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Georgia Fire Dept. Donates Truck to Island Park

Transplanted Long Island firefighters to drive truck to South to South Shore community.

Roswell firefighters pose for a last photo with the fire truck being donated to Island Park. Credit Bob Pepalis
Roswell firefighters pose for a last photo with the fire truck being donated to Island Park. Credit Bob Pepalis

Story and Photos by Bob Pepalis.


The residents of Island Park have had to depend on the kindness of others to keep their homes and businesses safe from fire since Hurricane Sandy, but a fire engine they can call their own is on the way.

The City Council in Roswell, Georgia, approved the donation of a surplus fire truck to the community just north of Long Beach. Hurricane Sandy put as much as six feet of water in the Island Park fire station, and the seawater destroyed the community's own truck, and much of its equipment.

On Monday, members of the Roswell Fire Department and Roswell City Council gathered at the Roswell Fire Department headquarters to turn the truck over to the men who will drive the truck to Island Park. The truck was filled with donated equipment as well, including boots, pants, hoods and other turnout gear for firefighters.

Mike Korsch, a former Long Island firefighter and a member of the Terry Farrell Fire Fund who now lives in Acworth, Georgia, spearheaded the drive to find equipment for fire departments devastated by Hurricane Sandy. He said enough equipment was donated to outfit as many as 36 firefighters.

Korsch and David Samuelson of Hiram will take two days to drive the truck north, and hand it off on Wednesday to Island Park.

Thirty-six hours is all it took for Roswell to donate the truck, from the time Roswell Fire Chief Ricky Spencer heard about the call for help to the approval by City Council of the donation.

Fire departments from as far away as Binghamton – 200 miles from Island Park – have been stationing fire engines in the community in an extreme form of mutual aid.
Tideline November 29, 2012 at 07:36 AM
What a beautiful thoughtful gift. It seems Firemen have a no ego involved brotherhood and come to help from across the country. Have any Police Depts. made any donations to LBPD ?
Jaime Sumersille November 29, 2012 at 07:42 AM
@Tideline, we will look into that. I know that other local departments take turns bringing their equipment into LB for assistance. This story was give to us by another Patch site down in Georgia (Roswell Patch) Jaime Sumersille Regional Editor, Nassau County
Rosemarie November 29, 2012 at 08:13 AM
Lovely, thoughtful and much appreciated. As a Village of Island Park homeowner, kudos to the Roswell Fire Department for their generosity and selflessness. I often wonder why Island Park is always forgotten and Long Beach is the epicenter of all attention but in this case, it's wonderful to see a former native that remembers our small, mostly self-sufficient Village. Thank you!
Rosemarie November 29, 2012 at 08:20 AM
What a lovely gift to the Island Park Fire Department - selfless and generous. Kudos to the Roswell FD and Mr. Korsch and Mr. Samuelson.
delete me November 29, 2012 at 08:28 AM
Very cool. Another fire department donated a fire truck to Broad Channel (well, "sold" it for $1) stuffed with donations. This stuff makes me happy.
Rosemarie November 29, 2012 at 08:35 AM
This is my 3rd attempt at commenting on the Roswell, Georgia generosity: kudos and gratitude form the Village of Island Park homewoners. We appreciate everyone and everything: the Village if Island Park is largely forgotten in favor of LB and Oceanside.
LongIslanderforlife November 29, 2012 at 08:45 AM
I am so thrilled with Roswell. Thank you so much! Donating the truck is going to be a tremendous help to our town. I was hoping to win the powerball so I could use the money to put our town back together and then help others in surrounding areas in need from this storm. so many people have been so helpful it would only be right to pay it forward to friends, family, and neighbors.
Peggy Mahoney November 29, 2012 at 08:52 AM
Thank you "the Good Ol Boys from Georgia", hope you have a very Merry Christmas!
jmat58 November 29, 2012 at 10:11 AM
Ditto! Thank you for the truck and equipment. Thank you to all the volunteers who have helped island park and other areas heavily hit by the storm. Thank you to you families for giving you to us for all these weeks. Thank you to all the neighbors who gave a hand to those who had a hand out. Thank you all of those silent angels with no name or face that heard the cries from this forgotten town and came to our rescue. THANK YOU ALL!
Trying to Make Sense November 30, 2012 at 07:38 AM
Great stuff! Kudos to the good people of Roswell. Does anyone happen to know the # of fire trucks lost by the LBFD by any chance? I have not seen any specific report on that. Thanks.
Ellen A. November 30, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Wow, how moving this story is, how generous people can be. This brought tears to my eyes. Good for Island Park!!

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