SC Firefighter’s Association receives Walmart donation to purchase historic fire engine

PHOTO SUBMITTED Members of the Seneca County Firefighter’s Association received a donation from the Walmart Foundation to help purchase and bring a historic fire truck from Bascom’s past back home. SCFA Vice President Joseph Brandt (from left), SCFA Treasurer Dennis Wilkinson, Tiffin Walmart Assistant Store Manager Paul Crawford and and SCFA President Fred Lust.

The Seneca County Firefighter’s Association will be able to bring the General home a little earlier after they received a donation from the Walmart Foundation last week.

The Walmart Foundation gave the Seneca County Firefighter’s Association’s “Bring the General Home” project $3,500 last week, a release from the Seneca County Firefighter’s Association states. The check was presented by the Tiffin Walmart assistant store manager Paul Crawford to three members of the Seneca County Firefighter’s Association who are administering the project, President Fred Lust, Treasurer Dennis Wilkinson and Vice President Joseph Brandt, the release states.

“With the donations we’ve seen come in of late, we’re just about ready to purchase the fire engine,” Brandt said.

The “Bring the General Home” project was created to help the Seneca County Firefighter’s Association purchase and eventually transport a 92-year-old fire engine originally used by Bascom firefighters all those decades ago. Brandt, along with the help of fellow Bascom firefighter Joe Reinhart, found the antique fire engine online in a California resident’s collection, and it happened to be for sale.

“Sometimes I have to pinch myself to believe the turn of events in finding that truck online,” Brandt said.

“We were looking around online and on this national website I scrolled down to the third entry and it just jumped out and drew me in for some reason,” he said. “I noticed the fire engine for sale was about as old as the General would be, and after calling the owner I asked him about some of the quirks I knew about our old fire truck, to see if this truck was truly ours.

“He said the windshield and chemical tanks had been replaced, and he told me all of the places the truck had gone to after Bascom. We knew it was our truck at that point.”

Brandt and others then decided to create the “Bring the General Home” project, in order to try to raise funds to purchase and bring the truck back to its home county.

“It’s been a bit up and down since we started raising money nine months ago, but we’re getting very close to the goal,” he said.

As of Nov. 25, the “Bring the General Home” project has attained 81% of its proposed goal of $45,000, according to the release. That amount includes $40,000 for the truck and $5,000 for transportation expenses, Brandt said.

Brandt said that collected donations to this point amount to a little more than $36,000.

“We’d like to encourage people who are interested to get involved soon, because this is their last chance to get on board with this project. We should reach our goal very soon.”

Donors to the project will have their name, business and/or memorial listed on a plaque displayed with the truck after it makes its return trip to Seneca County, the release states.

Interested contributors may present funds at the Sutton Bank in Tiffin or Attica, or may contact Joseph Brandt at (419) 937-6447 for further information or donation pickup.