Volunteer Fire Chief bypasses city counsel’s budget veto, buys new Engine via selling advertising space

Citizen of Parvulus are applauding the efforts of their local Volunteer Fire Department. The department was in desperate need of a new pumper, but the city counsel would not fund the purchase three years in a row. So the chief got the engine by alternate means, he sold ad space on it.

Fire engine ads

The new engine with advertising

Chief Dave Goodwin, an avid NASCAR fan said he got the idea watching a race. Quietly he talked with some trusted local business owners. Being a volunteer fire chief is only Mr. Goodwin’s part time job. His day job is accountant.

“I know this is a legal gray area but giving money to the Fire Department is a charitable donation. So we worked out multi year deals with local businesses. Each year the businesses pledge a donation to the Parvulus Fire Department. In exchange they get both a tax write off and their logo on our new engine.”

He might be a NASCAR fan, but the chief was not willing to make his new apparatus look like most racecars. All ads are in the standard reflective gold leaf paint used for the lettering and logos on all other vehicles in the fleet.

“Talking with my Assistant Chief we realized there is little need to print ‘Fire Department’ on the side of a fire engine. Think about it, everyone knows a red truck with that profile comes from the fire department. So why waste putting that on the engine, when we could put local business logos on it.”

The chief put together a little sale packet out lining the benefits of an ad on the side of a fire engine. Important points included…

  • People come watch fires; they stand looking at the scene much of their view blocked by the trucks
  • Engines are parked at car crashes for hours at end, everyone driving past looking at the scene their view blocked by the trucks
  • We roll our trucks in every parade, thousands of eyes cheering as the trucks roll by
  • Our station is on Main street, during training we pull the engine out so it is visible to everyone driving on main street.
  • Special civic events the engines are used to block traffic, plenty of people walking and driving past looking at the truck.
  • Fire prevention programs, each month we are at schools and businesses doing fire prevention with the engine parked in their parking lot.
  • Department tours, each month we have school and community groups come tour the department. The highlight of the tour is our fire apparatus bay.

Members of the city council refused to comment for this story. Rumor in town is that many council members are furious the fire chief went behind their back.

Other fire chiefs are patiently waiting to see how this works out for the Parvulus fire department. If results seem positive, you may be seeing advertising on a fire engine near you.

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The staff at the CallTheCops are all people who now or at one time did work as police, firefighters, in EMS and even dispatch.