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Strattanville Volunteer Fire Company Donates Truck to Dominican Republic
The Strattanville Volunteer Fire Company is donating an out-of-service fire truck to an in-need department in the Dominican Republic through the Ralph Eusebio Memorial Mission.
According to Strattanville Volunteer Fire Company Chief Wesley Lander, the truck being donated is a 1986 GMC Jimmy Engine which was taken out of commission when a new truck was purchased in 2015. The truck was put up for sale in 2016, but the department did not have any luck finding a buyer.
“After three years of it sitting there, we were talking about scrapping it, but it is a good running truck, so I said why don’t we consider donating it?” Lander told exploreClarion.com.
Lander heard about the New Bethlehem Volunteer Fire Department donating a truck to a department in need in the Dominican Republic and thought such a donation might be ideal for Strattanville, as well.
“Our department bought that truck new in 1986, so it was over 30, but it only had 14,726 miles on it, and it still ran well,” he explained.
“We didn’t want to see that truck not being used as a fire truck.”
Lander got in touch with Michael Talerico, of the Munhall Volunteer Fire Company, who has already been involved with efforts to donate trucks and equipment to departments in need in the Dominican Republic. Lander began working with Ralph Eusebio Jr., a fireman in Hoboken, New Jersey, who has organized donations of trucks and equipment in memory of his father.
According to Talerico, this truck will be the tenth apparatus from western Pennsylvania, in the area between Pittsburgh and Erie, to be donated, and there have also been four 40-foot containers of other equipment donated, as well.
Once the arrangements were made for Stranttanville’s truck, members of the Strattanville Volunteer Fire Company loaded the truck with additional hoses and gear that were no longer in use in Strattanville.
“We have a lot of regulations about what we can use that they don’t have. They don’t care, so long as they can use it to fight fires,” Lander said.
The truck was also checked over and updated with all new terminals on the batteries by representatives from Battery Warehouse in Clarion before being sent on its way.
“They did that completely free of charge to help with the donation,” Lander noted.
The truck was then driven to Munhall on Wednesday, March 13, where it will stay for a short time until it is driven to a port in New Jersey. From there, it will be loaded onto a shipping container to await shipping to the Dominican Republic later this spring.
Once it arrives, sometime in June or July of this year, Lander and Talerico will both be traveling to the Dominican Republic to present it to the people of the town of Miches, where it will be put to use.
According to Talerico, the town of Miches is a small town of about 600 people, made up mostly of small huts, and they have never had a fire truck before.
“When they heard what they were getting and saw photos of it, they were ecstatic,” Talerico said.
For the presentation, Lander, as the representative of the donating company, will drive the truck into the town, with the lights and siren announcing its arrival, present it to the town’s leadership, and hand over the keys.
He and Talerico will also stay in the town for a short time to help train the new owners of the truck on how to use it and the other equipment.
While the new owners of the truck will add their own stickers and markers to the vehicle, they won’t be forgetting the donors any time soon. All of the original department names on the donated trucks remain.
“If anyone goes down there, they’ll still see the name still on that truck.”
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