HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. (WDVM) — Talk about helping friends in need, even if thousands of miles away in the northwest United States. A volunteer fire department in Montana was in need of a new pump truck as fire season approached, and a West Virginia department stepped up.

The Blue Ridge Mountain Volunteer Fire Department in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, was about to orphan one of its older trucks. David Tabb with the Blue Ridge Mountain VFD could not bear to know that his colleagues in the town of Coram-West Glazier might not have the equipment they needed this time of year. At his own personal expense, he arranged to “foster” the West Virginia pump truck to firefighters out west. Tabb says this experience is part of a broader, national, problem.

“The volunteer fire companies are on the verge of collapse,” Tabb explained. “And at some point in time if something isn’t done – I’m talking nationally – that these fire companies are not going to be viable anymore.”

Tabb said that without help, it could get to the point that 9-1-1 will not be able to send responders in an emergency.