Reporting Vickie Thomas
DETROIT (WWJ) – The Detroit Fire Department is getting a much-needed addition to its fleet. Harrison Township businessman Joe Rippolone donated the vehicle, built in 1983, but said to be in top condition and worth nearly $200,000.
Mayor Dave Bing and Fire Commissioner Donald Austin accepted the truck in a ceremony Thursday in the shadow of the Spirit of Detroit.
“I’m the kind of person that likes to give and help out,” said Rippolone. “I just, really it snowballs to other people and I hope it gives everyone an incentive to say not one man can do this alone,” he said.
The city of Detroit was criticized for dragging its feet accepting the truck, but Bing says dealing with City Hall is sometimes not easy.
“There’s always a lot of procedures and whatnot that you have to go through … but this is two weeks and, you know, I’m satisfied with where we are today,” Bing said.
The truck once belonged to a fire company in Erie County, New York.
Speaking before Detroit City Council earlier this week, Rippolone said he decided to donate the truck after hearing about 3-year-old Ivory Ivey who died because Detroit firefighters didn’t have a truck able to rescue her from an upstairs bedroom. (More on this story, here).