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Ex-NFL player lends a hand to winterize firefighters' vehicles

Mechanic Matthew Lopez checks the transmission fluid on

Mechanic Matthew Lopez checks the transmission fluid on a volunteer firefighter's vehicle at the Manhasset-Lakeview Fire Department as part of “Own It for Good” program by Prestone. Photo Credit: T.C. McCarthy

Former Tennessee Titans tight end-turned-firefighter Erron Kinney and a team from Prestone were on hand Tuesday at the Manhasset-Lakeview Fire Department to winterize personal vehicles for the department’s first-responders.

The visit was part of “Own It for Good,” a Prestone program that helps fix potential problems with personal vehicles used for “good” during the winter months.

“We are checking safety gear like lights, filling up their washer fluid, making sure the washer system works and, of course, we’re checking the anti-freeze,” said Jay Buckley, technical training manager for Prestone.

Buckley said a lot of first-responders’ vehicles need special attention for the winter, when anything from an oil change to a corroded battery cable could keep them from getting to a fire.

“What we’re finding is that every car that comes through here -- it’s about a 35-point checklist -- most of them have three or four areas that need attention,” Buckley said.

Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Commissioner Rudy Barranco said he’s no stranger to being stranded in the winter.

“Last season I had a failure with my battery, and I was stranded,” Barranco said. “All of these safety checks indeed help you. Especially in the winter when it’s probably the roughest, you are ready to hit the road at any time.”

The program will also be making visits to volunteer departments in Chicago and Washington, D.C., during the weeklong program.

Prestone also made a $15,000 donation to the National Volunteer Fire Council and a $5,000 donation to the Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department.

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