April 12

Share Your Story Contest 2023 Winners

Municibid customers have won a wide array of things from fire trucks to police vehicles, boats to lawn mowers - even a hovercraft! How you give those items a second life has been, without a doubt, remarkable. From a fire brush truck turned into the family adventure truck, to the restoration of fire sirens put back into service, your creativity and ingenuity continues to amaze us.

A huge thank you to everyone who shared their stories last year. Now, let's check out some of those unique experiences from our Share Your Story 2023 Contest winners!

1st Place Winner: Ken and Tatiana Johnson

Ken and Tatiana Johnson

Ken and Tatiana Johnson with their Cranberry Township Fire Department t-shirts.

Father-daughter duo Ken and Tatiana Johnson shared their incredible journey of winning a 2001 Chevy 3500 fire truck. During COVID, Ken bought his family a bigger boat, and then needed a bigger truck for towing it. The vehicle prices were crazy at the time! The fire truck he found was the perfect fit and worth flying out to Pennsylvania to pick up and drive back home to Texas.

Ken’s grateful to the Cranberry Township Volunteer Fire Department for the vehicle, and all that came afterwards. When he and Tatiana went to pick up the truck, the two were treated to a special tour where they met firefighters and experienced a touching 9/11 memorial. Plus, Tatiana got to sit in a century-old fire truck!

Tatiana Johnson on a fire truck

For the fire station tour, Tatiana sits on a 100 year old fire truck!

Ken's converted fire truck

The fire truck Ken won.

Road trips are a family tradition for the Johnsons and that continued with their new ride. They enjoyed attractions and sightseeing on their way home to Texas, including a visit to the Music Hall of Fame in Tennessee.

And the family adventures continue! Read more about Ken and Tatiana Johnson’s road trip home and their family boating expeditions.

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2nd Place: Derrick Hall

Derrick Hall

Derrick Hall, Executive Director, Greater Valley EMS.

Derek Hall, the Executive Director at Greater Valley EMS, discusses the nonprofit organization's services and their successful bid on a 2013 Chevy Silverado 2500 through Municibid. The truck, previously used by a coroner's office, came equipped with a Stryker power load system and power stretcher, which greatly interested Derrick.

He won the auction for less than half the cost of a new power load system and stretcher, which typically costs around $65,000 to $75,000! They moved the Stryker power load system and stretcher into one of their ambulances, significantly reducing the risk of back injuries for EMTs and paramedics when loading and unloading patients.

BEFORE Silverado Exterior

BEFORE Silverado Exterior.

AFTER Silverado Exterior

AFTER Silverado Exterior.

The Chevy truck was repurposed for carrying personnel as well as water rescue and vehicle rescue equipment. One exceptional story was when they used the truck to transport surgeons and blood supplies from the hospital directly to the scene of a severe motor vehicle accident, which enabled them to save lives!

Greater Valley EMS, which responds to over 6,000 calls per year, relies on a combination of paid staff and volunteers. Hall emphasizes the importance of volunteers in supporting EMS agencies, not only in direct patient care but also in administrative tasks and other operational roles.

Learn more about Derrick Hall’s rescues and the SCUBA team’s evidence retrieval operations and the many volunteers needed to run an EMS agency.

3rd Place: Richard Twomey

Richard Twomey

Richard Twomey, Structural Fire Protection Engineer.

Richard Twomey is a structural fire protection engineer with a unique passion for preserving vintage fire sirens in small-town America. In an era where smartphone alerts reign supreme, Richard recognizes the historical significance and practical value of these fire sirens. One of his favorite auction wins was a 1983 Federal Signal fire siren from central Pennsylvania, which he restored and donated to the Jamesburg Volunteer Fire Department in New Jersey to replace their aging siren.

Siren from above

Siren from above

Siren on transport

Siren on transport

Twomey explains the history and importance of outdoor fire sirens, which were primarily used to alert firefighters in large areas and gained prominence during World War II and the Cold War for civil defense purposes. These sirens served as a secondary means of alerting firefighters, especially in volunteer fire departments, in case the primary radio paging system failed. The presence of a working fire siren can also positively impact a community's insurance ratings.

Federal Signal was the premier manufacturer of fire sirens from the 1950s onward, but many of these sirens fell into disrepair or were abandoned by the 1990s due to advancements in technology and the decline in maintenance of the copper wire telephone lines that controlled them. Twomey has restored several Federal Signal sirens for various fire departments, utilizing his skills in sanding, priming, painting, and electrical work. 

Twomey emphasizes the importance of these sirens to the fabric of small towns like Jamesburg, where the fire siren has been a part of the community since the 1930s. Learn more about Richard Twomey’s fire siren restoration process and the impact he’s having on volunteer fire departments and small towns in America. 

Finalist: Michel Kershner

Michel Kershner

Michel Kershner

Michel Kershner, a police officer with 30 years of experience, shares insights into the realities of law enforcement, the challenges faced by officers, and the importance of community support. 

He discusses the culture shock he experienced when transitioning from the Marine Corps to the police force and the mentorship he received from experienced officers. Kershner emphasizes the need for officers to have thick skin, compassion, and the ability to humanize the badge when interacting with the public, especially in difficult situations like homicide investigations.

Kershner's favorite police vehicle is the Ford Crown Victoria (P-71), which he describes as a tank that can withstand significant damage. He shares a story of a high speed pursuit where he crashed the Crown Victoria into a wall. The P71 tank was still driveable and after his department fixed it up, Kershner went back on patrol with it.

Driving many different police vehicles over the years on patrol led Kershner to buy multiple retired police cars for his own enjoyment. He highly recommends them for their quality and reliability. He emphasizes the importance of due diligence when purchasing any used vehicle, but notes that police departments generally maintain their fleet well and keep thorough maintenance records.

Revamped 2014 Dodge Charger

Revamped 2014 Dodge Charger

One of  his recent purchases was of a retired 2014 Dodge Charger on Municibid, which came equipped with various police features such as a push bar, spotlight, and weapon mounts.

Learn more about the behind the scenes of working in the police force and Kershner’s high speed pursuit stories.

Finalist: Michel Kershner

Big congratulations to all of our Share Your Story 2023 Contest winners! We thoroughly enjoyed hearing about your experiences. We’re honored that you trust us to find the vehicles and equipment you need to make a huge impact in your communities.

Check out previous year’s stories for our Share Your Story 2022 Contest winners. Looking for vehicles or equipment to support your business, family, or community? Browse our fire trucks, police vehicles, and more government surplus auctions today!

Last Updated on April 12, 2024


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