BIG YELLOW TRUCK - This Clive fire engine was recently replaced with a new model. Last week

BIG YELLOW TRUCK - This Clive fire engine was recently replaced with a new model. Last week

Lacombe Fire plans to donate truck to Bolivia

Lacombe Fire Department is looking to improve firefighting abroad.

  • Apr. 3, 2014 11:00 a.m.

Lacombe Fire Department is looking to improve firefighting abroad.

On March 27th, Lacombe County council voted unanimously in favour of donating a recently replaced Clive Fire Department engine to Lacombe Fire Department for the purpose of donating it to a fire department in Bolivia.

Lacombe Fire Chief Ed van Delden said he was very happy that the engine had been made available for this purpose.

He added the idea for donating a fire truck originally came about when Lacombe Fire Department was looking into what to do with its own engine that is currently in the process of being replaced.

But, when members heard that Clive’s engine could become available they jumped at the opportunity.

“I think all of us looked at each other and thought, ‘Hey, we don’t have to wait’,” said van Delden.

Typically, used fire engines are put to auction but make only a few thousand dollars in a sale if they sell at all, said van Delden. But, because of the standards relating to firefighting in most Canadian municipalities, most fire trucks still have very low mileages when they are put out of service and because of the high standards of care for firefighting apparatuses are often still in prime condition.

As such, van Delden and the rest of the Lacombe Fire Department started looking for a better way to repurpose the engine rather than have it sell for a measly sum or collect dust in storage.

While with a different department in 2010, van Delden had been part of a similar project where his department had partnered with Canadian Fire Services Abroad (CAFSA), who have put out a number of projects where firefighting apparatuses have been donated to countries in Central and South America.

He and the rest of the Lacombe department thought it would be a good idea to try something of that nature in Lacombe as well and in doing so reached out to the broader community a bit more.

van Delden added that some of the departments’ members had ties to charity organizations or similar programs already and one of their members, Ron Weich, is the operations manager for A Better World, who the Lacombe Fire Department has partnered with for this project.

Now, Lacombe Fire Department has an engine that is ready to donate, but they are still replacing their own engine as well.

van Delden said this situation may make it possible for the donation of more than one truck to Bolivia, depending on how long it takes to get everything in order for the donation, or perhaps even two separate donation projects.

van Delden went on to say that the process of importing fire trucks for is a long, time-consuming process that requires a lot of work and so he did not want to specify how many, if any, trucks will be donated.

But, if things work out well, there is the possibility for such donations to become a more common way for local fire departments to re-purpose their trucks.

“It is a lot of work,” said

van Delden. “I didn’t have an appreciation for how much bureaucracy was involved in importing used equipment.”

However, van Delden added there is good reason for the red tape.

Standards are set in place to ensure that countries are not importing junk for equipment and to prevent unwanted materials (such as noxious weeds transferred from soil on the truck’s tires) from being imported as well. He also said were the shoe on the other foot, he would probably go about importing used equipment the same way.

van Delden was clear that the project is not finalized, nor has it been 100% approved yet.

But, the project would likely see Lacombe Fire Department donate at least one engine to Bolivia and spend some time with the department abroad to train firefighters on the use and maintenance of the apparatus.

If the Lacombe Fire Department is not able to donate the engine or engines themselves, van Delden said that there is still the possibility for them to be donated to an organization like CAFS or Firefighters Without Borders and still have it used in a similar way.


Just Posted

The City of Red Deer sits at 249 active cases of the virus, after hitting a peak of 565 active cases on Feb. 22. (Black Press file image)
Red Deer down to 119 active COVID-19 cases

Province identifies 179 new cases Saturday

Member Terry Parsons’ custom built track vehicle.
Forestburg’s Area 53 Racetrack gears up for action-packed season

Site will also host a portion of the ‘Miles of Mayhem’ event in July

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported five additional deaths Wednesday due to COVID-19. (File photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer at 169 active cases of COVID-19

Province set to move into Stage 2 of reopening Thursday

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

Grade 12 students at Wetaskiwin Composite High School took place in the annual water fight off school property on June 11, 2021. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Graduating students in Wetaskiwin throw water fight after being told it could result in suspension

Students were told their participation could result in them being barred from graduation ceremonies.

Most Read