|The Blissfield Rotary Club raised money to buy this used fire engine for the Puerto Vallarta Fire Department|
Four Blissfield, Michigan, Rotarians delivered the 1,000-gallon Pierce tanker to the members of the Puerto Vallarta Fire Department.
Bill Borchardt, Jeff Sieler, Jerry Restin and Chris Mallow transported the vehicle on a trailer from Sieler's Construction of Blissfield. Sieler's wife, Jean, is the club president this year.
"We were vacationing in Mexico and went to a Rotary Club meeting," Borchardt said. "Their guest that day was the fire chief, who said they had plenty of men, but not much equipment."
At a club meeting, the Rotarians decided to make this their international project. Borchardt said a friend of his found the used vehicle in Calhoun County and, along with help from the Clinton, Adrian Morning and Adrian Noon Rotary clubs and a grant from Rotary International, the $9,000 cost was raised.
"We had tried to buy one locally but couldn't find one," Borchardt said. "A friend of mine found one in Burlington Township. We went and looked at it and it was in good shape."
A 19-hour drive brought the group to just north of Austin, Texas. They expected to make Laredo by evening, cross the border and spend the night in Nueva Laredo, Mexico.
Blissfield Rotarians also collected donations of used gear from local fire departments to include with the fire engine, Jean Sieler said in an e-mail.
Borchardt said the Puerto Vallarta Fire Department has also been helped by other donations. He said two other vehicles had been delivered, though only one is operational. The tanker donated by the Lenawee County Rotarians needs a little work, but Borchardt said the clubs have raised enough money to cover that cost.
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