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Blades Fire Company donates Engine 71-5 to Alabama Fire Company - Blades, DE

Sunday, March 8, 2020
The members of the Blades Volunteer Fire Company reached out to the Alabama Fire Chiefs Association for help in finding a Fire Department that could use our Engine 71-5 which was in the process of being replaced. After several phone calls it was determined that Hackleburg Volunteer Fire Department, was the greatest need for a Fire Truck. The City of Hackleburg suffered through a category EF-5 Tornado that ravished though the northern part of Alabama during the April 27th Tornado devastation to completely destroyed the City. The Tornado tore a path through the area on a path that traveled approximately 125 miles, with a width of about a 1 1/5 mile. President Todd Reilly in telephone conversations with the Alabama Association of Fire Chief’s President Chief A.J. Martin of the Tuscaloosa Fire/ Rescue Company it was decided that Hackleburg would be the new home of engine 71-5. Chief A.J. Martin along with Alabama Association of Fire Chief’s Treasurer, Chief Jon Lord, Rocky Ridge Fire Department in Birmingham along with their wife’s traveled to Delaware and spent the weekend with us to accept the Engine for Hackleburg. While here that spent the day traveling around the area to visit many different fire stations and also a visit to the Delaware State Fire School and the Emergency Operations Center in Georgetown. On Saturday a formal presentation was made along with the Blessing of the Truck ceremony by President Reilly. President Reilly in greeting those in attendance talked about the donation of this engine to a Department that had suffered through the worst tornado in their history and that we are proud to be a part of their rebuilding. Chief Earl Chaffinch made a few remarks as well as Chief Emeritus Wayne Chaffinch who was Chief at the time Engine 71-5 was purchased which was a 1985 Pierce Arrow-Pumper, Chief Chaffinch stated that this truck served as our first run truck on many alarms. Delaware State Representative Danny Short welcomed our guests and presented both of them with a Delaware State Flag. County Council President Michael Vincent also welcomed out guests and presented them with several tokens from the County Council. Michael was also the salesman for Pierce when we purchased the truck. Reverend Bob Hudson also known as Pastor Bob offered a prayer for Blessing the Truck that it may serve Hackleburg as well as it has served Blades and that it may help in the healing process and be a part of their rebuilding. Chief’s Martin and Lord also Thanked us on behalf of Hackleburg. Word got out that we were donating the Engine and other Fire Companies throughout the State wanted to help as well, with equipment donated such as 1 ½”, 3” and 4”hose, SCBA’s with enough masks for each of their members, small tools, air bags, ladders, nozzles, rope and pagers enough for all their members, bunker coats, pants and boots and many other items were loaded on the truck. The next thing to do was to get the Engine to Alabama. On Friday, June 17th a flatbed tractor trailer found it way to Blades to pick up Engine 5 and take it Hackleburg with the new number of Engine 324. We would like to thank those that donated the different equipment and to Rogers Sign for the re-lettering of the Engine. May God Bless the Members and Families of the Hackleburg Fire Department and the families in their Town, YOU will forever be in our HEARTS.

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