St. Vincent in the Grenadines is in dire need of some help, lucky for them, the Harris-Elmore Fire Department was able to help.
Walter Cook told News784: “after 32 years wanted to give something back. I teach, but, going over there just to look at what they had, what they did not have, I felt I needed to help them out,”.
Cook used to be a firefighter himself, and through that and travelling, has built up quite the network across the globe. So much so, that people ask him to bring back equipment when he returns to their country. Because before the donation of the fire trucks, St. Vincent’s fire response was much less than ideal.
“Their fire apparatus is a pickup truck, with a pump, a water pump, and maybe 50 gallons of water, and a garden hose, currently, that’s what they’re running,” said Cook.
The fire chief in Elmore spoke on how the process worked, explaining that it took some time ordeal to come to fruition, but said to know that they’ll be reincarnated and put to good use feels great. He explained that a couple of men flew into Toledo from St. Vincent to see the trucks to their new home.
“They drove the apparatus from our station to the port of New York, and they put them in shipping containers and ship them across to the Dominican Republic. Then not too long ago they had a volcano erupt,” said James Wilburn, Fire Chief, Harris-Elmore Volunteer Fire Department.
One of Cook’s partners in collecting and donating the equipment explained the sheer joy from those who are receiving the equipment.
“They’re speechless, they’re shell-shocked. They don’t believe that it’s real. Like I’ve had the privilege to drive numerous trucks into towns and ceremonies with Walt, and these people are just in tears and they’re baffled. Like, “is this real? Is this ours? Is this what we’re going to get,” said Mike Talerico, firefighter/donator.
If you or someone you know would like to donate equipment, you can reach out on Facebook to Mike or Walter, on the page called, “The FD Relief Mission of Western PA”