E-ONE Pumper Contest Finalists Are All Poor Rural Departments

The seven finalists for E-ONE’s “Tell us Your Story” contest to win a pumper have a lot in common. They are small rural departments with paltry budgets, large coverage areas and a handful of dedicated volunteers who risk their lives trying to fight fires with antiquated equipment.

Two of the essays were written by people from outside the departments – one by a neighboring fire chief and another by a man who described himself as a visitor from the East Coast.

“I am requesting that you consider awarding your beautiful E-ONE Tradition ES pumper to our neighboring fire department, the Poverty Creek Volunteer Fire Department,” wrote Winston-Chloride (N.M.) Volunteer Fire Department Chief Donald Edmund. “They are even more remote and more rural (read poorer) than we are.”

He said Poverty Creek operates with two small commercial pickup trucks that were modified to turn them into fire trucks, one built in 1976, and the other in 1980. “Both vehicles are kept in a neighbor’s barn,” the chief wrote. He noted that county and state officials this year approved a loan for Poverty Creek to build a fire station.

An essay on behalf of the Sedan (Kan.) Volunteer Fire Co. was written by New Jersey resident Gregory Gregory, who said: “I am not a firefighter, nor a resident of Sedan. I am a visitor who saw an urgent need.”

He said Sedan is one of the most impoverished towns in Kansas and has 11 volunteer firefighters who use worn-out and second-hand equipment. Not long ago, he said some of them drove to Chicago to procure a 1967 pumper. “Often those that need the most ask for little and say the least,” Gregory wrote.

The names of the seven finalists and their essays are posted on E-ONE’s Web site, and the winner, to be determined by online voting, is scheduled to be announced Aug. 27 at E-ONE’s booth at the International Association of Fire Chiefs’ Fire-Rescue International trade show in Chicago. 

This year’s “Tell Us Your Story” contest is the second conducted by E-ONE and drew more than 600 entries. The writers were required to explain in 500 words or less why the fire department deserved to win.

“We were again moved by the compelling nature of the stories and the immense need for equipment and apparatus in the fire service,” said E-ONE President Peter Guile.

Last year’s winner of the Tradition ES commercial pumper was the Powellsville Volunteer Fire Department, located in one of North Carolina’s poorest counties. It received more than 7,000 of 16,000 online votes cast for the seven finalists.

The Tradition ES pumper is built on an International 4400 4-door chassis with a Maxx Force 570 HEUI 330-hp engine and an Allison EVS 3000 transmission. It has a Hale Qflo 1,250-gpm pump, a side-mount pump panel and a 970-gallon tank with a 30-gallon integral foam cell.

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