Sedan hopes to win new fire truck in online contest

Their newest fire truck is 40 years old.

Their all-volunteer force numbers less than a dozen.

They're still grieving over the death of one of their own in a grass fire last spring.

So a brand-new fire truck would be almost beyond the wildest dreams of the Sedan Fire Department.

But it's within reach, if the tiny southeast Kansas town wins an online contest being sponsored by E-One, a manufacturer of emergency vehicles.

Sedan is one of seven small towns from around the country chosen by E-One as finalists to receive a brand-new fire truck. The town that receives the most online votes by Aug. 27 will be declared the winner.

"It'd be a big deal to win that truck," said Elroy Smith, who spent 15 years with the department before retiring earlier this year as the Sedan fire chief. "It'd help us out tremendously."

Based in the county seat of perhaps 1,200 residents, the department has to cover all of Chautauqua County.

"We are in desperate need of this fire truck," a mailing circulating about the contest states. "Being in a small community, you know everyone who volunteers. We lost one of our good men recently in the line of duty. Please take a little time out and vote! Thank you!"

Firefighter Harold Reed died this spring while fighting a grass fire, Smith said.

Sedan is competing against Aubbeenaubbee Township Fire Department in Leiters Ford, Ind.; the Hines Volunteer Fire Department in eastern Oregon; Luther Volunteer Fire Rescue in central Oklahoma; Owens Cross Road Volunteer Fire Department in Alabama; Poverty Creek Volunteer Fire Department in New Mexico; and the Tri-County Volunteer Fire Department in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

To vote in the contest, go to, click on the "2" box on the home page, then click again to read about the finalists and vote.

E-One will deliver a truck to the winning community and train firefighters in its use.

Powellsville Volunteer Fire Department in Powellsville, N.C., won the inaugural online contest last year, according to E-One's website.