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FEPP Success Stories - Washington

"... Still Serving the American Taxpayer!"

Washington Department of Natural Resources


Mix together three months of labor, a team of volunteer fire fighters, a fire chief with a vision, a 3,300-gallon water tank, three water chutes, and front spray bars. Add an $18,245 grant from Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Wildland Fire Assistance Program through the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). Top with a donated electric hose reel and any old garbage truck can be an efficient tender specific for wildland suppression.

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Photograph below courtesy Washington Department of Natural Resources

In March of 2004 DNR located a surplus 1986 Volvo white cab dumpster hauler at a navy base. Through the Federal Excess Personal Property Program, managed by the USFS; DNR was able to loan the truck to Pend Oreille District 3. The reconstruction process began in August and three months later the garbage truck had been converted into a water tender and was ready for a fire. DNR and USFS provided a grant of $18,245.00 to the fire district to improve fire suppression in the Diamond Lake, Sacheen Lake and Deer Valley Communities. The current population protected in this district is around 3,900 people, covering a rural area of 100 square miles. Volunteers Harry Egland, Randy Pymm, Joseph Graywolf, Gary Wilkey, Hughes Crumpler, Kyle and Paul James, Brandon Bauman and Chief Mark Havener did the necessary research and labor, as well as acquired the tools and equipment to make this conversion a feasible project.

Fire District #3 found the need for the converted tender a high priority in order to better serve their community and surrounding areas. They plan to make the new tender available to assist the DNR and the USFS. The Wildland Fire Assistance Grant was matched by an apparatus reserve fund that the volunteers raised and the commission set aside in past years.

                      BEFORE                                                               and AFTER

Photo of garbage truck body before it was turned into a water tender by Pend Oreille Fire District #3. Photo of water tender used by Pend Oreille Fire District #3.

It may have been a truck made for garbage but it is now a treasured member of Pend Oreille District 3.

Contact your state FEPP Manager or State Forester with questions or comments concerning the FEPP program.

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