Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

January 17, 2013

#5 ready to retire

Community rallies to raise $100,000 for new fire engine


CROSSVILLE — Generous donations from the community have allowed the Fairfield Glade Fire Department to meet its goal of $100,000 to go toward the purchase of a replacement pumper truck to meet the fire fighting needs of the department.

"As the fire chief of the Fairfield Glade Volunteer Fire Department, I would like to say thank you to our Board of Directors, residents, time share visitors and local businesses that helped with their generous donations toward the replacement of our Engine #5," said Howard Robb.

"In this day and age, in our tough economy, a lot of volunteer fire departments are struggling to find the funding to purchase necessary firefighting equipment to keep their communities protected from fire and other hazards. Some help can come from grants from the federal government, if approved. That was how we were able to purchase a fire engine a several years ago. That source of funding has become increasingly difficult to come by in the last several years. Like many other fire departments, we have had to come up with new ideas in order to purchase new equipment, and now, a replacement for Engine #5."

The 38-year-old pumper truck had been a reserve pumper truck for several years, and had become increasingly unreliable. The department set its sights on a refurbished, used fire truck with a more robust set of specifications to take the place of the well-used model, but needed $100,000 for the purchase.

"When we decided to reach out to our residents and businesses, you embraced us and gave what you could," Robb said. "We started at our first pancake breakfast in May 2012 and continued the fund raising through December. On Christmas day, 2012, we reached our goal of $100,000!"

Thanks to the generous donations, the volunteer fire department has started its search to find a replacement.

"We will be very careful to get the best value for the money you have donated," Robb said.

Robb has set a goal of having the new engine on hand prior to the first Pancake Breakfast in May.

"I hope to see you all there so I can personally thank you for your donations," Robb said.