CLEVELAND, Texas – Plum Grove Volunteer Fire Department received funding from Texas A&M Forest Service’s Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program for a 2017 truck chassis and slip-on unit.

The department customized a brush truck specifically for their needs. According to Fire Chief Johnson, they wanted it to be an updated, efficient apparatus that was as firefighter friendly as possible. It has 4-wheel drive, exceptional scene lighting and a slip-on unit with a 200-gallon water tank.

A brush truck is an initial-attack unit used to help meet the demands of the fire service. It is a pickup truck or chassis that has a tank, pump and hose mounted to the bed or platform and is used as a quick assault for grass and brush fires.

“We converted this 2017 chassis into a front line apparatus that is replacing an 11-year-old vehicle, “said Plum Grove VFD Fire Chief Joe Johnson, II. “It is good to restructure our aging fleet and having a new truck will allow us to use funding on much needed equipment rather than on older truck maintenance.”

The apparatus is in service and was used for a response on the first day.

“The day we got the truck we actually didn’t get to park it at the station before we had to respond to a call that was a 128-acre fire we named the Comino Real Fire,” said Johnson. “Texas A&M Forest Service worked with our department and together we gained control of the fire. It was great to have the updated, lighter more efficient truck that could get out there faster and get the job done.”

The department ran 324 response calls last year with 120 of them being wildland or grass fires.

Plum Grove VFD has been serving their community of 7,000 since 1971. They cover 62 square miles where the urban interface has grown from four subdivisions in 2010 to 13 housing developments. As their responsibility grows, so does their need for committed volunteers who would like to give back to their community.  Those wanting to apply may call the fire department at (281) 689-8775 and request an application or send a message on their Facebook site.

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 VFDs 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

Assistant Fire Chief Christopher Loftin and Fire Chief Joe Johnson II