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Big donation helps ENC volunteer fire department make new purchase

Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest hog producer and pork processor, donated $150,000 to the Rose Hill Fire Department on Thursday. (Smithfield Foods photo)

An Eastern North Carolina fire department is poised to serve its citizens better than ever.

Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest hog producer and pork processor, donated $150,000 to the Rose Hill Fire Department on Thursday. Now the department is able to purchase a 100-foot ladder truck.

Established in 1939, the Rose Hill Fire Department serves the city of Rose Hill, within Duplin County. The station currently has 40 volunteer firemen and six vehicles in its fleet.

“At Smithfield, we are committed to the communities we serve,” said Keira Lombardo, senior vice president of corporate affairs for Smithfield Foods and president of the Smithfield Foundation. “We know this addition will be a great asset to the Rose Hill Fire Department, and as safety is of the utmost importance to our company, we are proud to contribute to the enhanced service to this community.”

A ladder truck will help firefighters pump water directly from the ladder -- something they couldn't do before. The new ladder truck will arrive in April 2019.

The ladder the department currently owns is only 35-feet long and doesn't sit on a truck. With the extra 65 feet, firefighters can reach greater heights and tackle bigger fires.

"It means a great deal to us. We're a small town and we exist off tax money and donations. We've been lucky enough to get some donations from larger concerns like Smithfield. They've been quite generous to us," said Rose Hill Fire Chief Gary Boney.

Watch the video to learn more.

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