VFD heightens rescue capabilities with new equipment



The Wills Point Volunteer Fire Department received an $18,900 grant through the Texas A&M Forest Service Rural VFD Assistance Program to help purchase lift bags, a cutter, spreader and a computer.

“From expanding their capabilities on rescue operations with new extrication tools to a computer that will assist in management of data and training, Wills Point VFD continues to enhance their abilities to best serve their community,” said Josh Bardwell, Texas A&M Forest Service Regional Fire Coordinator. “Their use of grants to build up these abilities while maintaining fiscal responsibility is impressive and commendable.”

The new rescue tools are mainly for extrication but according to Wills Point Volunteer Fire Department Chief Ed Leipply the tools can be used for any kind of entrapment emergency.

“U.S. Highway 80, Interstate 20 and the Missouri-Pacific railroad all amplify the potential for vehicle accidents in our area,” said Leipply. “With the speed limit on the interstates at 75 miles-per-hour the accidents are more severe when they happen. Having updated rescue equipment that allows for faster extrication is important when time is a factor in saving lives.”

The tools have already been used to lift a guard rail from a wrecked vehicle.

Wills Point VFD was established in 1903 and the dedicated volunteers serve a population of approximately 10,000 residents.

The department has open enrollment for volunteers wanting to commit to training and dedicate time to the community. An application may be picked up at the weekly Thursday meeting held at the fire station at 7 p.m. The station is located at 121 South 4th Street in Wills Point.

Texas A&M Forest Service is committed to protecting lives and property through the Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program, a cost-share program funded by Texas State Legislature and administered by Texas A&M Forest Service. This program provides 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, please visit http://texasfd.com.