The Ferndale Volunteer Fire Company (FVFC) officers and members are pleased to announce the donation of one of their engines to the Chestnut Ridge Volunteer Fire Department (CRVFD) in Sneedville, Tennessee.
On Wednesday, June 9, 2021, the FVFC turned over ownership of a 1994 Spartan/Quality 1500 gallon per minute/1000-gallon water tank fire engine to the Chestnut Ridge Volunteer Fire Department. This donation followed a decision by the FVFC Board of Directors decision to donate the fire engine to a volunteer company in need instead of selling it. Company President John Long posted this information on the National Volunteer Fire Council’s Voice website, and within three days, the fire company had 23 requests for the fire engine. These requests came from around the country, including states as far away as Texas, New Jersey, Wisconsin, and Alabama.
The Board decided to donate the engine to the CRVFD. This volunteer company had not had a fire engine for two years because their engine no longer functioned mechanically, leaving the department with only a homemade tanker and a brush truck.
Upon hearing the news, CRVFD Chief Wayne Bailey said, “I would like to thank the Ferndale Volunteer Fire Company. This engine will benefit our community in so many ways, from water capacity to the ability to haul our gear in storage compartments. We promise to take as good care of her as you all have.”
Ferndale Company President John Long said, “From my traveling, I knew there was a need in our country. When Chief Olson asked the Board to consider donating the engine, I was very pleased. The biggest surprise was how fast the responses came in once it was posted on the internet. Our first request came within one hour of the post.”
Ferndale VFC Chief Jay Olson said, “Many Ferndale Volunteer Fire Company members were on hand for the transfer, and it was suggested that we adopt the Chestnut Ridge Volunteer Fire Department as our sister station. We look forward to a long-lasting relationship with them,” he said.
The 1994 Spartan/Quality fire engine was designed by the FVFC and served mainly as the backup engine to engine 341 and used to make the station available when the first line was on a call or transferred throughout the county. It was even on location of multiple fires in Baltimore City during the 2015 riots.
The CRVFD was founded in 2004, and in 17 years has advanced from operating from a member’s garage until they obtained a loan to build a two-bay building. They eventually purchased a Chevrolet pumper, but when the motor went bad, they could not afford to repair it.
“After we pay for utilities, gasoline, maintenance, and training, we have very little money left to buy equipment. We apply for grants, and we sometimes get a small one but nothing big enough to replace our worn-out equipment. This will be an asset to our department and a huge benefit for our community,” Bailey said.