1. #1
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    Angry Stolen: One Poynor VFD fire truck

    Stolen: One Poynor VFD fire truck
    By Art Lawler

    Stolen: One Poynor VFD fire truck
    By Art Lawler

    Somebody took the fire truck in Poynor last week.

    The fire truck.

    It's the same truck that's been parked in the same space at the same fire department for the last 26 years -- almost all of those days and nights with the keys in the ignition.

    It's not like it's out there being inconspicuous somewhere, what with the City of Poynor written across its doors, and the civil defense emblem imprinted on it. The red paint has admittedly begun to fade in recent years, but there's no mistaking this vehicle's identity. It's a fire truck.

    Not that anybody ever thought about stealing the community fire truck in Poynor before. It's what the neighbors use to put out each other's fires, the ones that inevitably crop up in this scenic rural location. "Losing this truck is like losing a family member," said Volunteer Fire Chief Richard Perry Tuesday afternoon. "They just basically got in, cranked it up and drove out with it."
    "I just wish we could find our truck," he said. "Hopefully it'll be in one piece."Perry has been making sure Engine No. 5870 and two others are ready to roll at any time day or night for the last 26 years. To say that he and the other 13 volunteers who help him are upset about losing a truck that could cost more than $90,000 to replace is an understatement.
    The 1977 one-ton, four-wheel-drive Chevrolet brush truck was designed primarily to put out grass fires, but Perry said it's been rolling on just about every call, including emergency medical calls, in recent years. "It's pretty much been a first responder," he said.

    Engine No. 5870 was purchased brand new in '77, back when the 41-year-old chief was 16. Perry was a volunteer firefighter in Poynor then, too.

    So why were the keys left in the ignition?

    "That way, we can just crank it up and go, instead of having to hunt keys down," Perry said.

    This is Poynor, not Los Angeles. People trust each other. At least they did until last week.

    Perhaps, just as upsetting is that the keys have now been removed from the other two fire engines and stored in a secret location. Local firefighters are talking about getting an alarm system, one with a motion sensor, too.

    And Poynor becomes a little too much like the rest of the world because of it.

    Henderson County Sheriff's Investigator Ray Nutt said Tuesday he had no leads to pursue in finding the fire truck thieves.

    Whatever happened to the truck must have happened fairly quickly. The window of opportunity for avoiding detection was limited.

    "I want to say it happened sometime after 2:30 a.m. Thursday," Perry said. "The lady who lives across from the station leaves for work at 2 a.m., and she said the bay door was down when she left home."

    The firefighters theorize the thieves avoided U.S. Highway 175.

    "We kind of figured when they left the bay that they went down (State Highway) 315," he said. "That would have taken them away from the town area."

    The next morning, the bay door was open. During those three or four hours, the thieves would probably have had to hide the truck in a barn or shed to avoid detection in the daylight hours.

    "We think it was probably some kids," he said. "Basically, who'd want to steal a fire truck?"

    When asked if the gas mileage on such a truck might have wiped out some kids financially rather quickly, he defended the missing truck. "It's done pretty good on gas mileage," he said. "I don't know how much it gets, but it's pretty good."

    The aging truck does have its scars. "The red lights bar -- on the passenger's side -- has been melted from past fires," he said. "Also, the paint has peeled off on the (truck) bed behind the driver's side."

    But the truck got a new set of brakes recently and the engine is supposed to be in pretty good shape.

    Perry thinks the people responsible have some familiarity with the fire station. "Somebody's been in the station and at least looked around to see what we might have," he said.

    The thieves also got away with a chain saw, some one-and-a-half inch hoses, some foam, hand tools, rakes and shovels.

    The department has just received a government grant that will help it replace one of its other trucks. The department has also applied for a Texas Forest Service grant, hoping to get a much-needed second brush truck. Whatever happens on the grants, it's still a big setback for the Poynor Fire Dept.

    When Perry isn't working at the station, he's off to his paying job at the Gurney Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, where he processes prisoners into the system.

    If the thieves are caught, they might just wind up seeing Perry.

    ----------

    e-mail alawler@athensreview.com

  2. #2
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    Thumbs down

    anyone for locking the station ?
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  3. #3
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    Really though...Or else the door isn't very strong...The doors we got on our hall...Good luck..How sad though...Stealing a fire truck..
    Take Care,Stay Safe and Stay Low

    Ryan
    Firefighter
    NDVFD Fire/Rescue

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