Five fire equipment companies have reached out to Morongo Valley, offering discounts to help the desert town find a good deal on a sorely needed fire truck.
Some companies have offered to cut as much as $100,000 off the sticker price of new or used fire engines, and others have proposed affordable leases, Fire Chief Jock Johnson said. These offers, coupled with a steady stream of donations from throughout the desert and beyond, have given momentum to the town’s campaign to crowdfund a fire truck.
“I just can’t believe the outpouring of support we have had from all around,” Johnson said.
Morongo Valley, a tiny town at the cusp of the High Desert, is attempting to raise as much as $500,000 to replace one of its aging fire trucks, which have become increasingly unreliable.
The campaign launched last weekend, and the recent donations and discount offers are the direct result of a front-page story published by The Desert Sun. That story was picked up by its sister paper, USA Today, and circulated to a national audience. Since the story printed, Morongo Valley has received about $1,000 per day in donations.
Donations are being collected on the town’s GoFundMe page — MFVD Highway Heroes — and through the mail.
One of those donations came from Rosmary Farrington, who has lived part-time in Cathedral City for 16 years. Farrington said she drives through Morongo Valley at least once a year, often on her way to Joshua Tree National Park.
Currently, the fire department has two trucks, but they are both too old to be dependable. The station’s primary engine is a 2001 model with nearly 100,000 miles on its odometer, and repairs have sidelined the truck at least six times over the past month. The backup engine is 24 years old, and city leaders have said it’s better suited for a museum than for an emergency.
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