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Northern Michigan firefighters to receive free equipment

PRESQUE ISLE, Mich. — The “From My Firehouse to Yours” program, was started as a way for smaller fire departments to get the equipment they need.

Belfor Property Restoration, an international disaster restoration company, collects used and surplus fire equipment from larger departments and helps distribute them among smaller departments at no charge. Public Safety Liaison Represtative for Belfor, Denny Hughes, also a former firefighter, helped start the program. “It was really just a conversation at a fire conference with an old friend who told me he really needed some gear,” he said. “They really don’t have much support in funding in his township in the Upper Peninsula. I just happen to know a lot of guys through my accounts in the Lansing area and reached out to them by text during the conference, and what this chief needed, we far surpassed in about a half hour.”

The Presque Isle Township Fire Department and the Northern Michigan Fire Chiefs Association teamed up to act as the distribution site. About 15 firefighters from downstate and three Belfor trucks filled with supplies arrived in Presque Isle on Thursday, Sept. 24 to help sort the equipment.

City of Alpena Fire Chief Bill Forbush was there and took part in the ceremony. He says they will be taking advantage of some 5-inch hoses. “We’re going to have the opportunity to partake in some of that,” he said. “The Presque Isle Township Fire Department needs a whole lot of different things. It was just reborn in the last few years and so we’ll have an opportunity at that, but the exciting thing is that we can share it with everybody.”

Fire departments from across Northern Michigan will go through all of the equipment and take what they need on Sept. 26.