U.P. fire departments grateful for surplus gear

Associated Press

Iron Mountain– Fire departments in Michigan’s western Upper Peninsula are benefiting from a surplus of equipment delivered hundreds of miles from the Lower Peninsula.

The Iron Mountain Daily News reports that more than a dozen people unloaded trucks and trailers last week in Iron Mountain. There were air packs, extraction tools, chain saws and other equipment worth roughly $400,000. It’s considered essential stuff, but it’s also expensive for small departments to acquire.

Denny Hughes, a retired firefighter in the Detroit area, organized the effort after an Iron Mountain official heard about his past work in the eastern Upper Peninsula and asked for help. Hughes got the gear from departments that had surplus equipment.

He likes the road trips, saying the “fun part” is “bonding with our brotherhood” around Michigan.