SUGARCREEK — A 1988 E-1001 pumper fire engine is on its way to a new home in the Dominican Republic. Sugarcreek Fire Chief Kevin Miller found a website for FD Relief Mission of Western Pa. that would accept trucks and fire equipment to send to the Dominican Republic and other places.
Sugarcreek Fire and Rescue members thought it was a much better use for the truck than having it scrapped. The firefighters also donated used equipment such as turnout gear and other items. Sugarcreek council gave its blessing to the project.
That put the project in motion and, in November, members of the FD Relief Mission came to the village and drove the truck back to Pittsburgh, where the group is located, a trip of about two hours and 15 minutes. This is the first fire engine donated from Ohio.
Mike Takerico, of the FD Relief Mission of Western Pa, said the group was formed about five years ago, and all the members are firefighters that volunteer with the FD Relief Mission of Western Pa.
He said a few guys wanted to make a difference in small towns overseas. Now the group is taking care of different cities in the Dominican Republic.
The FD Relief Mission packed a 26-foot shipping container filled with fire equipment, such as turnout gear, Life packs, stretchers, boots, bunkers, hoses, apparatus, and SCBA’s rescue tools and other items. Medical supplies are not permitted to be shipped.
“We traveled to Elizabeth, N.J. and drove the fire engine onto the ship. There were levels on the ship to place the engine. The fire engine and equipment should arrive in San Jose’ los Llanos, Dominican Republic on Christmas Day or a few days after,” Takerico said.
“We have a crew of about 24 that will travel to the Dominican Republic in January. The fire engine and the fire equipment must clear customs before we can travel to the site,” he added.
“We have a person that lives in the Dominican Republic. He will drive the fire truck to the firehouse, located in Llanos, where it will be cleaned up and new lettering placed on the doors. The original Sugarcreek emblem will stay on the truck. The firefighters must be trained prior to using the truck.”
Takerico said the Dominican rallied together and came up with the funds to pay the shipping costs for the engine and equipment and fuel to drive the truck to Pittsburgh.
He said FD Relief Mission is a non-profit group. They will travel to Cayce, Kentucky, in February. The town was devastated by a tornado are compile a list of needed items will be compiled with the items acquired. They are in need of US serviceable items.
Takerico can be contacted at 412-535-2353 or on its Facebook page — FD Relief Mission of Western Pa.
This article originally appeared on The Times-Reporter: Sugarcreek fire truck finding a new home
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