PORT ARANSAS, TEXAS (AP) - Some Virginia firefighters drove a pumper truck about 1,600 miles to donate the rig to a South Texas coastal town ravaged by Hurricane Harvey.
Members of the Philomont Volunteer Fire Department on Wednesday presented the $40,000 truck to the Port Aransas Volunteer Fire Department.
Philomont Fire Chief Richard Pearsall says his department is getting a new firetruck so officials decided to donate the 2001 model to Port Aransas. Pearsall says the Texas Fire Chiefs Association and the Texas A&M Forest Service , through its Helping Hands Program, assisted with the donation.
A fire engine from @LoudounFire out of Virginia is being donated to the Port Aransas Volunteer Fire Department today through the Helping Hands Program. Learn more by visiting https://t.co/ZQ0ieCD3UF. pic.twitter.com/iM0GYBcQal— TXA&M Forest Service (@TXForestService) December 6, 2017
"We could have had it hauled. We could have figured out a different way to get here, but that's not what we wanted to do," Philomont Fire Chief Rick Pearsall told KIII in Corpus Christi. "We wanted to meet the people. We wanted to meet the people that were receiving the truck. We wanted to shake their hands. We wanted to wish them the best."
A&M officials say most of the firefighting equipment in Port Aransas was damaged or destroyed by Harvey, which made landfall nearby on Aug. 25.
"This is really part of that process of rebuilding," said Tom Boggus of the Texas A&M Forest Service. "Getting the first responders back on their feet. Getting them equipment to use when the need arises."
Philomont is a community of about 9,500, located 50 miles northwest of Washington, D.C.
The Texas A&M Forest Service is working to provide more fire engines to those locations still recovering from Hurricane Harvey.
© 2017 WFAA-TV