Donated Cascade fire truck heads south

This fire truck was donated by Cascade Township to a department in Ohio that lost their vehicles to a fire. (June 6, 2015)

CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Firefighters in Cascade Township are taking a two-and-a-half-hour trip to deliver a donated fire engine to a town in Ohio after the station there caught fire in May.

On Saturday morning, there was a ceremony at the Cascade Township fire station before the 146 mile trip to Edon, Ohio.

A group of firefighters is driving the engine to its new home and were escorted by a few members of the Fire and Iron Motorcycle Club, an international motorcycle club for firefighters.

“We’re helping donating this truck to get them back on their feet and get their fire department back in service,” said Doug Poolman, the Cascade Township Fire Inspector.

The fire station in Edon caught fire on May 3 and the building was leveled.

“We had a couple of guys show up about 20 minutes early and the first guy went into the building and smelled the smoke and from there he made the call to 911. They tried to enter the truck bay and put the fire out but by then it was too far gone, too much. Basically they stood back and waited and waited for what seemed like an eternity for the neighboring departments to get there,” said Jay Klingler, the fire chief for the Florence Township Fire Department.

Klingler said they lost five trucks, two engines, a heavy rescue vehicle and a grass rig in the fire along with other pieces of equipment. The department has been using loaner trucks since then.

Poolman found out about the fire in Edon through the Fire and Iron Motorcycle Club and decided to donate their old fire engine because the department just accepted delivery of a new one.

“The fire service as well as our club is a brotherhood and whether we’re next door to each other or a hundred miles away, when one of them needs help, we come and help each other ot no matter what the need,” Poolman said.

Firefighters in Florence Township were excited when they got the call about the donation.

“When we found out that we’d actually have one donated to us that could be ours to call our own, the guys were really happy about that and it was a boost in the arm for morale and something we could actually call our own again,” said Klingler.

The title for the engine was handed over to Klingler Saturday morning during the send-off ceremony.

Klinger said he hopes to have the engine in service Monday.

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