ESD 2 adds new fire truck to fleet

Liberty County ESD 2 Board President Johnny Slack (right) hands the keys to a new fire truck to Chief J.T. Smith.

In an effort to increase the safety and preparedness of the Hull-Daisetta and Raywood areas, Liberty County ESD 2 has added a brand new fire truck to its fleet.

Built by Pierce Manufacturing at its facility in Bradenton, Fla., the $700,000 Saber design pumper truck will be used by ESD 2 firefighters to combat structure fires and will be outfitted with the gear and equipment needed for these scenarios.

“The new truck will be dedicated for fires. We’ve already used this truck for a house fire since we got it,” said ESD 2 Chief J.T. Smith. “The new fire truck will not be used for spills, accidents or rescues. We have a rescue truck that is dedicated to those types of emergencies.”

The new truck was purchased by funds collected by ESD 2.

“Our intent is to better the service for citizens here in our communities. We also work with other fire departments in other districts. By buying this equipment, we should get a better ISO rating. Right now it’s probably around an eight, which is not good,” said Smith.

Firefighter Ryan Taylor, Fire Ops Administrator Stephanie Johnson, ESD 2 President Johnny Slack, firefighter Anthony Ramirez and Chief J.T. Smith stand alongside ESD 2’s new fire truck.

The ISO (Insurance Services Office) rating is used by property insurance companies to determine the rates customers must pay for insurance on their homes and commercial buildings. The lower the rating, the lower the insurance premium. The highest rating is the coveted 1.

Smith is hoping to see the District’s ISO rise to at least a 5 in the next couple of years; however, this will require the purchase of more apparatus, particularly a new pumper/tanker.

“It would be made in the same place by the same manufacturer. We previewed one while we were there,” Smith said.

The District’s goals will be dependant on voters in ESD 2 who will be asked to pass a 1-cent sales tax increase in the November 2023 election. Currently, the sales tax rate in the Daisetta area is $0.725.

“We plan to hold public meetings to explain how the sale tax will be collected,” said ESD 2 Board President Johnny Slack.

The new truck, as well as the previous apparatus, will receive new insignia in the coming weeks.

“People don’t know that we are Hull-Daisetta and Raywood. We want people to know who we serve. We are working on getting the new insignias put on every truck in the next few weeks,” said Smith.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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