This fire engine was donated to the Roby Volunteer Fire Department by a department in Rochester, Penn. It is one of three pumper trucks the RFVD is receiving for free from departments in other states.

The Roby Volunteer Fire Department is back in business – in a big way.

The department is receiving three fire engines via donation by departments in three states. One is set to arrive in Roby this week: A 1991 model (with a 1,000-gallon tank and 1,250-gallon-a-minute pump) donated by the Big Knob Volunteer Fire Department in Rochester, Penn. Two more will arrive soon – one from Minnesota and another from Delaware.

“It’s really a big relief,” RVFD Chief Rick Bresette said. “To go from not having a truck to having three – I’m speechless.”

Bresette said the activity is due to his recent appearance on KY3-TV, when he described how the Roby FD no longer had any operational fire trucks and basically asked for help from anyone who might be interested.

“They did a story on us, and once it hit the Internet, it went viral,” Bresette said. “There were actually a lot of fire departments that said they had trucks we could have; I just went with what fit our needs. I kind of went by the year; a lot of them were old, and I was concerned that we would have to fix them, and we don’t really have the money for that.”

Roby fire truck arrives

A transport company arrives Thursday morning in Roby with one of three fire trucks donated to the department.

Bresette said he heard from fire departments from coast to coast.

“The response was overwhelming,” he said. “It was so big I spent two days making contact with people – by Facebook, email and phone calls – and I didn’t even get back to everyone.

“It was incredible.”

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The RVFD’s situation is a great example of the brotherhood that exists in firefighting, Bresette said.

“With fire departments, no matter where you’re located, there has always been a family bond,” he said. “A firefighter from another state can show up at your station and they’re instantly a brother or sister. There’s a huge amount of camaraderie.”

The only expenditure being made by the Roby FD for all three fire engines is to cover shipping them to Roby. And even that is virtually being donated, Breseete said, as Klance Unlimited trucking (of Pacific, Mo.) is performing the task for a drastically cut rate.

“They gave us a huge discount,” Bresette said. “And instead of a round trip fare, they’re only charging us for one way.”

The RVFD will also soon benefit from the donation of other equipment from Pennsylvania and Delaware, including bunker gear (firefighters’ outfits), hand tools and breathing apparatus.

“They’re looking at sending us anything we need,” Bresette said.

On top of everything else, a fire department in Missouri may soon be donating a tanker truck to Roby, Bresette said.

In hopes of getting enough donated funds to buy a truck, the RVFD set up a GoFundMe fundraiser in early February. The account still exists and it’s up to about $8,400.

“Now we’ll be able to use that money mainly for maintenance of the new trucks and other normal expenses,” Bressette said. “It’s amazing.”

The name of the fire department that donated each truck will be displayed on the unit it donated.

“That will be a way of thanking them and preserving the memory,” Bresette said.

The Roby Fire Department’s phone number is 417-217-4612. The department can also be found on Facebook.

“With fire departments, no matter where you’re located, there has always been a family bond.”


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