BENTONVILLE, AR (KNWA/FOX24) — The Bentonville Fire Department is getting a new aircraft rescue firefighting truck thanks to the help of a local donation.
Leaders gathered in Bentonville Fire Station 6 on Monday, right across from the Bentonville Airport, to celebrate the achievement.
The firetruck is equipped with chemicals needed to put out fires with jet fuel involved. It also doesn’t require boots on the ground to put out fires. The driver can maneuver a fire from the truck at a longer distance.
Steuart Walton, Co-Founder of Runway Group, donated $800,000 to help bring this new high-tech equipment to the city. The remaining $65,000 will be paid by the city, which approved funding last week.
Walton and Fire Chief Brent Boydston say this is an important step forward for public safety in Bentonville.
“We knew the need was here there the increased traffic to Bentonville airport has gone up 40% in the past few years and we know its going to go up,” said Chief Boydston. “So the need for this was definitely needed for the future growth of this airport.”
“As we have more people visiting our town by air and more local residents flying and learning how to fly,” said Walton. “We have 170 people learning to fly at the Bentonville Airport right now, which is amazing, but we also want to increase the level of safety.”
The new truck also is giving a nod to history. The truck will have Louise M. Thaden’s name on it, along with her plane’s tail wing number and her FAA license number.
The fire department will get the new truck in 2022.