HOUSTON (KTRK) --When the water starts to rise, firefighters are the first to deploy their boats for often-dangerous urban rescue missions.
But where their boats can't go, Houston's new fleet of high water rescue trucks now does.
For the first time on Thursday, five new military-grade high water rescue trucks were deployed throughout Houston to help with rescue missions.
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The trucks were acquired at no cost to the city through a military surplus program. The city only had to pay $1,500 for a paint job to brand the vehicles.
One rescued a woman in a wheelchair, trapped where neither an ambulance nor a boat could reach her.
"With firefighters tending to the patient in the back, we just drive directly to SW Memorial Hospital," Lt. Randall Upton said.
The back of each truck is covered with a canopy, and has life jackets and enough space to seat more than a dozen people. The front of each truck features a loudspeaker that can be heard from a quarter-mile away.
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