Several New Mexico Fire Departments are slated to receive fire trucks thanks to a multi-part donation from Eddy County.
During a Sept. 6 meeting, the county’s board of county commissioners approved the donations of used fire trucks and equipment from Eddy County Fire and Rescue (ECFR) to the Roswell Fire Department, Hagerman Fire and Emergency Medical Services, and Dexter Fire and Rescue.
ECFR had identified fleet vehicles that were no longer needed by the department and made the decision to give them to other departments rather than auction them off, according to Jarod Zuniga, ECFR deputy chief and fire marshal.
Departments that were approved to receive vehicles were able to see what was available beforehand to better allocate to the fleets. Zuniga expects it will take about 30 days for the Department of Finance Administration to approve the donations. Once all the vehicles are approved the departments will be able to pick them up.
"This just gives us more tools in the toolbox," said Hagerman Fire and Emergency Medical Services Chief Chad Hamill, whose department will be getting a 1997 brush truck to assist in their firefighting efforts.
"The brush fires this year are probably going to be pretty healthy," Hamill added. "This is the first truck we've ever received from any county. I'm just grateful that they thought about us down here in South Chavis County."
Dexter Fire and Rescue, located southeast of Roswell, was approved to receive two used brush trucks. Dexter Fire and Rescue Chief Justin Powell noted ECFR's unique position to be able to provide vehicle donations to other departments.
"Right now trucks are hard to get. I've got a couple on order and we're looking at 2024 at the earliest," Powell said. "We do help each other quite often like this and we will trade around."
Zuniga added on to this noting that ECFR has a steady stream of financial support coming in through the county that allows them to stay on top of equipment and vehicles. And it's because of this that the department has made it a priority to assist other departments that have a need for vehicles.
"We're blessed to be able to pass that on to others that don't have that same opportunity," Zuniga said. "Why not donate to other departments, other communities, and let them have a chance to better serve our communities?"
Eddy County commission meeting records show a total of eight vehicles approved for donation to the Roswell Fire Department. This included four pickup trucks, three brush trucks, and a rescue truck, all from either Ford or Chevrolet.