Ladder truck donated to department

An anonymous donor purchased this 1997 Seagrave ladder truck for the Beaufort Fire Department, which will use the truck to reach 100 feet into the air while fighting fires. Currently, department crews are making minor repairs to the vehicle. (Dylan Ray photo)

CORRECTION: This article was updated 10:11 p.m., Nov. 3, to correctly identify crews who provided additional equipment to Beaufort Fire Department as the Laurel Volunteer Rescue Squad, not the Laurel Fire Department. This information came directly from department officials. 

BEAUFORT — Town fire crews have a new asset parked in their bay, after an anonymous donation furnished the department with a 1997 Seagrave tractor drawn aerial.

“We’re going to fix that bad boy up and she’s going to look good,” assistant fire chief Richard Lovick excitedly told the News-Times Thursday.

Neither he nor town manager John Day would name the donor, who apparently purchased the surplus ladder truck from the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Department, Maryland, for roughly $21,000, including taxes and fees.

Town fire officials had been investigating purchasing similar equipment for some time, but have been stymied by the price tag, assistant chief Lovick said, noting that a new ladder truck can cost nearly $1 million.

“We have less than $1,000 invested in this truck right now,” he said, noting he was pleased with the generous donation.

Fire personnel retrieved the truck and title from Maryland last month and have it parked in the bay of their recently opened fire station on Live Oak Street while they conduct minor repairs on the vehicle.

“(It’s been in) no real crashes or anything, just some chips and small dents,” the assistant chief noted.

The truck, which will be manned by a crew of four to seven firefighters during an event, is not yet being used, pending licensing, training and repairs.

Once road-ready, insured and tagged, it will be deployed primarily to commercial structure fires and calls involving two- and three-story homes.

“The truck is 20 years old and it’s had some use, but it’s in really good shape,” assistant chief Lovick said. “… I don’t see how we can’t get at least 10 years out of this truck.”

The addition of the ladder truck should also positively impact the town’s fire insurance rating, potentially lowering rates, though officials said the department has about $60,000 worth of equipment to purchase to bring it up to scratch

for a re-rating.

In addition to the vehicle itself, the Montgomery department also provided Beaufort with Seagrave accessories for the truck, including an additional set of ground ladders, a pump, hose reel and a generator.

To top it off, the Laurel Volunteer Rescue Squad, Maryland, also donated about $40,000 worth of equipment to Beaufort crews, assistant chief Lovick said. A current Beaufort Fire employee previously served with that crew.

The assistant chief said there is no written agreement for the truck donation, and Mr. Day confirmed the fire department handled the arrangements for the vehicle, which he dubbed “just a gift.”

Officials hope to have the truck in operation later this winter, and plan on welcoming fire crews from the Cornelius Fire Department, who have the same model covering part of Mecklenburg County, for training.

Contact Jackie Starkey at 252-726-7081, ext. 232; email; or follow on Twitter @jackieccnt.

(7) comments


Tall condos coming

Bft Local

Manned by a crew of 4 to 7????
Think there is only 4 working a shift!!!
This truck don't even pump water!!!


Fantastic, what a great gift! How about pancake suppers, fish frys, concerts and such to help raise the needed remainder of money mentioned in the story. Hats off to the Maryland Fire department and especially the donor for making it possible!


Thank you to whomever the donation came from, as well, the town in MD for the added extra's.

Imagine this, not 1 government agency in charge of this transaction, how can this work w/out a policy or something???????????

ps..... Sincerely, all you folks at the Dept do a great job, and have an awesome response time, as well as all of our first responders! (i wish it would never need to be used, except for controlled operations, however, unfortunately i know accidents and emergency's occur frequently).


Oh, while i use alot of criticism in my posts towards the various Department HEADS, i think some may actually want to cotton up to the fact that its the LEADERS, not the employee's , ie: the policy makers are one body, they do not fight fires, work in shifts, help you when you stroke out, stop your home from burning to the ground, etc, etc, etc, etc..............

So, while i accept the critical comments, as opinion's towards the group, please let's target the TRUE baddies from the real goodies.

Just saying.........


If the article is correct this was a good move. Great investment! Being somewhat familiar with Montgomery Co. MD fire service as well as Laurel MD fire service and one who was once in involved in fire fighting this is a great asset. Mont Co and Laurel are top notch fire services and know how to take care of their equipment and use it effectively.

A ladder truck is not only useful for elevation firefighting but not common knowledge to the general public is also useful for ground level or below ground level uses. Ask any professional or volunteer firefighter who has ever worked with a ladder truck and they will support my post and say right on! It's a good deal Sounds like a good deal. Support our local first responders!


I am sure the donator will save a bunch on insurance. It isn't all altruism.

Welcome to the discussion.

As a privately owned web site, we reserve the right to edit or remove comments that contain spam, advertising, vulgarity, threats of violence, racism, anti-Semitism, or personal/abusive/condescending attacks on other users or goading them. The same applies to trolling, the use of multiple aliases, or just generally being a jerk. Enforcement of this policy is at the sole discretion of the site administrators and repeat offenders may be blocked or permanently banned without warning.