Problems come in all sizes.

A fire department losing its only fire truck is a big one, not only for the fire department but also the community it serves.

The Norwich Township Fire Department acted swiftly last week to help a department facing such a dilemma.

The Norwich Township trustees, acting upon the request of fire Chief Jeff Warren, withdrew the advertisement of the township's 2000 Sutphen-manufactured engine-and-rescue vehicle and sold it for $30,000 to the Hopedale Volunteer Fire Department in eastern Ohio.

Norwich Township might have received a little more for the vehicle if it had remained advertised on a website, Trustee Tim Roberts said, but trustees wanted to honor Warren's request and approved its sale for the reserve price.

Hopedale fire Chief Mark Marchetta was grateful.

"I walked in here (June 20) a stranger and (Warren) went to the trustees on the same day. He didn't have to do that," said Marchetta, who commands the 25-member volunteer fire department serving the rural village of Hopedale, which is nestled in Harrison County west of the Ohio River, between Cadiz and Steubenville.

On May 31, five Hopedale firefighters were injured when their fire truck rolled onto its side while on an emergency run.

Marchetta said the firefighters sustained "some bumps and bruises and even needed some stitches," but none sustained serious injuries.

However, the department's only fire truck, a 1991 Pierce Dash, was totaled.

Hopedale has used the truck since it was purchased as a new vehicle.

The volunteer fire department responds to about 600 runs a year and operates on a $79,000 annual budget that covers utilities and insurance premiums, Marchetta said.

The wrecked fire truck was insured, he said, but additional money was needed to purchase Norwich's engine-and-rescue truck, which was a backup vehicle.

"We have fundraisers for anything else we need," Marchetta said.

Norwich Township medics spent June 23 showing some Hopedale firefighters under the hood, literally, of the "new" truck built by central Ohio-based Sutphen.

"We provided a little training for them," Assistant Chief Greg Young said.

For example, Young said, the Sutphen truck has electronic controls to pump water from its tank whereas Hopedale's Pierce model had a manual switch to deliver water.

"There are quite a few (other) features (such as movable storage) that we couldn't afford on the truck we bought (in 1991)," Marchetta said.

Norwich Township also inadvertently helped Hopedale in its color selection: Both departments use yellow trucks.

"I don't think we could have even afforded to repaint a red one," said Marchetta, adding the vehicle was to be put into service June 25. "Our department can't thank Norwich enough for recognizing our need and responding, we're grateful for that."

"I'm glad we could help another department," Warren said.