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WVFD takes firefighting to whole new level

WOODLAND – The Town of Woodland is the proud owner of a new fire truck.

The truck, a 2008 KME Top Mount Commercial Pumper with an International Chassis equipped with a Hale 1250 gpm (gallons per minute) centrifugal pump and a 1000 gallon water tank, was made possible by federal funding from United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA): a $217,350 low interest loan and $50,000 grant.

The new truck is replacing a 1972 Ford L 7000.

David Cooper, a commissioner for Woodland, said the new truck is very important to the fire department.

According to Cooper, the truck sprays foam which will be vital when putting out gas and electric fires. He also mentioned the importance of the lights, which are helpful to illuminate wreck sites at night.

“This is one of the most up-to -date trucks in the area,” said Cooper.

“We are replacing a 1972 truck and technology and equipment have changed; we needed to up-grade.”

Cooper also mentioned the significance of the fire districts. People in the fire districts are required to pay a fire tax which makes the new equipment possible.

“Rural Development meets the needs of the community; this is what we do,” said Susan Christensen, area specialist for USDA.

Christensen added that it is difficult for small towns to meet their needs without assistance.

“I am excited to help towns that cannot afford equipment without assistance,” she said. “This is what our program is about.”

“This does me good and I am happy to help,” she added.

Perry Collier, one of the lieutenants in the Woodland Volunteer Fire Department, said this truck is important to the department because it replaces the old truck and is more efficient.

“When you put your life on the line, you want to have the best equipment and have something dependable,” he said. “We couldn’t even find parts for the old truck anymore, so this helps tremendously.”

Robbie Collier, also a member of the department, echoed those sentiments

“It is nice to know you can jump in the truck and it will work,” he said. “The brakes will not lock up and it is dependable, so it will get you where you want to go when you want to go.”

Cooper encourages everyone to come out on at 5 p.m. on July 19 and support the fire department at its fundraiser, the 23rd annual Shrimp Feast.

The event will be held at the Woodland Shrimp Feast grounds and tickets are $25.

No tickets will be sold at the gate and people interested in buying tickets may call 587-3181 or 332-4111 for more information.

The USDA Community Facilities Program provides loans, grants and loan guarantees for essential community facilities such as schools, libraries, childcare facilities, hospitals, medical clinics, assisted living facilities, fire and rescue stations, police stations and community centers.

USDA Rural Development’s mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development has invested more than $91 billion since 2001 for equity and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development and critical community and technology infrastructure.

More than 1.7 million jobs have been created or saved through these investments.

Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA’s website at http://rurdev.usda.gov.