Colorado firefighters donate engine to department decimated in Harvey

South Adams County Fire Department Donates fire truck

KUSA - A South Adams County Fire Truck is getting a second shot at life.

The truck, called E21, short for Engine 21, was just delivered to a fire department in Cleveland, Texas.  

The Plum Grove Volunteer Fire department lost everything in Hurricane Harvey. A retired South Adams County Firefighter, who now lives near the fire department in Texas, alerted the South Adams County Fire Department about the station’s loss and the department here in Colorado stepped in.

This retired firefighter said the department had limited funding and was decimated by Hurricane Harvey. All of the station's equipment was destroyed.

The South Adams County Fire Department sent the engine truck, which had been decommissioned several years ago, to Texas to help the department rebuild.

Lieutenant Mike Gawel, with the South Adams County Fire Department, said his department is confident with the donation because the firefighters in Texas were outperforming rescues and helping the injured and displaced residents without a fire engine.

They were told the firefighters responded to nearly 500 calls with nothing.

“It truly speaks to the integrity of these men and women," Gawel said. "Our board President put it this way, they were helping save others and their homes, while theirs were floating away.  So we are very happy that we could help them in any small way.”

Engine 21 is a Mack fire pumper, which means it carries a tank of water. Carrying tanks allow the firefighters to pump water at high pressures to extinguish fires. The truck also carries rescue tools.

It wasn’t fully equipped when it was sent to Texas, but it does have thousands of feet of fire hose, hand tools, medical devices, ladders, and fire extinguishers.

Gawel said the truck was in service for the South Adams County Fire Department for almost two decades before being decommissioned. It was decommissioned when the fire department’s needs increased with an increase in population in Commerce City.

The fire department purchased new trucks in the early 2000s, E-21 was a reserve engine until about 10 years ago when it became a specialty truck used in parades, PR events and funerals. 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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