Archived Story

Airport foam unit fighting Bahamas blazes

Published 8:56am Friday, August 28, 2009

By JOHN EBY
Dowagiac Daily News

Rather than scrap a complete airport fire-fighting foam unit on a truck he purchased, Dowagiac Rotarian Eric Richardson placed an ad on Barnstormers.com offering it to any airport fire department that could use it.

Richardson, of Decatur, ended up giving it to the Sandy Point airport in the Bahamas.

Rafael Edwards from Baton Rouge, La., picked up the equipment loaded on a trailer Saturday morning, Aug. 8, at Dowagiac Municipal Airport from Eric and his son, Josh.

Richardson’s action in making this a donation rather than selling the equipment fulfills two objectives of Rotary: applying the idea of service in each member’s personal, business and community life and supporting efforts to advance international understanding and goodwill.

Judd Lumber, where Richardson worked until being sidelined by back surgery in January, used their equipment to load and unload the fire-fighting gear.

“I haven’t been able to contribute much to Rotary lately,” Richardson said. “Maybe this would make up for some of that.”
His fellow Rotarians welcomed him back Thursday to his first luncheon since his surgery.

The foam equipment was bound from Louisiana to Florida to be shipped to Sandy Point.

It originally came from the Kalamazoo airport.

The truck it was on was a 1982 Dodge one-ton, four-wheel-drive with only 5,700 actual miles.

“What a find,” Richardson said.

“I let Dick talk me out of it and it’s Judd’s new plow truck.”

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