With just over two weeks left the Hines Volunteer Fire Dept (VFD) is stepping up their campaign to win a new $250,000 fire engine. Hines VFD is one of 7 fire department finalists in the USA competing for the fire truck.
Sponsored by E-One, an Ocala, Florida emergency vehicle manufacturer, the contest is designed to find the most deserving volunteer fire department in the country. E-One has narrowed down the field of original submissions down to the top seven.
Now it is simply a popularity contest where the public will now decide who is the most deserving Fire Department in the country is in an internet based vote which started in April and will end in late August. The winners name will be announced at a Fire Department exposition and trade show held in Chicago, Illinois on August 27th. E-One will be flying out and hosting the seven finalists at the Chicago event for the big announcement.
Hines 16 Volunteers use 2 structural engines that have a combined age of 62 years old. The oldest truck, affectionately nicknamed, Barney, is 37 years old, unreliable, and in serious need of replacement. Hines is one of only 2 city fire departments in all of rural Harney County, the largest County in Oregon boasting over 10,000 sq miles. They frequently respond to vehicle accidents or fires that can take them 60 miles one way. With limited resources available, Hines relies only on the Volunteers of its sister city, Burns, and its small department. The response you get when the siren goes off is all you get. No back ups, no second alarms.
Hines firefighters have been hard at work soliciting support for the community and the story that got them in the contest, but finds themselves behind the leader who has a much larger population base to draw from. “We are competing with towns that have been able to tap into very large metropolitan media markets. Our contest story speaks for itself; it paints a pretty good picture of how rural volunteer fire departments struggle to have modern, safe firefighting equipment”, states Jonathan Manski a Lieutenant with Hines VFD. “When the bell goes off, we are asked to do the same job every firefighter anywhere is asked, go fix the problem. A new fire engine would make that much safer and simpler.”
So far Hines has received some national attention and support from all over the USA, even been adopted by some Washington DC and Phoenix AZ internet talk show hosts.
The web site link to read and vote for the Hines Vol Fire Dept story is www.WinAFireTruck.com.
“We need people to share the story with all their family and friends, we need votes from more than we can muster from rural Harney County.” said Manski.
Everyone with an email address can vote and each email can vote just once, however you can use every email address that you have. The process is simple, at the bottom of the story page is a vote button. Enter your name, email, Hines VFD, and answer 2 marketing type questions with any of the drop down menu choices, the answers don’t matter but must be filled in to have your vote count. “It only takes 30 seconds to vote”, says Chief Bob Spence, “it doesn’t cost you anything”.