By Nancy Molnar
UHRICHSVILLE, Ohio — A used truck, donated to the city by an energy company, will help firefighters reduce their risk of cancer, an occupational hazard caused by exposure to airborne debris at fires.
Those carcinogens, including soot, diesel exhaust, benzene and formaldehyde, stick to their coats, helmets and boots.
When firefighters ride back to the station in their turnout gear, those harmful compounds circulate in the air they breathe.
"With the push for cancer prevention in the fire service, we needed something to bring back our contaminated equipment from fire scenes, and not have to put it back in the cabs of our fire trucks," said Fire Chief Justin Edwards. "After our firemen decontaminate on the scene, and clean themselves up as best they can out there, we don't want to have to put that dirty equipment back in the trucks.
"This truck will make it easier for us to bring that contaminated equipment back, and get it cleaned up before it goes back in our clean fire engines," said Edwards, who expressed his gratitude for the gift, as did Mayor Rick Dorland. "We've been looking for a truck like this for quite a while."
Dominion Energy Transmission gave the Fire Department the 2011 Ford F-250 Super Duty with a utility bed and 136,000 miles on the odometer. A company representative said the truck would have been taken to respond to problems on the pipeline or its right-of-way. It was at the company's Gilmore station.
"If we have anything extra, we like to give back to the local communities and the surrounding counties," said Derek McIntire, operations supervisor for Dominion Energy Transmission. "After they reach a certain mileage or number of years, we turn them in to get newer models."
The truck will be used by the department's three inspectors, Edwards said. It will be used to haul trailers that carry a boat and an ATV. The truck is expected to get lights, sirens and the same red-and-white paint job as the department's other equipment, which consists of two engines, a ladder truck, a tanker, a brush truck, an advanced life support ambulance, a medium-duty rescue truck and a light tower.
Dorland said the donation means "quite a bit" to the city, and helps achieve his goal of upgrading the city's rolling stock. Toward that end, he joined state and federal surplus equipment purchasing programs. Council President Mark Haney, a Dominion employee, contacted the company to ask whether it would be able to donate a vehicle or two.
"He's been working on it for probably a year or so, and finally one came available, and here we are," Dorland said. We really appreciate Dominion donating the truck to us. It'll probably be used every day."
Copyright 2017 The Times-Reporter