PRINCEVILLE (WTVD) -- Weeks after Matthews flooding choked Princeville, the town's fire department is still gasping for air. Thirty firefighters lack proper gear.
Three of its five trucks are destroyed, and crews are working from a tent.
Tuesday, ABC11 spoke to Fire Chief James Powell about the situation and the donation. He compared the struggle to dying.
"We may have 24 minutes of air that they give us, but if we don't breathe now we are not going to make it so that we can continue operating." Powell said.
But Tuesday, Powell received a lifeline. Approximately 75 miles away in Raleigh, city council approved donating five firefighter uniforms and a thermal imaging camera to Chief Powell.
That's about $5,000 worth of equipment.
Powell said he's surprised and humbled.
"Just gives us some hope that we can continue striving forward," the chief said.
State law allows cities to donate unused items. The measure was at the request of Raleigh Fire Chief John McGrath.
"The fire service is a large brotherhood and sisterhood and this department was in need, and we just felt that it was time to step up and help them," McGrath said. "Not do everything but be a part of the group that is there to help."
"We are not looking to solve all of our problems through donations," Powell said. "But it may help get us through until FEMA starts helping."
Assistance from FEMA has not kicked in yet. The fire department has a GoFundMe page, if you would like to support their efforts.