PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Firefighters in Armstrong County are stepping up to help a volunteer fire company in New Jersey that lost its truck and so much more during Superstorm Sandy.
KDKA’s Bob Allen was there when New Jersey firefighters arrived in our area to pick up the donation.
Rick Traut made the long drive from the Ship Bottom community in New Jersey to Manor Township, Armstrong County to pick up a badly needed piece of fire equipment.
“Ready to look at your truck?” one firefighter asked.
The Manor Township fire department is donating a 1981 fire truck to the Ship Bottom Volunteer Fire Department.
“There she is…looks good,” Traut said. “Looks better than the one it’s replacing right now.”
Ship Bottom is located on Long Beach Island in southern New Jersey, north of Atlantic City.
It’s one of many small East Coast communities devastated by the flood waters of Superstorm Sandy.
“We had, I want to say about five to six foot of water average throughout town,” Traut said.
Traut says the fire department was left with little or no equipment.
“For us to go out and buy a new truck right now is kind of tough because we’ve got to rebuild our station,” Traut said. “We’ve got all our turnout gear the guys wear was all destroyed.”
When the Manor Township Volunteer Fire Department heard that another community was in distress, it didn’t hesitate to help.
“We had a meeting about donating it and it was just basically yep, let’s get it, we’ll pay the loan off, get it to these guy so they have something to use,” Manor Township Fire Department Assistant Chief Chad Evans said.
“It’s a wonderful feeling,” Traut said. “Everybody was excited.”
Manor Township is also donating a generator, bottled water and other supplies to the Ship Bottom Fire Department.
“It’s one little town taking care of another little town,” Traut said. “It’s little towns like this, that got to stick together. The main thing is the brotherhood of being a firefighter.”
After the storm, the Ship Bottom Volunteer Fire Department was using an old army truck to fight fires and perform other duties.
Now that the department has a replacement truck, it will be pressed into service first thing Monday morning.