News

A gift that keeps on giving

Claude Hendrickson (center) presents fire truck title to (L) Jesse Love, Milano VFD chief, and assistant chief Travis Yoakum. Reporter/Mike Brown Claude Hendrickson (center) presents fire truck title to (L) Jesse Love, Milano VFD chief, and assistant chief Travis Yoakum. Reporter/Mike Brown When Claude Hendrickson, owner of Dixie Contractors, saw the fire truck he’d just bought, he knew he wasn’t going to keep it.

Hendrickson, whose company is completing the dismantling of the three old power units at Alcoa’s Rockdale Operations, had intended to use the truck to form a company fire department.

“But when it was delivered, I knew right away this was a high-quality firefighting vehicle and it needed to be in the hands of a trained department,” he said.

“It needed to go where it could do the most good,” he added.

Hendrickson asked Warren Matous, Rockdale VFD fire chief, if he knew of a department that was rich on dedicated volunteers but maybe not quite so blessed with equipment.

It didn’t take Matous long to say: “Milano.”

So he gave the truck to the Milano Volunteer Fire Department, no strings attached.

Once Milano volunteers got over the shock, there were plenty of “thank-yous” and lots of handshakes.

Fire Chief Jesse Love said the truck will go into service once hoses and equipment are installed.

Hendrickson went looking for fire truck auctions after getting the idea to develop a company fire department.

He purchased the truck from an airport in Allegheny County Pennsylvania (suburban Pittsburgh.)

He doesn’t regret the decision to give away the truck.

“You know at a fire what our guys would be doing is controlling it enough so the trained people can take over, then we’d get out of their way,” Hendrickson said.

“Now the trained people will have the truck to start with,” he added.


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2010-06-24 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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