A Donation and Journey of Compassion
Nielsen’s Fire Protection, from Palmdale Ca, recently donated two fire trucks to Plum Grove Volunteer Fire Department in Cleveland Texas.
This story began on Wednesday September 6th, when Kim and TJ Nielsen, husband and wife owners of the Company, were watching the Fox news report about a fire station that got totally wiped out by the hurricane Harvey.
The story was very impressive about how 12 individuals from that fire station had saved 750 people while suffering great losses of fire protection equipment, rescue boats, and apparatus. The station was effectively wiped out.
The Fox interview with the local police chief speaking on their behalf put out a national call for help from any fire department in the nation that can spare any equipment because this department had lost everything.
Kim and TJ decided they would respond by donating their engines to this department. They decided to fully donate Engine 17 100 % percent to the department for their use and lend their beloved Engine 32 nicknamed “Big Blue” to them for one year or until it is no longer needed.
TJ decided that the need for engines was urgent and needed to be placed into service immediately. Therefore, they determined to wave any red tape and get the engines on their way as quickly as possible. TJ said, “We can work out the red tape later while they are out there putting out fires and saving lives”.
Consequently, 48 hours later, TJ and his two boys Justin and Grant Nielsen, both former military, began the long 1600 mile journey on Friday morning. They did not arrive late Sunday night as Father and Sons encountered and dealt with five individual emergencies while in route.
Ironically, the first emergency involved a caravan of the American Red Cross trucks leaving from Los Angeles to Florida, carrying food and supplies on the way to provide help for Irma not Harvey. They discovered the caravan broken down on the side of the road and turned around and responded to help them and expedite their repairs and got them back on the road for Irma victims.
Their second emergency was a stranded motorist who was buried in deep sand. Soon thereafter they passed a semi-truck that had rolled over blocking all lanes of the highway. They resolved that problem once again opening up the road to traffic.
They continued on their way only to encounter a brush fire caused by a lightning strike. They put out the fire out preventing what could otherwise have resulted in a much larger fire. The fifth and final emergency they ran into was a three-car accident which they responded to and quickly took charge of.
TJ and sons finally arrived at the Plum Grove Fire Station around 10 pm Sunday night September 10th, where the station personnel were anxiously waiting.
Recognizing the urgency of getting the vehicles into action, after the initial greetings and hugs, they quickly jumped into action spending the next couple of hours carefully going over the equipment and training the personnel on the specific details and functions of the two trucks.
Immediately following that the family jumped into their pickup truck to expedite their 1,600-mile road trip home.
· Don Flanery- Fire Dept. Manager - Plum Grove Volunteer Fire Dept. - (281) 541.0913
· Joe- Fire Chief - Plum Grove Volunteer Fire Dept. - (832) 493.3481
Plum Grove Volunteer Fire Department
7830 Fm 1010 Rd, Cleveland, TX 77327