North Carolina Firefighter Wins Ford F-150 by Swiping Debit Card

RALEIGH, NC (5/6/10) – A Monroe firefighter got the surprise of a lifetime this week when the executive director of the N.C. State Firemen’s Association (NCSFA) personally delivered to him the prize for winning their "Swipe the Card, Win the Truck" sweepstakes–a 2010 Ford F-150.

"When I first saw the sign at the credit union about the truck giveaway, I just sat there and stared at it for a minute and thought, ‘That’d be nice, but it won’t happen to me," said sweepstakes winner Bryan Hancock, who is a volunteer and paid firefighter with the Town of Mint Hill and the City of Monroe, respectively, as well as a communications supervisor for the Mecklenburg County EMS Agency. "I’ve got a 1983 Chevrolet pickup right now, and it’s on its last legs. I’ve always wanted a new truck. This is incredible."

The debit card sweepstakes ran from August 2009 to through March 2010. Anyone who swiped their NCSFA Visa Debit Card between those dates was automatically entered to win the truck. The specially-structured Visa debit card, offered by Local Government Federal Credit Union (LGFCU), works by donating 50 percent of the merchant’s transaction fee from every purchase to the NCSFA–with no money coming out of the pockets of card carriers.

"This is a wonderful card program because it generates money for a great cause–to enhance the benefits the association offers its 50,000 members," said NCSFA Executive Director Paul Miller. "We are also very excited to be able to hand one of our own NCSFA members the keys to his new truck."

The sweepstakes generated 857,000 swipes and more than $75,000 for the NCSFA, which provides training, education and assistance to North Carolina firefighters. Since the card was launched in 2003, more than $368,000 has been generated for the association. More than 5,000 cards are in circulation.

"North Carolina’s firefighters put their lives on the line every time they respond to a call," said LGFCU President Maurice Smith. "We couldn’t be more delighted to partner with the NCSFA to offer this card because it gives something back to those who are out there serving and protecting us every day."