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Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 18:34
MESILLA, N.M. — The Town of Mesilla finally welcomed a much needed fire truck Tuesday morning after various attempts at finding funding had failed in the previous months.
The fire department was in dire need of a new truck to replace their current old rundown truck.
"I am overwhelmed with joy," said Chief Kevin Hoban.
The town tried to finance a new truck through a general obligation bond a year ago that failed when it went to vote.
They also made several unsuccessful attempts at obtaining grants to help pay for the truck.
Hoban said he had just about lost all hope and prayed for an answer.
"When all else failed it was the firefighters themselves that stepped up and said lets make this happen," Hoban said.
The volunteers approached the chief with a plan to give up their total annual stipends of about $40,000 a year for the next 10 years.
The chief took the plan to the town officials and were able to order the $284,000 truck.
"The town is very fortunate to have this caliber of volunteer firefighters," said Mesilla Mayor Nora Barraza.
The new 1,000 gallon truck replaces a run down 1987 truck that only seats two firefighters and carries only 500 gallons.
The truck will pump water at a faster rate and is equipped for a foam mixture to help reduce the amount of water used at fires.
"It also has air conditioning something our big trucks have never had," Hoban said.
He added that will allow firefighters to better recover while on a call.
The department will begin training on the new truck immediately and will continue to do so for the rest of the week.