TEXAS INTRASTATE FIRE MUTUAL SYSTEM
The Texas A&M Forest Service helps support the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual System (TIFMAS) in many ways. Grant funding is available to local fire departments and recently three were selected to receive more than $ 700,000 in grants to purchase new wildland firefighting vehicles.
"We are honored to provide the grant awards today. TIFMAS is and has proven to be a tremendously valuable asset in times of crisis. As an agency, it's our goal to continue building partnerships with fire departments throughout the state, so that we may effectively accomplish our shared mission to protect life and property," said Jason Keiningham Texas A&M Forest Service Capacity Building department head.
The three fire departments receiving new firefighting vehicles from the grants are Amarillo, McKinney and Round Rock. Notice of the awards have been sent to each department. After official acceptance from the cities, the fire departments will be able to receive the vehicles.
These three fire departments will agree to house and keep these wildland firefighting vehicles (officially described as Type 3 and Type 6 engines, and tactical water tenders) and send staffing to the emergency in the state of Texas. The normal response if for wildfires that have escaped initial attack, however, these units have been used for floods and wind events as well.
"The Round Rock Fire Department prides itself in being able to help others in the community and those throughout the state of Texas. At times when the call for help comes out in the state, we have multiple trained and qualified personnel ready to assist, but we have to look at our resources (apparatus) and decide if we are in a position to send needed equipment. By acquiring a TIFMAS Type 6, this guarantees that we have the equipment needed and ready to respond when the request comes out," said Shane Glaiser, a Round Rock Training Battalion Chief.
The TIFMAS program benefits participating career fire departments by providing firefighting equipment, training and vehicles since its inception in 2011. The fire departments maintain and mobilize this equipment to support statewide and local emergency response to incidents when called to respond by the state.
"TIFMAS is a great program. I have had the chance to work with TIFMAS resources on wildfires and have seen firsthand the impact they have in the control of wildfires," said Phillip Truitt, Texas A&M Forest Service Communications Specialist.
The Texas A&M Forest Service also supports volunteer fire department (VFD) programs as well. Through numerous programs that provided assistance for equipment and training as well as excess property (fire apparatus) the agency encourages VFDs to consider each of these programs and apply when eligible.