Blaine Hill firefighters donate truck to Greene Co. brethren

01314-blaine-hillBy Tim Karan / photo Cindy Shegan Keeley – McKeesport Daily News

Firefighters don’t only rescue civilians. Sometimes they save each other.

During the weekend, Elizabeth Township-based Blaine Hill Volunteer Fire Co. gave one of its trucks to a Greene County department in need.

Chief Chris Evans said Blaine Hill had been looking to sell or donate its 1971 Mack CF-600 pumper truck for the past several months. When the Clarksville Fire Department inquired about it, Evans said he knew what needed to be done.

“We have another engine and we don’t need two,” he said. “This truck was just sitting in the garage collecting dust and we really wanted to see it go to people who need it.”

Evans said the truck, which served Blaine Hill for 11 years, had been largely unused for the past several and has been out of service since June. The department has several other trucks.

“Our newer engine is a 1997 (model),” he said. “The older truck is also a stick shift and it was getting difficult to find guys who can drive it.”

But to Clarksville Chief Dan Benyi, the aging pumper truck is a thing of beauty.

“It’s hasn’t been in use for about the past 10 years, but it’s well-maintained and capable of doing everything we need,” he said. “This will help us out tremendously.”

Benyi said his station has two trucks from the early 1980s, but the department has long been looking to replace one. The Blaine Hill truck offers more seating and more water capacity than what Clarksville owned.

“We looked into buying a truck,” Benyi said. “But our income isn’t really that good and a new one can cost anywhere from $200,000 to $750,000.”

Evans said Blaine Hill likely will save some insurance costs, but that’s not the only benefit.

“There’s really no sense in it just sitting here not being used,” he said. “So we’re happy to see it go where it can do some good.”

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