Evarts (KY) Community Celebrates Arrival of Donated Fire Apparatus

A truck that belonged to City of Palm Coast (FL) was on the verge of being scrapped for about $1,500 until the former chief of the city’s fire department, Howard Peiffer, found a better destination for the truck than a scrapyard.

Palm Coast leaders agreed to donate the fire engine. Peiffer used his own money to transport it nearly 700 miles to Lower Clover Fork Fire Department in Verda, Ky.

“Because people need to have something to protect their community and it’s the right thing to do,” Peiffer said. “It’s humanitarian. It’s the right thing to do.”

Peiffer is president of the Florida Antique Bucket Brigade, a chapter of Society for the Preservation and Appreciation of Antique Motor Fire Apparatus in America (SPAAMFAA).

The addition to Lower Clover Fork’s fleet means the station now has a fully-functioning fire engine.

Recent budget cutbacks have prevented the department’s firefighters from repairing older trucks.

“It doesn’t matter where you go in the United States, firefighters are a brotherhood,” said Jonathan Jones, the fire chief of Lower Clover Fork Fire Dept. “No matter where you go, everybody knows the situation and how hard it would be in our situation. So everybody is willing to help the best they can. We’re a tight brotherhood in the fire service.”

Members of nearby fire departments helped firefighters at Lower Clover Fork christen the new truck Wednesday, including the placement of a Bible in the cab and “wetting down” the engine as a sort of initiation.

“It’s going to help Harlan County tremendously,” Harlan County Emergency Management Director David McGill said. “The fire departments had a rough way to go the last little bit and this is going to help them tremendously with their community.”

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