SAN ANTONIO — 200 Friedrich Chill room air conditioners, totaling 10,400-pounds of window a/c units worth an estimated $55,000, will be loaded up for delivery to Rockport, Texas, a town almost completely devastated by Hurricane and tropical storm Harvey.

The Friedrich a/c units will be used by the Rockport Volunteer Fire Department, which is struggling to provide shelter for emergency responders in the area, including law enforcement officers, volunteer firefighters, and emergency medical personnel and dispatchers, after many have lost their own homes and businesses. As a result, nearly 100 emergency responders are currently camped out in the tiny Rockport fire station, where conditions are exhausting, uncomfortable, and cramped. The situation is similar across the county in fire stations and police stations alike.

Volunteer firefighter Gillian Tate posted a plea on Rockport Volunteer Fire Department’s Facebook page, asking for a donation of air conditioning units to help emergency responders throughout Aransas County to start rebuilding their own lives while they work around the clock to assist the community. Having witnessed the wrath of Harvey on so many local communities in horror, San Antonio-based Friedrich didn’t hesitate when it saw Rockport’s request for the large donation of air conditioners.

“Friedrich contacted us and asked, ‘tell us what you need,’” said Tate.  “I said we have an urgent need for 50 a/c units, but we could really use 200. They said, ‘consider it done.’”

Because freight transportation to the area is severely limited due to the extensive storm damage, Friedrich employee volunteers are handling the transportation and delivery themselves, making the 175-mile journey to deliver the units directly to the Rockport Volunteer Fire Department. Local officials there will coordinate the distribution of the units to emergency responders throughout the county, based on individual needs.

“With a nearly 140-year history in Texas, and so many strong ties to these communities, we are grateful to be able to lend a hand and hope that it will provide some relief to those who are suffering so much right now,” said Chuck Campbell, CEO, Friedrich.

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Publication date: 9/4/2017