When New York Firefighter Terry Farrell lost his life in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, his family wanted to find a way to keep his memory and love of firefighting alive. They did so by forming the Terry Fund, which according to its website, conducts a number of services including supplying “rural Fire Departments with surplus equipment and apparatus donated from Fire Departments having a greater tax base ability to obtain gear through such tax base.” There are chapters of the Terry Fund all across the US, including one headquartered at the Alabama Fire College in Tuscaloosa. 

“We just think it’s a win for everybody,” says Hoover Fire Chief Clay Bentley.  

So when his department gets new equipment, they donate the older equipment to the Terry Fund.  

“And then the Fund will donate that equipment to the department we’d like it to go to,” Bentley explains. “It helps us with liability and it’s kind of a network between fire departments where they can find equipment that’s needed for certain areas.” 

This week, the Hoover Fire Department was able to make donations to three smaller fire departments in surrounding areas. 

“We’re giving away a couple of pallets of loose equipment; nozzles, hose clamps, brackets, things of that nature. And then we’re also giving away a 1995 pumper truck, a 2008 75-foot ladder truck, a medical transport unit and 100-foot ladder truck,” says Bentley. 

He goes on to add that the City is meticulous in maintaining its equipment over the years, so the donations are in good shape. He also hopes it provides some financial relief to the receiving departments. For example, a new EMS transport unit costs $250-tousand. A new engine runs roughly $900-thouosand and a new ladder truck costs almost two million dollars.   

“I think that is a tremendous cost savings for departments that cannot afford new, expensive equipment,” Bentley says.  

You could see the City’s donation as a lesson in “paying it forward”. Just last month, the Jefferson County Commission gave the Hoover Fire Department a brand new medical rescue transport unit, which cost around $250-thousand. Now it’s Hoover’s turn to spread the love. 

“We’re very grateful for Jefferson County and we enjoy helping other departments,” Bentley affirms. “By donating, I think it shows our culture and what we do. Anytime we can offer something that would improve other department’s services in their communities, we always want to do that.”