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REPORTING · 22nd June 2013
Walter McFarlane
The Kitimat Fire Department is donating a decommissioned Fire Truck, a 1978 Ford L900 to Peru through Firefighters Without Borders. Bob Dubbert, President of Firefighters Without Borders Canada and Captain of Vancouver Fire Rescue was up in Kitimat on Friday, June 21st to collect it.

“The trucks been out of service a good 7-8 years,” said Fire Chief Trent Bossence. “It’s been sitting out in the training grounds for training ground purposes for the last 4 of those 8.”

The truck is in good shape. It would not pass the tests for BC but it still pumps. Once it gets to Peru, the truck will be repaired, painted and photographed for the fire department. In addition to the truck, the Terrace and Kitamaat Village Fire Departments are donating equipment.

Along the way, Dubbert will be joining up with two more fire trucks in Smithers, a 1987 Crash Truck, a 1976 Platform Truck, and a cargo truck full of donated equipment. Fire Fighters Without Borders will be sending a 40’ container full of equipment in addition to the trucks. They are also working to send equipment to Nicaragua, Columbia and Greece.

Dubbert told us one of the questions he gets regularly is why they cannot give the equipment to fire departments which are under budgeted locally

“Generally, when out helmets are ten years old, they have to go. Even if they are brand new in a box, rescue gear, rope. Everything has dates not, it’s all enforced by work safe BC. If we use it, we get fined; we have to get rid of it. What our alternative, the landfill,” said Dubbert. “Generally, there is nothing wrong with it, just age.”

The countries receiving these materials will take the time to fix the equipment on the spot. Locally, equipment needs to be sent away to be repaired. The beat up equipment and trucks are still effective.

The equipment is scheduled to leave Vancouver on July 18th and get in to Peru on August 13th. The shipping dates are subject to change. The shipping companies do a lot of the work to ship the items for the charity which means they just have to show up at the dock.

“it’s bitter sweet I guess,” said Bossence. “It’s sad to see a truck that’s been in the department for many years go, but it’s not going to a landfill, it’s not going to a wrecker, it’s going to get some use somewhere and the amount of support that we’ve had, not just from the city but from Kitamaat Village and Terrace. It’s been pretty overwhelming.”
Great stuff!
Comment by Daniel Carter on 27th June 2013
Hats off to the KFD for this goodwill gesture donating equipment. These are articles I love reading about. We all need more "feel good" stories such as this.