The Montgomery County Emergency Services District No. 2 received two new tankers March 1. The district provides emergency management services including first response, rescue, fire prevention and fire protection.

Fire Chief Brian Edwards said the two new apparatuses will replace two 20-year-old tankers.

“The tankers provide us more water in the rural areas,” he said in an interview. “We have a lot of square mileage in the rural areas, even though the population is small.”

The new tankers hold 3,000 gallons of water and can pump 1,000 gallons per minute, Edwards said. The previous apparatuses held 2,000 gallons.

"The tankers are required to allow firefighters to fight fires in the rural areas of our district that do not currently have fire hydrants," Edwards said. "That's about 60% of our territory."

Each vehicle was purchased from the Fouts Brothers Inc. for $382,000. The two units will be assigned to ESD 2's Fire Station No. 55, located at 18294 W. Hwy. 1097, and Station No. 53, located at 26080 Hwy. 105, in Montgomery, Edwards said.

According to the district's website, ESD 2 covers approximately 232 square miles in northwest Montgomery County from the Grimes County line to the west and Walker County to the north.

Edwards said with the new tankers' increase in size and pumping capabilities, the purchase will also help ESD 2 reduce homeowners insurance rates by lowering the Insurance Services Office rating. A Public Protection Classification is a community fire protection scoring system based on a fire suppression rating schedule used by the ISO, according to the Texas Department of Insurance.

Edwards said communities get a PPC score from 1-10. A 1 rating means the community has superior property fire protection, while 10 means the community's fire protection efforts do not meet the ISO's minimum criteria.

ESD 2 has a PPC of 2.

“By reducing the PPC over the last 10 years, MCESD No. 2 has saved homeowners and business owners up to 40% on insurance rates,” Edwards said. “We are trying to help the community and the homeowners as much as we can.”