LAWRENCEVILLE — Much like the Lawrenceville Volunteer Fire Department responds when it’s called to action, so too has the Norwood Masonic Lodge.
An $8,500 donation from the lodge enabled the fire department to purchase a used ladder truck that treasurer John LaShomb Jr. said will help them significantly in fighting fires.
“I just felt overwhelmed,” said Mr. LaShomb, who is also a member of the Norwood Masonic Lodge.
He said the job of firefighters has been made more difficult these days with the installation of tin roofs, as well as new furnaces that are more efficient — but with chimneys that don’t always go to the peak of the roof.
When responding to those calls, Mr. LaShomb said firefighters in full turnout gear have had to raise ladders to the roof of the structure and try to stay steady on the slippery tin roof. Because of the difficulties they’ve encountered, he said they began looking for a ladder truck for the department. The closest one is in the Brasher-Winthrop Volunteer Fire Department, he said.
Mr. LaShomb said he went online and located a used truck in Kent, Ohio. Then the department sent some of its members to Ohio to look at it.
“We ended up buying the truck at a very reasonable price. It was nothing we can afford in our department, so I asked the Masonic Lodge (to assist with the cost) and they did,” he said.
Mr. LaShomb said the Masons went “above and beyond with enthusiasm” with their donation.
“We (the Masonic Lodge) typically collect money and sponsor different organizations around. We did the Summer Festival in Norwood last year and Dodge Pond. We try to do the ones that get less attention,” Mr. LaShomb said.
Now, instead of being limited to ladders that need to be placed against a structure and raised, the department has the added bonus of using a ladder on a truck.
“It’s not a big one. Most everybody has a 100-footer. This one’s 65 feet, but it has a 1,500-gallon pump. That’s a good-sized pump,” he said.