Somerset County fire department to donate truck to Sandy-struck New York firefighters

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The Hooversville Volunteer Fire Company in Somerset County plans to donate a pumper truck to a department in Queens, N.Y., that lost all of its vehicles when Hurricane Sandy slammed ashore.

The West Hamilton Beach Volunteer Fire Department near John F. Kennedy International Airport lost two ambulances, two pumper trucks and a brush truck in the storm, Hooversville president Richard Lohr said.

"Let's face it, it's total devastation what they're dealing with," he said.

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The Hooversville department has been trying to sell a pumper truck for more than a year. Mr. Lohr said the department had hoped to get $25,000 for its 1981 Mack pumper with a 500-gallon tank and pumping capacity of 1,000 gallons per minute as well as 1,800 of 4-inch hose, a portable generator, lights and a portable pump capable of handling another 250 gallons per minute.

"Collectors wanted to buy it but of course collectors don't want to pay what you think it's worth," Mr. Lohr said. "And money for us doesn't compare to what they've lost in New York."

He said he contacted the Pennsylvania fire commissioner's office to offer help after he saw what Sandy did. When a 1996 flood swept all of Hooversville's protective gear out its doors, help from other departments meant everything, Mr. Lohr said.

He got a name of a UPMC surgeon who had trained in New York and worked with the West Hamilton Beach department.

"Of course there was a Pittsburgh connection," Mr. Lohr said.

He plans to make to donation official tonight at 8 p.m.

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Jacob Quinn Sanders: First Published November 3, 2012 4:45 AM


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