Business offers first responders deep discount on generators before Dorian

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Mandarin business is going the extra mile to make sure the loved ones of Jacksonville first responders don't get left behind in the rush to prepare for Hurricane Dorian.

Members of Jacksonville Fire Rescue and the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office drop everything to do their duty and serve the community during natural disasters. It leaves them with little time to run out for supplies that go quickly during storm preps.

"They don't have time to come in," said Geoff Youngblood, the owner of Tools For A Time. "I'm receiving phone calls and text messages personally when they're saying, 'Could you please hold me one? Could you put one aside?'"

Youngblood said sales for generators and other storm supplies have been brisk since Monday.

"Everything we bring in goes out immediately," Youngblood said. "We're seeing people come up from Orlando or down from Georgia that are coming to us because all the big box stores were out."

Youngblood said his faith and his appreciation for public servants gave him the idea of ordering a few hundred extra generators, making sure the families of first responders aren't forgotten or neglected.

"I think it's so important for the community to come together," Youngblood said. "It's far more than just relying on the government. Let's not rely on just JFRD and JSO. We need to come and get neighbors helping neighbors."

The owner contacted the leader of the police union to get the word out and called the response "overwhelming." He's selling the generators to officers and firefighters at a deep discount.

"We know it's providing a service to the community. They take care of us," Youngblood said. "This has been our opportunity to give back."

About the Author:

Kent Justice

Kent Justice co-anchors News4Jax 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts weeknights, reports on government and politics. He also hosts "This Week in Jacksonville," Channel 4's hot topics and politics public affairs show each Sunday morning at 9 a.m.