For the past 20 years when the Florence Township Fire Department engine hits the street on a run, Kenny Lyons was behind the wheel.
But a fire at the station in Edon in 2015 destroyed the engine he had been driving and the department has to use one on loan. Now the department has a new engine and it will bear Lyons’ name after a dedication ceremony last month.
The department held a special ceremony to dedicate the truck and honor Lyons for a half-century of service at the Edon United Methodist Church, Aug. 28. The event was well attended by friends, families, fellow firefighters from Edon and beyond.
“He (Lyons) always worked the engine for the last 20 years,” Fire Chief Jay Klinger said.
The event surprised Lyons.
“I walked in the fire hall and the room was full,” Lyons said. “Between my family and firefighters there was hardly any room.”
Working for the department for 50 years means Lyons enjoys his job. He mostly does small jobs around the station in addition to driving the engine.
“Firefighting is a brotherhood,” Lyons said. “Once it’s in your blood (it stays).
“I do it to help people out and work with a great bunch of firefighters. My dad always said if you can help someone, do it. Because you might need help someday.”
The new engine was delivered in April and entered into service in May, the chief said.
“It’s the first custom chassis we’ve had,” Klinger said. “We all the requirements of firefighting, it just makes sense to have customized.”
The new Pierce engine has a 1,500-gallon tank and can pump up to 1,500 gallons per minute. There is an on-board foam system and space to carry extraction equipment, firefighting equipment, medical equipment as several members are first responders.
“We should get 25 years out of it,” Klinger said.
The insurance settlement from the 2015 fire has purchased a new grass fire rig and a used tanker. The department has a new heavy rescue truck and a donated ambulance from Lucas County has been transformed into a cold water rescue unit, the chief said.
The fleet changes aren’t all as the department is looking to build a new station since the fire wiped out half of the current station. A designer has been hired and staff is looking for a new location.
The settlement for the building won’t cover a new station, so some sort of fundraising mechanism will be required.
“We are moving forward,” Klinger said. “We will try to get the best use of our money.”
James Pruitt may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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