NEW FIRE TRUCK — The Conrad Volunteer Rural Fire Department, through a community effort, has a new truck. From the left is Fire Chief Kevin Moritz, Jack Rogers of Courtesy Ford, Erik Eneboe and Tony Nickol. Photo for the I-O by Colleen Moritz
After two years of planning, Pondera County Rural Fire Department has a new fire truck in the Conrad Fire Hall.
The new truck is a 2013 Ford F-550 which was sold to the department by Courtesy Ford.
Courtesy Ford’s commitment to the community allowed the fire department to purchase the truck at a special fleet rate which made the new truck cost less than most used trucks.
Once the cab and chassis was purchased, the problem arose of how to afford a bed, pump, tank and the necessary equipment to outfit the new truck presented itself.
Enter the County Cooperative Fire Protection Program, a partnership between DNRC and Montana counties to ensure the availability of fire protection services – even in some of the most remote areas of the state.
This unique program, initiated more than 40 years ago, provides a partnership whereby county fire organizations – rural and volunteer fire departments – provide initial attack fire response for fires started on lands within their county.
DNRC, in turn, provides the counties with equipment, tools and training to ensure that they have the necessary resources to do the work.
Additionally, if a fire escapes initial attack and exceeds the county’s capability for suppression and management, the DNRC provides financial and operational assistance.
The program allowed the Pondera County Rural Fire Department to deliver a cab and chassis to the DNRC’S Equipment Development Center in Missoula and in return pick up a completed fire truck at no charge to the department.
The Equipment Development Center’s talented mechanics outfitted the truck with the bed, tank, pump, and the emergency lighting for the truck.
Then the truck went to Helena to get a full complement of tools and equipment to make the slip-on unit complete. The value of this part of the truck alone was over $14,000, once again at no charge to the department.
Once the truck was back in Conrad, the volunteer firemen installed the radio and Bob Moritz put the graphics on the side.
This truck represents a large community effort which has enhanced Pondera County Rural Fire Department’s ability to better serve and protect all of the residents of the area.