Taylor Rotary, car dealerships partner to buy ATV for Fire Department

The Taylor Fire Department will soon be the owner of an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) for emergency use, thanks to the efforts of the Rotary Club of Taylor and three Taylor car dealerships.

Rotarian Dave Hamilton of The Envelope Printery coordinated a raffle of his court-side tickets for the Detroit Pistons-New Jersey Nets basketball game on December 26. Proceeds from the raffle were donated to the purchase of the vehicle.

The drawing raised $4,000. Rotarians sold 200 tickets worth $5 each. The three car dealerships – Zubor Buick, Telegraph Chrysler Jeep and Century Dodge – each purchased 200 tickets. Century Dodge won the tickets in the drawing held during the December 7 Rotary meeting at Taylor Meadows Golf Club.

Hamilton said the rest of the money for the emergency vehicle will be raised during the Rotary’s annual dinner raffle in March 30, 2007.

“It’s a good start,” Hamilton said. “We will continue to generate money we need until we pay for it.”

Fire Chief Vincent Fedel, who was on hand for the drawing, thanked the Rotarians and car dealerships for caring enough to partner on the purchase of the vehicle.

Fedel said the Fire Department has had its eyes on a six-wheel off-road vehicle for emergency use to replace an inconsistent golf cart that is used during major events in the city, such as the annual Taylor Summer Festival in July.

The need became apparent last July when firefighters and other first-responders scrambled to save a 5-year-old Wyandotte boy, who nearly drowned in a private swimming pool during a house party on fireworks night.

That night, Fedel explained, the 7-year-old golf cart typically used for emergency situations at Heritage Park was not working. Fortunately, Paramedic Joe Nelson volunteered his ATV to be used by the department. A stretcher was attached to the vehicle.

The four-wheeler was key in transporting the boy through the busy park to a waiting ambulance behind the Taylor Community Library. The boy was revived, transported to Oakwood Hospital and released a couple days later, Fedel said.

Taylor police, a Michigan State Police trooper and Concord ambulance personnel also participated in the lifesaving venture.

The importance of the ATV was noticed by the Rotary Club, which agreed to raise money to buy a similar vehicle.

Fire Chief Fedel said he was impressed with the spirit of the fund-raising effort.

“A couple days after the incident, during the Taylor Rotary Fishing Derby, a number of Rotarians approached us about buying an ATV for the department,” Fedel said. “I don’t know if we’ve ever seen a group move as quickly as this group moves. You folks are phenomenal.”

The Taylor Rotary Club is active in the city throughout the year and has partnered with the Fire Department several times. The Rotarians provided the Fire Safe House near Fire Station Two on Ecorse Road. The house is used to teach youngsters the importance of fire safety.

Taylor Rotary also supports Rotary Park on Telegraph Road, organizes the annual Turn Off the Violence event for families at Heritage Park and donated the Wishing Well at the park, among other sponsorships and activities.

Participating in the raffle drawing during the Taylor Rotary Club meeting on December 7 were Rotarian and raffle coordinator Dave Hamilton (left), Taylor Fire Chief Vincent Fedel, Rotary President Jan Szabla, Linda Keacher of the City of Taylor Department of Golf, Parks and Recreation, John Trometer and John Zubor of Zubor Buick and Paul Messimer of Telegraph Chrysler Jeep. Century Dodge also participated in the fund-raiser.

Taylor Fire Department Paramedic Joe Nelson drives his ATV during the 2006 Taylor Summer Festival in July.