Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Middleport Fire Company No. 1 owns a reserve fire truck that has not been used since the mid 1990s. When the company tried to sell it, a buyer was nowhere to be found. A new truck was purchased in June 2013, and since then, the old truck has been sitting outside the fire hall.
At nearly 30 years old, the 1985 Spartan-Young engine is “a very, very old fire truck,” the fire company’s vice president, Darren Burdick, said.
The company’s options for disposing of the fire engine were limited to selling it to a private entity or, due to the shape it’s in, donating it.
Enter Citizens Fire Company No. 1 from Middleport, Pa., a small borough with a population of roughly 400. The company is in need of equipment, and the small population makes it tough to fundraise, Assistant Fire Chief Todd Amos said. When Amos came across the website for the Middleport, N.Y., fire company a few months ago, he thought it would be “cool” to invite the New Yorkers down for a truck dedication ceremony in June, since the two companies come from places with the same name.
Amos started talking to several firefighters from Middleport, N.Y., and when the reserve truck was mentioned, he jumped on the opportunity to bring it down to Pennsylvania.
On Saturday, about a month and a half after the first phone call was made, crews from Middleport, Pa., came to collect their “new” truck.
“It all happened on a whim,” Amos said. “Who would have ever thought that inviting them down would result in us getting a truck?”
The contingent from Pennsylvania left early Saturday morning to make the 5 1/2 hour drive to Middleport. After an open house at the fire hall, the New York volunteers planned to spend the afternoon training the Pennsylvania crew in the truck’s use, then treating their guests to some Lockport area nightlife.