ROSWELL, Ga. - A surplus fire engine will soon be headed toward Sandy-stricken New York after the Mayor and Council agreed to donate the truck to an ailing department.
Fire Chief Ricky Spencer said the truck will be donated to the town of Island Park, New York, a small town of about 5,000 on the coast that was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. The town's sole fire station and all their equipment were destroyed.
“We think this will be a good thing to do for the people of Island Park,” Spencer told council. “I can't think of a better use of this truck.”
Council unanimously approved donating the truck at their Nov. 14 council meeting.
“Whether it lasts a month a year or five years, I know those volunteer firefighters will be ecstatic,” said Councilman Jerry Orlans.
The truck is a 1991 Sutphen Monarch, which was top-of-the-line 21 years ago. Today, while it still works, it sits idle in the city's vehicle lot on Hembree Road. All the equipment had been stripped from it in preparation to put it up for sale. The most Spencer said the city might get would be $15,000. A similar truck today, brand new, would cost roughly $400,000. The city has a vehicle replacement program that calls for vehicles to be cycled out once they reach 20 years of use. While this Monarch has served its time, it is still in working order, Spencer said.
“I can fill it with water and use it right now,” he said.
The truck was replaced with a new fire engine earlier this year.
The plight of Island park came to Roswell's attention through the Terry Ferrell Fund. This fund was begun after 9-11 and named for a New York firefighter who died in the Twin Towers. It serves to aid fire departments who lack sufficient funding to fill their needs or, in Island Park's case, suddenly found themselves without equipment.
“I'm glad to do it,” Spencer said. “We're doing some good.”