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Bethel Park firefighters to donate fire truck toSandy-stricken Queens department

| Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, 12:32 p.m.

When a deputy chief suggested to Bethel Park Volunteer Fire Co. Chief David Gerber that the department donate one of its firetrucks to a hurricane-devastated fire department in New York, Gerber said yes.

“If something happened to us, hopefully somebody would do the same,” said Gerber, 40. “We just purchased a new truck in January, so we had an extra. We thought it would be a nice gesture.”

The Bethel Park Volunteer Fire Co. announced on Saturday that it was donating a red 1988 Pierce Arrow Fire Engine to the Broad Channel Fire Department in Queens, N.Y. Broad Channel lost three firetrucks, an ambulance, fire apparatus and equipment during Hurricane Sandy, Gerber said.

“They were wiped out,” Gerber said.

The Bethel Park fire department is working with The Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund, which is paying $2,400 to ship the truck on a flatbed Tuesday. The fund is named for a New York City firefighter who died on 9/11 and provides medical and educational assistance to firefighters, as well as equipment.

Brian Farrell, 62, who helps run the charity, said it has gotten donations of about seven firetrucks from across the country to help more than a dozen volunteer departments devastated by the hurricane. The departments are backed up by the Fire Department of New York but are first responders for smaller condo complexes.

“(Broad Channel) lost their stuff floating down the street. They have a bay on both sides, and it just washed over them,” said Farrell, the brother of Terry Farrell. “We lucked out. A lot of departments stepped up across the country.”

Donations to help cover shipping costs can be sent to The Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund, 1912 Wantagh Ave., Wantagh, NY 11793 or go online to www.terryfund.org.

Bobby Kerlik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7886 or bkerlik@tribweb.com.

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