Hurricane Sandy really hurt the Island Park Fire Department. The lower floor of the IPFD’s headquarters was destroyed, and an engine and an ambulance along with it.
But due to the kindness of some strangers, the IPFD is able to start picking up the pieces.
The fire department of Roswell, Ga. Donated a fire engine to the IPFD and the Falls Church, Va. Fire department donated an ambulance.
The engine from the Roswell Fire Department was a surplus engine the department had. It had replaced it in its fleet back in April and the truck was sitting on a lot waiting for auction since then.
When the call went out for donations to fire departments in the northeast that were affected by the storm, Roswell stepped up.
“Fastest thing I’ve ever seen done in government was getting this engine donated,” said Roswell Chief Ricky Spencer.
The story was similar for Falls Church. The ambulance had served the department down there for about 10 years and was recently retired. The Falls Church department was going to sell it, but figured it could be put to better use when the call for donations went out.
“It had a lot of shelf life left, which is why we were selling it,” said Ian Weston, a Long Island native and president of the Falls Church Fire Department. “But we figured instead of selling it, there were a lot of organizations up in New York that lost a lot.”
Weston said that many of the people in his fire department, after seeing pictures of the devastation in Island Park and other parts of the South Shore, are tying to come up with other ways they can help, including taking trips up north to help out at fire departments.
Both fire departments gave similar reasons for why they donated the trucks, which are very expensive pieces of equipment: because they could.
“They needed our help, and we had something we could help them with,” said Spencer. “It was the right thing to do. The fire service is a brotherhood. We look out for each other. We try to help each other out.”