’s a big deal that have something like this to help us out in that area.”

Rich Jones, president of HCESD No. 16, said the truck is surplus equipment for Klein VFD and has been used plenty by the organization since 2003. The truck is the signature color of Klein VFD, which Jones referred to as “Klein slime green.”

“It’s been a brush truck, it’s been a medical truck, it’s actually fought several house fires,” he said. “We’ve kept it up, it’s in really good shape and we’re really happy that Jones Creek can use it because we remember the days when we were like Jones Creek, which was years ago. If anybody would’ve given us something like this, we’d have been very happy.”

Baron Edmiston, duty chief for Klein VFD, said the department gives surplus equipment, including boots, nozzles and staff vehicles to fire departments in the surrounding area, as well as forestry services. Jones and Cancino said their organizations may work together in the future.

“It’s a good neighbor policy,” Jones said. “We’re all in the same boat, so to speak.”

chevall.pryce@chron.com