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Temple Terrace Donates Fire Truck To Ravaged Station In Bahamas

The City of Temple Terrace and the Temple Terrace Fire Department are donating a retired fire engine to the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas.

By D'Ann Lawrence White, Patch Staff
Oct 21, 2019 3:28 pm ET
City manager Charles Stepenson, members of the Temple Terrace Fire Department and city council members Andy Ross, Gil Schisler and James Chambers gathers in front of the donated fire engind (Temple Terrace Fire)

TEMPLE TERRACE, FL — After learning that its fire station and all of its equipment was destroyed by Hurricane Dorian, the City of Temple Terrace and the Temple Terrace Fire Department are donating a retired fire engine to the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas.

Temple Terrace Fire Chief Ian Kemp will hand off the vehicle to representatives from the Marsh Harbour Volunteer Fire & Rescue at Fire Station #1, 124 Bullard Parkway, in Temple Terrace on Thursday, Oct. 24 at 2 p.m. The Marsh Harbour personnel will oversee the transport by freight and barge to the Abaco Islands.

The Abaco Islands were among the hardest hit islands in the Bahamas when the Category 5 hurricane struck Sept. 8. Fifty people have been confirmed dead in the Bahamas, most of them in the Abaco Islands where 17,000 people live.

"When a storm or other emergency threatens the City of Temple Terrace, residents, city staff and elected officials look to the fire department and four first responders to keep our community safe both during and in the aftermath of disaster," said Kemp. "But what if the fire department also was impacted? Such was the case in Abaco, Bahamas. Knowing that we had a truck in our fleet that has been replaced, City Manager Charles Stephenson suggested, and I wholeheartedly agreed, that it could be put to good use in the Bahamas."

"We suffered major damages in Abaco with results to our fire department trucks, equipment and building – losing just about everything we had," said Marsh Harbour Volunteer Fire & Rescue Chief Danny Sawyer. "We were extremely delighted to hear from Chief Kemp."

Keith Chapman, president of Ten-8 Fire Equipment in Bradenton, also is donating four MSA Fire Hawk Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus and 4,500 PSI / 60 min air cylinders, valued at more than $4,000 each, along with some hose. Alan Davies, of Hydro Dynamic Solutions, is helping to coordinate the shipment of the truck to the Bahamas.

On Thursday, Kemp will transfer title of the vehicle to a representative from the Marsh Harbour Fire Department during a brief ceremony. Temple Terrace fire personnel also will offer training on some of the donated equipment to one of the Bahamian firefighters.

The engine then will be transported by Deberardini Heavy Haul to the Riviera Beach port in Palm Beach County, from which it will be dispatched by United Abaco Shipping to the island. The expected arrival date in Marsh Harbour is Oct. 28 or 29.

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