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Maryland fire company donates pumper to Kentucky first responders

By Theo Hayes

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    WESTMINSTER, Maryland (WBAL) — A Carroll County fire company and the community are helping residents of Kentucky dealing with the devastation from tornadoes.

The second week of December, a violent storm with tornadoes in several states killed dozens of people, and as residents continue to recover, people in Maryland have not forgotten.

The Reese Volunteer Fire Co. is donating a fire engine pumper that it was originally trying to sell but changed course when the Fulton, Kentucky, fire company lost nearly everything.

“This is such an honor for us a fire company to be doing this. Everybody is choked up. This is such an emotional process and this is so emotional to be helping someone else,” Reese Volunteer Fire Chief Kenneth Hyde Sr. said.

Fulton County Fire and Rescue is about 35 miles southwest of Mayfield, Kentucky, and serves a rural community of approximately 1,500 in southwestern Kentucky. The company has 23 volunteers who provide emergency support services to the surrounding community.

“I spoke to the chief in Fulton County, he actually cried that we are going to help them and we are actually going to take in and outfit the pumper with all the equipment. So actually, all they have to do is put their air packs on with all the equipment and it can function,” Hyde said.

“I think it’s the only motion that’s ever been on the floor of our company since our inception that had no opposition to it, so our entire company is behind it to it make it happen, and then obviously, the chief and I are the ones leading the charge and the community has stepped up in huge, amazing ways,” said Kati Townsley, chair of the board.

And it’s not just the fire company that has stepped up, it’s the community that has stepped up as well. Thousands of dollars have been donated from the community to help get the vehicle sent to Kentucky along with needed supplies — all in effort to bring some joy back on a time when it’s needed most.

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