Buckhannon Fire Department lends a hand — and a truck — to the Elkins Fire Department

BUCKHANNON – Like a good neighbor, the Buckhannon Fire Department was there to assist a Randolph County fire department that is currently going through a rough patch with mechanical issues.

At the end of March, Buckhannon fire chief J.B. Kimble told Buckhannon City Council that the Elkins Fire Department was seeking a spare fire truck to borrow because the neighboring fire department had been experiencing mechanical problems with its pumpers.

In a letter addressed to Kimble, EFD fire chief Thomas Meader advised that in January, the fire department had shipped one of its pumpers – Engine 403 – to Columbus for maintenance and upgrades.

Unfortunately, on March 13, another pumper, Engine 401, suffered a breakdown, and the engine was locked up and has been transported to Western Branch Diesel in Charleston for repair.

On March 3, a third pumper, Engine 405, was damaged by another motorist while on the scene of a motor vehicle accident. The engine is currently still in service; however, is sustained some moderate cosmetic damage.

“I am contacting you with the request of a loaner pumper, a pumper that we can use for the strict purpose of a reserve, or in the event of multiple alarms. In the event of a working incident, we could be placed in a situation of personnel left at the station with no apparatus to respond with,” reads Meader’s letter.

The Elkins Fire Chief noted he is hoping that the pumpers will be returned and operational in the next 30-45 days, at which point loaner truck will be returned.

“At this time, this is pure speculation,” Meader says in the letter. “We are gaining information daily on the progress of their repair.”

During Buckhannon City Council’s April 4 meeting, council unanimously voted to authorize the BFD to lend its spare pumper to the EFD.

“I would hope that we would support our friends in Elkins with this,” said Mayor David McCauley. “Chief Kimble says it’s not going to be a hindrance to at all to us, and very recently the Elkins Fire Department has assisted us tremendously in a couple of other matters.”

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