Retired Campbell River fire truck to get new lease on life in developing country

City council approves the donation of 1986 Mack to Firefighters Without Borders Canada

The city has decided that one of its old fire trucks, while no longer fit for purpose here in Canada, could still be used in a developing nation.

The truck, a 1986 Mack, will be donated to Firefighters Without Borders Canada and deployed somewhere it can be of help as a front-line service vehicle.

“In Canada, a fire apparatus is considered front-line for the first 20 years of its life, at which time the apparatus may move into a reserve role (used as a backup apparatus to cover repair-downtime and training) for an additional five years,” reads the donation request from the fire department to the city. “These dates are driven by the industry standard documents of the National Fire Protection Association. The city has kept this apparatus in service as a reserve unit to cover the extended refurbishment of the 1993 Aerial Apparatus which has recently returned to an ‘in service’ state. The city’s fire department has now retired this 31-year-old apparatus and is seeking council’s support to donate it to a less developed nation where it can be of service as a front-line fire truck.”

Firefighters Without Borders Canada, based in Delta, delivers training and equipment in less developed countries around the world. Since 2008, they have donated 63 fire apparatus and ambulances to places like the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru and the Philippines. That have also sent over 700 tons of donated equipment to 14 countries that have requested their assistance.

The truck being donated, the report says, is “of no use to the Canadian fire service and therefore do not generate significant revenue at auction.”

The report also states that the truck is entirely paid off and “holds a residual value of $19,573.”

With this summer’s B.C. wildfire situation still clear in everyone’s memories, Charlie Cornfield asked Fire Chief Ian Baikie about whether this truck could be kept in reserve to be used in the event of a wildfire situation here in the future, to which Baikie responded, “It’s not good in the bush,” as it’s too cumbersome to maneuver.

The truck will now be delivered to Vancouver at no cost to the city so Firefighters Without Borders Canada can find a suitable place for it to be redeployed and ship it off to be put back into service.