Bethel Road VFD Buys New Truck - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Bethel Road VFD Buys New Truck

COMANCHE CO., Okla_ Bethel Road Volunteer firefighters have a new and improved way to put out fires.

They recently bought a new truck that pumps out more than 1,200 gallons per minute. That's three times more than their old truck could. The truck arrived Thursday, and the plan is to get it in service within a week.

It gives them a truck that is able to respond to structure fires. Their old trucks were more suitable for small fires and brush fires. This truck means they will be able to save more homes. Another advantage of the truck compared to the old one is accessibility.

Bethel Fire Chief Guy Shipley said the crews will be able to start fighting fires faster than before.

"Our air packs will be mounted in the seats to where we won't have to be digging them out of the trucks," Shipley said. "They'll be mounted. You'll put them on, more or less, backpack style while you're sitting on the way to a run. That way when you get out of a truck, you got your air pack on. You're ready to go… From leaving the station to being able to fight fire, I bet it'll save 7 to 8 minutes."

The truck will not respond just to fires. Shipley said half their calls are medical, whether it is a call to a home or a wreck. He said they often get there before ambulances do, many times at night. The new truck has a lighting system he said will keep everyone safe.

"It's dangerous out on the highway whenever you're running a truck that doesn't have a lot of lights on it," Shipley said. "The more lit up you can be, the safer you are."

60 percent of the truck's price tag was covered by money generated by a county sales tax that went into effect in 2007. The rest was raised by Bethel's own operating funds. He said it is not the first time they have been helped by the county tax.

"We've got a newer brush truck that the county tax helped fund," Shipley said. "I know that's coming back up to vote, and I just wanted everybody to know without that county tax, we wouldn't be able to buy new equipment like we are."

Shipley was reluctant to disclose the cost of the truck, saying his volunteer fire department board members would rather him not. All he would tell me was they got it cheaper than he expected. He had to drive to Wisconsin to get it, but he said it was well worth the drive. It needed no repairs and only had 30,000 miles.



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