NY volunteer FD 'pays it forward' with donation to rural Alaska dept.
The department's cascade system, donated to them 10 years ago, found another new home with a volunteer agency in Alaska
The Daily Star, Oneonta, N.Y.
EAST MEREDITH, N.Y. — East Meredith Fire Chief Dave Briggs said his department was simply paying it forward when it donated essential equipment to a fellow rural fire department in Alaska.
“That’s what keeps the volunteer fire system going,” he said. “Agencies working together.”
The Port Crane Fire Department in Broome County had donated its cascade system — a clean breathing air system used in firefighting — to East Meredith about 10 years ago, Briggs said. A recent upgrade to high pressure air packs rendered the low-pressure cascade system useless, so the department’s Lt. Taylor Roe posted the equipment for sale on the Fire Hall Flea Market Facebook group.
“‘The first one that got hold of me was in Trapper Creek, Alaska,’” Briggs said he remembered Roe telling him.
Trapper Creek Assistant Fire Chief Chrystal Mayer said she was thrilled to learn her department was getting the system. With the help of a friend who works for ProComm Alaska and was doing a haul from New York, the equipment ended up in its new home. The shipping cost was covered too, she said.
“It makes you feel proud knowing that other fire departments are willing to help out,” Mayer said.
Briggs said he told the Port Crane Fire Department he was passing on the equipment they’d donated years ago.
“It’s kind of nice, we’re only just a small rural department,” he said. “It’s funny how people can get together and help out if need be.”
The department is still working on securing a building and operates out of Mayer’s house for the time being, she said. The work can be exhausting; every member of the volunteer department has at least one other job, she said.
Mayer said she has three other jobs in addition to being assistant fire chief.
Mayer said the Trapper Creek Fire Department was registered in October and all its equipment is donated from other departments. Along with the cascade system, East Meredith donated fire resistant gear, some of which had also been donated to them by the Hauppauge Fire Department in Long Island.
“This is our farthest donation and one we were very happy to accept,” Mayer said.
Mayer said Trapper Creek will be happy to pay it forward someday.
“If somebody needs something and we have an excess of it, we want to do the same thing,” Mayer said. “That’s kind of the brotherhood of our fire department.”
©2020 The Daily Star (Oneonta, N.Y.)