Charlotte Volunteer Fire & Rescue Gets New Tanker

The newest addition to the Charlotte Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department is this 1988 White. The tanker was acquired from the Vestal, New York department using funds raised through the department and the community. (Photo by Natalie Boomer)

 By Natalie Boomer

 

On February 15th, Charlotte Volunteer Fire & Rescue announced that they received a new engine-tanker after raising money for quite some time.

“We had a tanker that was pretty much homemade,” explained firefighter Jeff Orchard. “It was an old tank truck and it was designed to just run on runways or flat ground and any time it hit a hill you could pretty much walk faster than it would go.”

The volunteers began looking for a new tanker a couple of years ago, but their limited budget kept them from buying one. Since Charlotte Volunteer Fire & Rescue are completely volunteer based, all the money to keep the station going is made by fundraising through the efforts of its active membership. “We have a group of eighteen at the moment. To have eighteen people on the fire department that are active and interested, I mean you don’t see that everywhere. We are all volunteer, there is no pay involved in this department at all. Every person that’s on the roster right now has input that is valuable,” said Orchard.

Once a tanker was found online that they wanted, they had to see if it was in their budget. “We hold suppers here, three or four a year, and maybe a yard sale occasionally to raise money to put fuel in the trucks. Over the years we raised enough money to actually buy something that would replace the old tanker and we lucked out. We found this one in a town called Vestal, New York and they made us a deal that we couldn’t refuse,” said Orchard. Chief Dana Hatton and Orchard traveled to see the tanker and couldn’t pass up the offer.

“It holds 2,500 gallons of water, it has a 1,000 gallon a minute pump, it has all of the connectors that we need, it’s loaded with hoses, it’s got a big deck gun up on top,” They’re even in the process of getting ‘Made possible by the generosity of Charlotte Volunteer Fire & Rescue’ printed on the truck. “We’re very grateful because they actually raised almost every single cent that we paid for this truck and it’s been in a bank account just waiting,” said Orchard.

The engine-tanker is now in service for the town of Charlotte and surrounding areas.