Akzo Nobel’s Car Refinishes business in the United States (CRNA) is helping to renovate a fire truck which will be used as a funeral engine once the refurbishment work is complete.
The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department in Florida has so far raised more than USD 20,000 to pay for the overhaul, but the paint and spraying of the vehicle will now be provided free of charge.
“We were contacted by one of our customers, Johnny’s Custom Creations, who are the bodyshop carrying out the restoration work, to ask if we’d be interested in helping out,” explained Paul Barber, CRNA’s sales manager for the Florida area.
“We often contribute to various worthy causes and naturally we had no hesitation in agreeing to the donate materials and assist the firefighters in their project.”
The day-long, three-stage paint job will utilize Sikkens products, with local truck dealership Maudlin International (another Akzo Nobel customer) donating the use of one if its spray booths.
In fact, Paul will be one of the three people who actually spray the fire truck, along with employees from the bodyshop and truck dealership who have volunteered to help out. Several workers from other bodyshops in the area have also agreed to help with the restoration work free of charge.
“This is an awesome opportunity to do something for the firefighters that go out and risk their lives for us everyday,” said Johnny Elliott, owner of Johnny’s Custom Creations. “Several bodyshop managers and owners are letting their workers come over and donate their time and materials.”
The 1980s fire truck, which will be painted in a white base with a red pearl overlay, will be redesigned so that its water tank section will be able to carry a funeral casket.
Many large metropolitan areas in the U.S. have dedicated fire engines designed to carry a fallen firefighter’s coffin in a funeral procession. Jacksonville has been trying to renovate one of its own retired trucks for a number of years, but has been hampered by lack of funds.
The restoration work is scheduled to take place during the next few weeks and the refurbished engine should be completed some time next month.
(Released: March 21, 2005)