For 25 years it helped protect the people and property of Oak Bay, but soon Engine 45 will be roaming the streets in Nicaragua.
A 1984 Thibeault fire truck, purchased for $108,000 and taken out of commission in 2009 – insurance criteria prohibit fire vehicles that old from active use – may last another couple of decades in the Central American country.
“It’s 25 years old, but it’s in great shape. The truck doesn’t have a lot of miles on it,” said Oak Bay Fire Chief Gerry Adam.
“My fear was (someone would) buy it and strip it and it would no longer be a fire truck. That (would be) disrespectful. I wanted (to find) someone who wanted the fire truck, but didn’t have to worry about the insurance.”
When Adam heard about the opportunity to send the truck to a place where firefighters scramble to secure appropriate equipment, he was happy to facilitate transport of the triple-combination pumper, which carries water, has a ladder and a high-pressure hose.
“It feels tremendous to help a fellow firefighter. It is a brotherhood across the world,” he said.
“I travel a lot and you run into firefighters and it is an instant recognition and acknowledgment. It is a real close-knit group of men and women.”
The fire truck was scheduled to make its way to Burnaby yesterday before being loaded onto a container ship headed to Nicaragua in November.
The truck is expected to arrive in Esteli, Nicaragua in December.