Merchants Giving Back to First Responders Who Protect and Serve – NADA Blog | CarTailz

There are few finer professions in the modern world than that of a first responder—a law enforcement officer, paramedic, or firefighter—dedicated to protecting and serving at some of life’s worst moments. For this reason, as shown below, automobile dealers across the country do not hesitate to work with them, support them, and recognize the valiant work these men and women put in whenever the opportunity arises.


The 15-year-old son of slain Detroit police officer Loren Courts received the keys to his own “Batmobile” from Feldman Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Woodhaven, Michigan in late July.

The Chevrolet Malibu’s nickname, Darian Courts said, was a tribute to his father, whom they called “Batman.” His father was shot dead on duty on July 6 after a 19-year-old gunman ambushed him with a semi-automatic weapon. He was saving to buy a car for his son’s sweet 16 in December.

“My dad had the same car and I thought it would be nice to have it,” says Darian.

Darian’s car insurance is covered by the Detroit Police Department and the Warthogs and Hired Guns motorcycle clubs. The car that Darian handpicked was donated by the dealership.

In Houston, Miss., Eaton Chevrolet Buick GMC recently introduced the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office to a police-issue Dodge Charger to be used by the department’s School Resource Officer program.

Recently, while a deputy officer from the school was driving from Vardaman to Pittsboro, his vehicle, a backup sheriff’s fleet vehicle, broke down.

“These are the vehicles that have 200,000 miles on them. On the second day’s work, one broke and we had to have it towed,” says Sheriff Greg Pollan.

Eaton saw a social media post from Sheriff Pollan addressing the need for vehicles for the SROs.

“We are the local dealer. What better way to support your local officials and school system? We got together and decided we needed to outfit them a vehicle, and that’s what we’re doing,” says Eaton.

And this past winter and spring, Patriot Chevrolet Buick GMC made a donation for every vehicle sold to support local fire departments in and around Ardmore, Okla. In May, eight fire departments were invited to collect checks for $3,000 each.

“You’re talking about a few hundred dollars to fill up the engine; Tank trucks cost even more,” says Stacey Phelps, Lone Grove Fire Chief.

Many of the fire brigades, especially volunteer departments, finance themselves almost exclusively through their own fundraising campaigns.

“It means the world to us,” says Elvis Cagle, a Mansville volunteer firefighter. “It is a great burden to know that they can help us in this way.”

Gone to the dogs

In April, the Washington Auto Mall in Washington, Pa. helped purchase a police K9 for the South Strabane Township Police Department. Washington Auto Mall Executive Manager Gary Flannery said they had a long relationship with the South Strabane Police Department, dating back to the time the store opened in 2000.

“After the previous K9 tragically passed away, Police Chief Drew Hilk called me and said, ‘Hey, we could use some help with a new dog,'” says Flannery. “He explained the details and we said, ‘Absolutely, we’re all in.'”

The dealer paid full price of a new K9 – $6,500. Reika, a 20-month-old Belgian Malinois, is now the newest member of the police department.

Recognizing hometown heroes

The North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association hosted one of their Hometown Heroes Awards luncheons on October 4th to honor the top law enforcement officers, paramedics and firefighters serving in the Rocky Mount, NC area.

NCADA started the Hometown Heroes Project a few years ago with the goal of becoming a positive voice for North Carolina’s first responders for their courage and commitment to protecting their local towns and communities.

Neill Nelson, President of Davenport Autopark, moderated the event. He says NCADA will host another Hometown Heroes luncheon in Durham in December to continue honoring first responders from across the state for their achievements, brave acts and service to their communities. To date, the association has honored more than 300 “home heroes” at its nationwide events.

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