A few weeks ago a transport truck came to Middletown Fire Headquarters to pick up a retired fire engine that will see a new life in the Caribbean.
Middletown spokeswoman Shelby Quinlivan said the retired 1997 Luverne fire engine arrived in New Jersey on Sept. 18 where it was to be shipped to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
A formal transfer ceremony was held in August with Howie Prince, consulate general of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, accepting the donation. He said the fire engine, which has a 1,000 gallon tank, will be used in the rural areas of that nation.
At the ceremony, Prince said his nation was looking forward “to the opportunity to be able to provide, based on your donations and other donations which we expect to follow in the future, the possibility for our people at the rural levels to have that kind of service at their disposal.”
He said if the fire engine can be used on the island for another five years, “there is no telling how many lives it would have saved and one life that is saved is enough for it to be in existence.”
Prince could not be reached for additional information about the fire engine or when it is expected to arrvive.
Quinlivan said the Middletown Division of Fire also donated old hand tools, and fire departments in Russellville, Ohio, and Shelby County, Ky. gave other fire gear as part of this donation. She saidMiddletown will also donate self-contained breathing apparatus that is out of date for use in the U.S.
In addition, The Sign Place, donated time and materials to remark the fire truck for the island nation.
Middletown Fire Chief Paul Lolli said the island nation does not have any modern fire apparatus, and its current fire engine is a pickup truck with a small water tank in the truck bed in their rural areas.
The Division of Fire has made other donations of old firefighting gear and breathing equipment on several occasions in the past to the Dominican Republic and other nations’ firefighting and police services. The equipment and gear no longer met National Fire Protection Association standards and, therefore, could not be used in the United States, officials said.
The 1997 Luverne fire engine, which was housed at the Dixie Highway fire station, was taken out of front line service in 2009 and out of reserve status in July when the city received two new fire engines.
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