Sheridan fire department receiving new brush fire truck

By Cory Smith • Last Updated 10:39 am on Friday, January 06, 2012

SHERIDAN — The Sheridan Community Fire Department will soon have a new brush fire truck thanks to donations from area businesses and a lot of support from the community.
Nearly $12,000 was raised through the efforts of three area businesses, the Hogs Head Saloon in Sheridan, the Sidney State Bank and the Mid Michigan Compassion Club in Stanton.
Fundraisers from the three businesses have been taking place for about a year and will save the fire department from having to pull money from funds which support other areas of the department, Fire Chief Doug Lane said.
“In the economy we’re in right now, it’s nice to know there are businesses out there that are willing to do fundraisers and things of that nature,” Lane said. “These businesses could probably use the money themselves, but have been generous enough to help us out.”
Lane said were it not for the community involvement associated with the various fundraisers there wouldn’t be anyone to thank at all.
“Had it not been for the people that attended these fundraisers, this just wouldn’t have happened,” he said. “You appreciate the businesses, but if it wasn’t for the citizens who support us and those businesses, their efforts wouldn’t be successful.”
Lane said without the truck the department may have struggled to respond to all calls during the aggressive six-week period beginning in March when brush fires are more frequent.
“We’ve got two brush rigs that we had in use but one was getting into fairly rough shape,” Lane said. “We were planning on using both trucks this spring, but one just quit working on us.”
Lane said plans have been put into motion to officially purchase the truck through Blake Hollenbeck Auto Sales in Greenville.
“We’re just now getting ready to start getting the truck here,” he said. “The Mid Michigan Compassion Club, which spearheaded the original efforts to acquire a truck, has been in talks with Blake Hollenbeck in Greenville to purchase a pickup truck no older than a 2005 model.”
Lane said fire equipment, including a pump and small tanks, will be taken from the old truck and attached to the new one.
“We’ll detail and letter it for the fire department with our logos, get our tank and pump mounted in the back, and have it ready to go by March,” Lane said.
Dave Overholt, founder of the Mid Michigan Compassion Club, said he is happy to be able to give back to such an important part of the community.
“We set out a year ago to raise funds,” he said. “We did some poker runs and have taken in donations. We have been doing work with food pantries for some time now and the idea for a fire truck just came to me.”
Overholt said he hopes he and the compassion club can continue to contribute to projects like this in the future.
“The fire department had funding for a real large truck but not for a small one like this,” he said. “This was something that we could bite into and accomplish. It was the right piece of the puzzle for the right people.”

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