It’s no secret that firefighters are like family. Long shifts — day in and day out — brings a department together. They work, play, cook, eat, train, and save lives together.
This camaraderie extends past Benson as well — departments provide mutual aid for each other from time to time and firefighters often recognize other local firefighters from departments across the region.
On Monday, the Benson Fire Department extended a helping hand to Garland Volunteer Fire & Rescue by donating an older pumper truck to be used as the Sampson County station’s second engine.
“We’ve been blessed in Benson with so many grants to ensure we have the best equipment,” said Benson Fire Chief Alan Johnson this week.
From 2009 to 2017, the Benson Fire Department has received approximately $1.1 million in grant money.
“When it came time to make a decision on this old truck, we knew we wanted to help another department in some way,” he explained.
Garland receives around 300-plus calls in an average year. The department needed to replace its second truck — a 1979 model — to meet the pump capacity needed to maintain their current insurance rating.
“We hope this truck serves them well,” said Chief Johnson, walking around the 1990 Ford C-8000 parked in front of the Benson station with Garland Assistant Chief Chris Register.
Assistant Benson Chief Anthony Byrd pointed out while showing the truck to Asst. Chief Register. “Some say this is our best pumping truck,” he said with a chuckle, recalling a past fire event when the old Ford ran for 16-hours straight.
After a few handshakes and a few more pictures, Asst. Chief Register climbed into the truck and headed for its new home in Garland.