Scott Cox of Manor said he became aware of the dire need for fire equipment in a Tennessee county through a phone call in 2013.
Mark Nicholson, fire chief of the Rutledge Volunteer Fire Department in Grainger County, was inquiring about getting a badly needed fire engine that a Westmoreland County fire company no longer wanted.
That truck was no longer available, Cox remembered. But he began making calls and finally found a 1980s engine the Luxor Volunteer Fire Department in Hempfield no longer needed, said Cox, a salesman for Fire-Fly Fire Equipment Sales Inc., based in Erie County.
Cox said he donated the truck after a friend paid Luxor for it. Luxor also donated equipment.
From then on, several other companies began donating older, but still useful, engines, air packs and other firefighting gear worth at least $20,000, Cox said.
Rutledge and four other fire companies serve Grainger County, which is nestled in Tennessee’s northeast corner, spans 302 square miles and has a population of 22,657.
The Mt. Pleasant Volunteer Fire Department donated a 1985 Mack engine it replaced with a $322,000 combination engine and rescue truck, fire Chief Jerry Lucia said.
Lucia explained his company wanted to consolidate vehicles. The department no longer needed the engine, but it could still help a Tennessee fire company, he said.
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