‘It’s What We Do’: Bucks County Fire Department, Volunteers Raise Donations for Flood-Stricken Fire Stations in Kentucky

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OTTSVILLE, Pa. (TSWT) – Emergency services rush to distribute bottled water to flood-ravaged eastern Kentucky. The deadly floods damaged water systems and the availability of clean drinking water is scarce.

To make matters worse, forecasters are warning that more rain is coming to the region.

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Here at home, a Bucks County fire department is doing its part to help first responders in Kentucky.

The effort kicked off Sunday afternoon with a Facebook post featuring several Kentucky fire stations affected by the flooding.

“It’s what we do, we have to answer the call,” said Cole Wendling of the Staledale Fire Department.

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At the Ottsville Fire Station, dozens of local firefighters and volunteers pack their gear.

“Fire equipment, self-contained breathing apparatus, hand tools, hoze, a whole pallet of boots,” said Palisades Regional Fire Rescue Chief William Shick.

But this time the needy are some of their own.

“We help people here every day. This helps another fire department who has no one else to help them,” Shick said.

Shick called for donations of fire and rescue equipment after he saw pictures on Facebook of fire stations in Kentucky flooding.

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“There are four departments in the area we’re moving into in Knot County, Kentucky, that have lost everything,” Shick said.

Four days later, neighboring Bucks, Montgomery, and Lehigh counties—and even New Jersey—donated more than $500,000 worth of supplies.

“The response has been overwhelming,” Shick said.

“This is organized chaos,” said Moyer Services manager Mike Helfrich.

Helfrich’s company is also participating.

“We understand that our area will need help someday and we hope people will be there for us,” Helfrich said.

As for the chef, one word says it all: “Proud.”

In a role that often requires split-second reactions, he’s humbled to pause and watch these heroes in action.

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“There are so many people here in 90 degree heat packing up and sending things to people they’ll never see, they’ll never meet, they’ll never get a thank you for it. It’s really amazing,” Shick said.

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A total of four trucks will leave early Friday morning to make the 10-hour drive to Kentucky to personally deliver all collected supplies. The chief says right after they’ve unloaded everything that they’ll be right back. He does not rule out a second return trip.

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