ADRIAN – “We don’t have any boundaries in the fire service.”
That’s what Adrian Volunteer Fire Department fire chief Rick Harlow said when My Buckhannon reached out to discuss a huge donation that was gifted to an out-of-state fire department.
After the Adrian VFD had no use for a fire engine, the crew decided to do what firefighters do best – lend a helping hand to those in need.
Harlow explained the Adrian VFD had purchased the truck roughly five years ago as a backup fire engine in case the main fire engine needed repairs or maintenance done.
“We utilized it for a couple years. We actually replaced it with a newer truck about three years ago,” he said. “So, it kind of sat as a backup for our backup and wasn’t getting used.”
After discussions with the board of directors, the fire department decided to put the engine up for sale.
“We discussed in the board meetings a few times over the last year or so about, ‘let’s just get rid of it because it’s sitting here, and it’s not doing us any good,’” he said. “It could probably do somebody some good.”
Roughly two months ago, Harlow said he listed the truck for sale on a few different websites. With the initial pricing of the fire engine ranging between $18,000 to $20,000, Adrian VFD listed the engine for $18,000.
Eventually, the price dropped down to $15,000 which caught the eye of a few potential buyers.
Harlow said a fire department located in Cedarville, Arkansas sent a letter asking if Adrian VFD would consider a lower price on the truck or potentially donating the engine.
“Basically, they work off of a budget of, I believe he told me, $8,000 a year, and that’s for fuel and everything,” Harlow said. “I do think the city pays their insurance and stuff like that, but it’s a pretty limited budget.”
After speaking with Cederville Fire Chief D. Rosson, Harlow met with the board again about making a choice.
“I told them, in my opinion, I’d like to just donate it, but that’s up to the board,” he said. “And they unanimously decided ‘yeah let’s do that.’”
Harlow contacted Rosson the following day to give him the good news.
“He was extremely happy with that,” he said.
By Nov. 9, the folks at Cederville had made it to Upshur County to pick up the engine and were back in Arkansas by that Sunday.
“They actually drove it home because they couldn’t afford to have it hauled,” Harlow said.
Harlow said Cederville’s newest truck was roughly seven or eight years older than the truck that was donated.
The Cederville Fire Department even had a 1970-something engine with a broken pump.
“So, it definitely helped them and made us feel good,” he said. “We did something to help another department out. There were times in the past, back in the 1970s, where we were in the same shape, and we didn’t have much of a budget, so we’re kind of blessed now to have the (county) fire fee.”
Harlow said he’s pleased with being able to help another fire service – out of state or not.
“We don’t look at boundaries. I mean to me, I wouldn’t have cared where they were. If we could help them out, that’s what it’s all about,” he said. “We don’t have any boundaries in the fire service whether they’re across the state or in another state – we would have helped anybody if we could’ve, and they would’ve helped us out if they could. That’s just the way the fire service is.”