Roswell Donates Fire Truck to NY City

The city of Island Park, NY was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, losing all of their fire equipment as well as their fire station.

The village of Island Park, NY has one fire truck, which is one more than it had yesterday, thanks to the city of Roswell.

Roswell City Council voted unanimously to donate a 1991 Sutphen fire engine and a surplus PPV gas fan to the village of Island Park, which lost its fire station and all of its fire equipment in Hurricane Sandy just over two weeks ago.

When in possession of surplus equipment, Roswell traditionally follows a policy to sell through a competitive bidding process. However, because of the tragic circumstances in Island Park, the city will forgo monetary compensation and donate instead. The effort was coordinated by the Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund, named after a firefighter who lost his life in the attack on the World Trade Centers during 2001. Island Park firefighters will transport the truck to the New York village.

The small village, which is situated on the southern end of Long Island, is also responsible for responding to calls in the Barnum Island and Harbor Isle fire districts, according to the Wikipedia page.

A report by wsbtv.com says Roswell is the first city in Georgia to respond to the call for help in such a big way.

Liz November 15, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Jake -- I really think that you fail to understand the magnitude of the devastation that has hit this small village and the surrounding areas. Hundreds of families have had their homes destroyed, not just slightly storm damaged -- totally destroyed. Many who are staying in their home are doing so without power and heat and have been doing so for almost 3 weeks. These people are dependent on others for the most basic of needs. As power is slowly returned, fires are a huge issue because of previously submerged electrical/mechanical system. The towns/cities surrounding Island Park have also lost Fire Apparatus and Fire Stations in this disaster and I can only imagine that our Counties standard Mutual Aid system, which would normally help cover the Village of Island Park, is extremely strained. To call this unbelievable act of charity, that will surely save lives in the very near future, a publicity stunt is absolutely ridiculous. Once again, I sincerely thank the Roswell City Council and every member of their community, even those of you that object to this selfless act so vigorously. Respectfully, Liz
Anne Egan November 15, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Thank you Rosewell for this donation. The Island Park FD has been working around the clock to keep us safe.
Patricia Carroll November 15, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Such a nice thing for the city of Roswell to do.
Vincent McManus November 15, 2012 at 08:15 PM
To the RFFR...pinch your pennies elsewhere! This "is" public service at its finest! You should be proud of your City Council for making such a decision. It's a shame you are not. My take on your organization, is that you are just against "everything"! I know the type...I'm a proud New Yorker...we "got" lots of em' up here! Haha. Vincent McManus 32 Years of Proud Public Service Career "and" Volunteer Nassau County, NY
Thomas Wayne Shelton November 15, 2012 at 08:51 PM
I want to point out that no one has said that the Island Park FD is not in need of assistance after the storm. Our objection is that our government just borrowed 30 million dollars and in the last couple of weeks has given away 25,000 to one charity and donated the truck to Island Park. This is simply not what a local government should be doing with taxpayer funds. Lets not lose sight of what this discussion is about.
B Omalley November 15, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Wow today it seem most ppl are about "me" a local volunteer fire dept lost everything some members who r friends I mine in island park FD don't have homes to go to but yet are away from family helping other a most of the depts on Long Island and they need help, and u don't want to help them? Everyone who is complaining about the "tax money" fine chip in and buy a truck for them and ten see which u like better?
Liz November 15, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Hello Jake -- I really think you are still missing the point! If you are unhappy with the way your City Council is managing your City's finances than don't vote to re-elect them. They ARE in office now and obviously they voted to make this donation. In this instance they did a wonderful thing and should be commended -- PERIOD! Liz
Cade Thacker November 15, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Charity is best when it is free and voluntary. There is nothing voluntary about this transaction. 6 people (5 actually I think Betty Price was absent), voted to make a donation with tax dollars. A much better idea would be to start a fund with private donations to buy the fire truck for the New Yorkers. Even our local schools understand this. The schools just today started a program to collect donated school supplies for Sandy victims. They didn't "buy" the supplies from their own budget, they asked for donations. It frustrated to me that people keep equating fiscal responsibility with cold hardheartedness. I'm an exceptionally generous person with my personal money, but don't demand I make a donation which is what the Roswell City Council did. Lets keep the argument on point. The New Yorkers need a fire truck, ask the citizens to donate, don't force them to under coercion of taxation. It comes down to stewardship of tax dollars. http://roswell.patch.com/articles/roswell-schools-become-hurricane-sandy-donation-centers
margie November 15, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Please click on the link to the http://www.terryfund.org/ and read about Fire Fighters helping firefighters. It takes about a year to get a new truck so the only way these damaged fire departments can get back up and running is through the generosity of other fire departments/municipalities. Of the fifteen companies (referred to in an earlier post) helping out victims of Hurricane Sandy, none of them are donating fire trucks (although Chevrolet is donating SUV's to the Red Cross). This fund has helped many fire departments /firefighters in many states including the great state of Georgia. Fire departments from as far as Niagara NY (hundreds of miles away from Island Park) are assisting in Island Park lending their equipment and personnel. Please know that we are so grateful for your help.
Dismayed Citizen November 15, 2012 at 10:21 PM
What's going on with the Roswell City Council? I believe they are well-meaning, generous people, but it seems they are a bit too giving with taxpayer money. Does this small group have the wisdom to decide which charities or communities receive city donations? If they wanted to donate a fire truck, there a lot of small communities that can't afford what they need and could use one. New York is already getting government aid, insurance payouts, and donations from every part of the country. Roswell's people are being asked for more from the council to make "improvements" in the city. Why couldn't this fire truck have been sold if project funding was so badly needed? Why can't the citizens decide where they want donations to go? What a pity the council members didn't have the foresight to trust the good-hearted people of Roswell to give of their own volition. They could have even organized an "Adopt Island Park" campaign. Who knows, the citizens may have insisted on donating the fire truck and then some and could have experienced the joy of giving without compulsion. I don't believe the RFFR is comprised of selfish people either. I personally know one who gives thousands to his church each year and has funded mission trips for individuals. This fire truck issue appears to be a well-intentioned misuse of taxpayer dollars. As Dave Ramsey teaches, everyone needs an accountability partner. The RFFR has become that for the city council. The group deserves our support.
Dani November 15, 2012 at 10:36 PM
I live in Smyrna, GA, so I don't know what is going on in the City of Roswell, but I also have lots of family who live in and are from Island Park. Fact of the matter is they need a fire truck. There are lots of people who can donate school supplies, blankets, baby stuff and cash. What are the chances that a fire truck would come available? What an amazing blessing to pass forward. I understand that the city has squandered the taxpayers money in some way, but anyone who sees this- as that- is missing the big picture. We all have to give what we can and when the situation presents itself. This situation must have seemed like a no brainer to the people who made the call. The people of Island Park will be forever grateful and will undoubtedly pay it forward.
Jake Lilley November 16, 2012 at 12:52 AM
Margie, I understand that it takes a long time to fabricate a fire truck. However, as the article correctly states, surplus fire trucks are typically sold at auction, not given away at the expense of the local tax payer. Had Roswell City Council chosen to sell this fire truck at auction (as is the traditional practice), then any number of private organizations and individuals could have voluntarily raised the funds necessary to purchase the fire truck and then given it to the city of Island Park. This way, you would have gotten your fire truck and it wouldn't be an expense forced upon the tax payers of Roswell. Our local government here keeps putting more and more things on the tax payer credit card and citizens are starting to get worried.
Jake Lilley November 16, 2012 at 04:31 AM
It's not that Georgians don't believe in helping their community or their neighbor, but what the government gives to one person, it must first take away from another. Most of us down here believe that acts of charity should be voluntary, not forced upon us by our government. What virtue is there in compulsory giving ?
P. Miller November 16, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Wow, I feel a little taken advantage of. My daughters and I have worked with our church to raise money for those affected by Hurricane Sandy, but we never demanded that people make a contribution. I’m concerned what kind of message this sends to our children. I know that Roswell City Council was trying to do a good thing, but this was not the way to go about it. I’m also shocked by some of the comments made by the New Yorkers. It’s almost as if they felt entitled to the fire truck. Not the kind of people I thought I was helping.
Mary November 16, 2012 at 07:22 PM
To my family and friends on Long Island, please do not judge the good people of Roswell by the comments posted here. RFFR does NOT speak for the City of Roswell, whose citizens recently overwhelmingly approved a bond referendum to improve our city services. RFFR opposed this referendum, even though the improvements were supported by many in our community and the debt obligation would not cause our taxes to increase. Please be assured, their issue is not with the good citizens of New York, but with the City of Roswell politicians. I grew up on Long Island, in Brooklyn and in Nassau County, but now call Roswell home. This is a kind and generous community, and I am proud to raise my family here. I believe that most Roswellians support the City Council's decision to donate the fire truck to Island Park, but as Southerners they are too polite to join in a conversation that is turning ugly fast. Bless their hearts, but those posting negative comments here have apparently forgotten this is not how mama raised them to behave, especially toward those in difficult circumstances. "Thank You" to Mayor Jere Wood, the Roswell City Council, and Chief Ricky Spencer for, once again, doing the right thing and making the City of Roswell proud. "Good Luck and God Bless" to the Staten Island and Long Island shore communities affected by this storm. We will remember you in our prayers, and rest assured, we will help in whatever way we can - with both public and private funds.
John R. November 16, 2012 at 08:01 PM
I agree with P. Miller. Guess there’s no need to do anymore fundraising. Roswell City Council will just add it to my tax bill. I’m not a member of RFFR, but I have to agree with them on this one. I think it would have been better if the city hadn’t gone about it the way they did. Of course, everyone wants to help the victims of Sandy, but the way city council did this is really frustrating. Sorry to those who are offended, but this just doesn't seem the right way to do things to me.
Joshua Abraham November 17, 2012 at 02:50 AM
Joshua Abraham November 17, 2012 at 03:15 AM
As a lifelong resident of Roswell Georgia, I applaud the Roswell Mayor and Council for making a decision to send a fire truck to a place in desperate need of assistance. It is my understanding that this fire truck was removed from service because it had reached its lifespan on emergency response and was no longer recognized by the Insurance Services Office that regulates your insurance rates. Who knows what the fire truck would have brought at auction? Apparently some of our Village Idiots (Jack Lilly, Dismayed Citizen, Cade Thacker, Thomas Wade Shelton, Tom Cork, and the rest of the RFFR Know it alls), you people should have to stand on the street corner with a sign that says "Yes I am a Village Idiot, I am Smarter than anyone else in Roswell". If you are so darn smart, whay arent you on the City Council, oh excuse me, some of you have tried to get elected and all you did was throw money away on campaigning, knowing you had no chance whatsoever of getting elected. To the people of Island Park NY, the proper thing to do is appologize for the comments that the Village Idiots have posted. No compasion for the human race. All they think of is promting "THEMSELVES". I am ashamed that the Village Idiots live in Roswell, well at least they say they do. Island Park Volunteer Fire Department and residents, you are in my prayers. God Bless each and everyone of you.
Thomas Wayne Shelton November 17, 2012 at 05:11 AM
Joshua, The name is Thomas Wayne Shelton and yes I am a village idiot for having an opinion. Thomas
David November 17, 2012 at 06:45 AM
Mr. Shelton, Please ignore Mr. Abraham’s personal attacks. It’s a shame to see a man resort to name calling when he runs out of otherwise intelligent things to say. Mr. Shelton, I had the pleasure of meeting you during your campaign and you seemed like a good and decent person. Running for office is a tough thing and I admire anyone who does it for the right reasons. You should consider deleting your last comment as it is not reflective of the man I met. I can appreciate your position on this issue. I do hope other citizens will start to tune in to our city’s finances. I’m very concerned about the direction that we are heading. I don't know everything about the budget, but it seems like $30 million dollars is a lot of debt for a small town like this. I wish the city of Island Park a speedy recovery. I'm sure this must be a very difficult time for folks up there. Times are tough everywhere and the whole country seems to be hurting right now.
Beth Lerner November 17, 2012 at 01:43 PM
I am a resident of Harbor Isle which is covered by the Island Park Fire Dept. I don't know if thank you is a strong enough statement to convey the feeling of appreciation that we have for what you have done for us. It's heartwarming to know that there are people who care so much.
Dismayed Citizen November 17, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Mr. Abraham - I want you to know that I am not an RFFR member. Perhaps that alone makes me a "Village Idiot", but I too want you to know that I know one of the members and can assure you that he is an intelligent, hardworking man who wants the best for Roswell. The work the RFFR puts into patrolling the financial activities of the city council takes them away from families and other activities in order to serve and inform people like you and me. You may feel they are misguided in their approach or style at times, but they are certainly not misguided in attempting to make the community financially responsible. I suggest that anyone who has an issue with the RFFR, learn their motives, join their ranks, and become part of a group trying to make a positive difference. This should not be a divisive issue. It's about being accountable and responsible - which of us does not want that out of our public leaders?
Elwood Ervin November 17, 2012 at 07:00 PM
This country is divided enough! I spent 35 years in the fire service and have been a city administrator! Everyone has a better idea on how and what to do. But not everyone has what that area needed, which was a surplus piece of equipment! It was of no use to the city of Roswell and in all likelihood no value to any other department. The bottom line it will serve the needs of this area at this time and I applaud the city council and the FD for their gracious donation. Elwood Ervin Fire Marshal Retired Cookeville, TN
Robert "Moose" Schemelia November 18, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Awesome! I am so happy to see this. Brothers & sister firefighters coming together like this.
Sheri November 18, 2012 at 05:22 PM
I am a resident of Roswell. Last week, the pastor at my church asked our congregation to raise money for several charitable causes. Our family gave and so did many others. This morning, our pastor announced that in just one week, we had raised over $1 million dollars! This is a very charitable community and we respond to those in need. Everyone wants to help. I just think it would have been better if the mayor or city council had asked the citizens of Roswell to make donations to pay for the fire truck. This way, those who wanted to contribute could have given voluntarily. We have many generous people in our community and I think it would have been very easy to raise the money. I’m really not comfortable with the idea of the government using tax payer money to fund charitable causes. The money was not theirs to give.
Paul November 19, 2012 at 02:17 PM
I just saw this article on FaceBook. This is something that should have been paid for with donations, not with tax dollars. I’m pretty sure that Mayor Wood and all of the city council members belong to Roswell Rotary. Isn’t it the mission of Roswell Rotary to do fund raising projects for things like this? That group is huge. The city keeps saying that the fire truck wasn’t worth very much. If that’s true, then it seems like this is something that they could have passed the hat for during one of those Rotary meetings. There’s probably a Rotary group in Park Island or NYC too. There is usually one in every city. If Roswell Rotary had purchased the fire truck from the city of Roswell, then they could have given it to the Rotary group in Park Island (or where ever it is up there) and then that Rotary group could have presented the fire truck to the Park Island FD. Mayor and council could have led the effort, people could have pitched in voluntarily and everyone would be happy. Most importantly, the Mayor and council would still get their picture in the paper. I just don’t understand why city council didn’t put out a call for donations on this one. There are a lot of ways this could have been done without using tax dollars. Paul
Lisa Pardo November 20, 2012 at 11:51 AM
Good morning! Thank you to Roswell! I live on Long Island but was born and raised in Island Park. My family is still there, however, and the town is literally destroyed. It's a coincidence that I live in NY, but my boss lives in Roswell and I work for a company based out of Atlanta, WordzXpressed. Darius Rucker has a Toys for Tots contest where the town with the most votes gets $10,000 worth of toys delivered for the holidays. I started it for Island Park. The children lost EVERYTHING. I wonder if you would consider clicking on the link and putting in the zip-code 11558 for Island Park. We are currently in second place but have a long way to go! Thank you Roswell for your generous donation! http://eventful.com/competitions/dariusrucker2012
Howard B. November 22, 2012 at 05:53 AM
Something doesn’t add up here. Call me skeptical, but I’ve lived in Roswell long enough to know that we usually only get half of the story and we’ve got to dig for the rest. If the previous Island Park fire truck was destroyed, shouldn’t insurance cover this loss? Surely the previous Island Park fire truck was insured? I’ve read several articles now on this fire truck and none of the articles explain exactly what happened to the previous fire truck, whether or not the fire truck was insured, if insurance will cover the loss, etc….Everyone is so caught up celebrating the “generosity of Roswell City Council” that I’m very concerned that nobody bothered to ask some very practical questions. Did Roswell City Council even bother to ask about the insurance coverage on the old Island Park fire truck?
Howard B. November 22, 2012 at 05:54 AM
So, I have few questions: 1. Was the old Island Park Fire Truck insured? (surely it was) 2. How much of the loss will be covered by insurance? 3. If the old fire truck was insured, will the Island Park Fire Department file a claim with the insurance company now that the city of Roswell is giving them a replacement fire truck? 4. Will the insurance coverage on the destroyed fire truck be used to cover any of the losses to the citizens of Roswell for donating a replacement fire truck?
Howard B. November 22, 2012 at 05:55 AM
I’ve seen several members of the Island Park fire department comment on this article and I know that the city of Roswell monitors these posts. Since the citizens of Roswell “chipped in” to pay for the fire truck, can one or more of the following people please “pitch in” to answer the questions that I asked above? Anthony D'Esposito, 1st Assistant Chief Island Park Fire Department Julie Brechbill, City of Roswell Public Relations Roswell Mayor Jere Wood Roswell City Councilman, Kent Igleheart Roswell City Councilman, Jerry Orlans Roswell City Councilman, Rich Dippolito Roswell City Councilwoman, Betty Price Roswell City Councilwoman, Nancy Diamond Roswell City Councilwoman, Becky Wynn Everyone here is full of opinions; I just want the facts. If you don’t have the facts, then please don’t waste my time with your opinion. Somebody has the answers to these questions and it sure would be nice if the citizens of Roswell could get the full story for a change! If we don’t get a straight answer, I’m going to start calling reporters and filing open records requests with both cities. Howard


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