After more than 28 years, Sidney is getting its very first fire truck back.
Actually, the fire department has been looking after it since 2014, when they retrieved it from the Saanich Historical Artifacts Society (SHAS) to get it ready for their 100th anniversary celebration.
But now, the Sidney fire fighters association are taking full possession of ‘Old 92’ from the SHAS with a transfer of the ownership papers, which took place Feb. 15.
The truck, known by the fire fighters as ‘Old 92’, is a 1947 Mercury that the Town held on to until approximately 1986, when they gave it to SHAS. Ever since, the truck remained part of the collection of vehicles and artifacts at Heritage Acres in Central Saanich.
SHAS President Sally Nalliweg says, unfortunately, the fire truck sat idle for most of those years.
“We have a lot of stuff donated to us,” she said. “Rather than having things get destroyed, we tend to take it.”
However, as a volunteer organization, time to sift through all of their collection is limited. Old 92, in essence, sat, exposed to the elements.
“It needs to come home,” she said. “Here, it’s going to be used. If we’d kept it, it wouldn’t have.”
Nalliweg and Assistant Fire Chief Mike Harman went to the Sidney driver services office on Feb. 15 and officially transferred ownership of the vehicle to the fire fighters association. Harman said since they brought it in almost four years ago, members have put in more than $5,000 to fix it up – and plenty more hours of labour.
The truck needed new tires, a new starter and more and how, he continued, it runs very well and the department uses it in parades and displays – and to show school tours what fire fighters used to use, compared with their more modern fleet.
“It’s something the guys take pride in,” Harman said.
The Sidney fire fighters also have ‘Betsy’, a 1937 Mercury fire truck that’s also running and enters two or three parades each year. Both vehicles will be on display at various times at the fire hall and in local and regional parades.