Wichita West VFD gifted new ladder truck from New York Fire Department

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Firefighters at the Wichita West Volunteer Fire Department will soon be soaring to new heights after they received a ladder truck all the way from a fire department in New York.

Every firefighter wants to better serve the community they’re in, and Wichita West Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief Ryan Fetzer said with their newest addition, they’ll be able to do just that.

“Never could’ve imagined having an aerial device like this donated to our department,” Fetzer said. “There’s been a need for something like this in the area.”

That “device” is a donated truck from the South Blooming Grove Fire Department in New York, a station more than 1,500 miles away.

“John Salka happens to be the Fire Chief of South Blooming Grove Fire Department in New York,” Fetzer said. “They recently acquired a new ladder truck; they got themselves a new 2002 model truck and decided they needed to retire their 1981 Seagraver they had.”

Not wanting the fire truck to reach the end of it’s road just yet, South Blooming Grove reached out to Fetzer about donating the truck to the Wichita West VFD.

“Flew up to New York and drove the truck back here,” Fetzer said. “It was a three-day trip, but made it back here good and in one piece, and just a little bit of repairs to it, and we’re in the process of getting it in service now.”

Captain Christopher Bashford, who has been with the fire department for the past 16 years, said the community is the one who will really benefit from the addition of Truck 710.

“This truck, not only can do fires and stuff like that, but it can carry our rescue tools as well, so kind of a two-for-one deal,” Bashford said.

And both Bashford and Fetzer said they know the truck will allow them to do some great things.

“They completely overhauled it,” Bashford said. “It’s got a brand new ladder – when they put it on – and all that, and it’s essentially a completely different truck than what it was at FDNY, but it’s got a new home and new life now here.”

“We’re extremely grateful to South Blooming Grove up there in Orange County, New York,” Fetzer said. “Never imagined we’d be putting a device like this in service.”

South Blooming Grove’s act of kindness will serve the needs of many.

Chief Fetzer said the department plans to have the truck in use by early December, and they will invite the community to come out and push it into service.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Don't Miss

Trending Stories

Report It

Latest News

More Local News