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Elizabethtown Fire Department's twin new trucks are a gift from Springfield

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Elizabethtown Fire Trucks

Springfield Fire Chief Brandon Blough, left, congratulates Elizabethtown Fire Chief John Rose on his department's receipt of twin 1994 Luverne fire engines. The Springfield Department gave the surplus trucks and other equipment to the Elizabethtown Fire Department earlier this month.

Elizabethtown Fire Chief John Rose is proud of his department’s new fire trucks.

He is even more proud of what the taxpayers of his Hardin County community paid for the equipment: nothing.

The pumper trucks were a gift from the Springfield Fire Department.

Rose took delivery of the twin 1994 Luverne trucks from the Springfield department earlier this month, along with a long list of surplus equipment ranging from fans, hoses, nozzles, pike poles and more.

And while the trucks each are nearly three decades old and have more than 100,000 miles on them, Rose believes they are perfect for his all-volunteer department.

The apparatus gift could not come at a better time for the Elizabethtown Fire Department. Its own trucks, while drivable, would not pass pump certification test. The new-to-them engines make great additions to the fleet.

“These are pieces of equipment that were in our reserve fleet anyway,” explained Springfield Fire Chief Brandon Blough. They weren’t some of our frontline rigs and were only being used when we had fire trucks in for maintenance or repair.”

Blough said it was time to pass the two trucks – known in Springfield as Engines 16 and 17 – along, especially since his department recently placed an order for new equipment.

“For us maintenance-wise, they were getting to the point where we decided it would be a better idea to give them to a department who could give them some tender loving care and get some more use out of them. With more than 20,000 fire calls a year, it puts wear and tear on them,” he said. “We have some new equipment coming in and just figured that this was a good way to make sure they continued a useful life.”

Rather than selling the trucks, Blough said he worked through the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association to find the trucks a new home. Rose said he had responded to the offer with an application, but then forgot about it—until he got a call from Springfield. Within a few days, he and another department volunteer made the trek to the state capital to bring home the new trucks.

Once the pair arrived to get the engines, their Springfield “threw in” the other equipment.

“We went up there to get trucks and came back with a lot more. I am very grateful for that,” Rose said.

He said the gift of the trucks and equipment not only will benefit his department, but others in the area as well.

“It saves our community money, makes us better prepared and will help us when we respond with neighboring departments because we’ll have good reliable equipment,” he said.

Blough added, “Even though these are ‘94s, they are really good rigs and it’s a pretty good upgrade for Elizabethtown and we are excited to help them out.”

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