By Jason Sturek

Pender Times Publisher

Area residents who are hankering for an omelet on Sunday, May 6, can look no further than the Pender Fire Hall from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

But a good brunch isn’t all you’ll be getting for your dollars.

Pender’s volunteer fire and rescue personnel have shown over the years that they know how to stretch a dime in their tireless quest to keep local and area property from destruction.

Never has that been more evident than with a recent project that has resulted in a new addition to its fleet of firefighting equipment.

When the fire department needed a truck that could get in closer to trouble areas, particularly in field fires, they didn’t call for bids on new equipment. Instead, they called up some friends.

With donated funds from area farmers, individuals and businesses and a lot of elbow grease from Adam Kaser, Danny Bently and Kurtis Kaser, the department took a standard Ford F-350 truck with a flatbed on the back and added a donated 300-gallon tank and pump originally intended to spray fertilizer.

For pennies on the dollar, the department now has a four-wheel drive vehicle that can haul up to six firefighters to the site of a fire. From there, two firemen can man hoses.

According to assistant fire chief Ben Brehmer, the truck is ideal for getting water close to a field fire without risking damage to a larger truck that is less agile. At full pumping capacity, the tank lasts about five minutes and can then be refilled by another larger truck.

It will be brought to all field fires and will also be used to provide mutual aid in places like Thurston, Walthill, Macy, Rosalie and Winnebago.

About the only thing that still needs to be added are emergency lights. Some fully-equipped trucks with similar capabilities cost about $125,000 brand new.