“We have long been supporters of firefighters,” McSween said.
“When we got the truck and realized that it was running, we said, ‘Why would we ever want to cut up a fire truck?’ It seem un-American, like burning the flag.” Instead, they opted to donated the truck to a fire department in need.
Gunter’s wife, Joyce, a native of Alabama, grew up in the Tuscaloosa area and was aware of the tornado damage from April 27, 2011. They heard about Ellisville Volunteer Fire Department when they asked some local firefighters if they knew of any fire department that might be interested in this fire truck they had.
From there, Billy Williams, who grew up in Centre, now a volunteer firefighter himself at Siler City, N.C., along with Chief Murphy helped coordinate the donation of the truck to the Ellisville department, where the storm destroyed one of the department’s stations and demolished a fire truck in the aftermath.
Ellisville Fire Department is the same fire department that received a 2,000-gallon tanker from Siler city in 2011.
On Saturday, July 7, Ellisville Fire Chief Hank Richardson, along with Scott Curry and Rodney Wood of Ellis Brothers Grading, drove to Bish in Siler City to receive the donated truck.
“We can’t say how much we appreciate what Bish has done,” said Richardson.
“The department is all volunteer and low budget and can’t afford huge purchases. This truck will be a tremendous asset to our department.” Richard said that the department is still attempting to rebuild the station that was destroyed.”
The truck, a 1971 Ford Pierce Tele-Squirt, is far from brand new, McSween said, but it runs well.
The employees at Bish even did repairs on the vehicle before donating it.
“The Ellisville Fire Department is very appreciative of the generosity and support from the Siler City area,” said Richardson.