White Rock’s decommissioned fire engine may no longer be active in this city – but it won’t be sitting idle for long.
Fire Chief Phil Lemire confirmed Friday the 1990 open-crew-cab engine is destined for a new life in the Philippines, following its sale for $10,000 to the Rotary Club of Cebu West for use by the Cebu Filipino Chinese Volunteer Fire Brigade.
“From our point of view, it was certainly good to see the vehicle going somewhere where it’s still going to be maintained and actively serve the residents of a community for some time yet,” Lemire said.
“The last thing we wanted to see was the truck not sold and start to deteriorate.”
The 21-year-old truck was listed for sale following the arrival of a new engine in June. It remained in active use by White Rock firefighters until two weeks ago, Lemire said.
In Cebu – a narrow, 225-kilometre long island with a population of about 700,000 – it will be a welcome addition to the crew’s equipment stock, he said.
Lemire said the self-sustaining Cebu brigade supplements a government-funded fire department. From chatting with a Rotary member, a representative of Firefighters Without Borders and his own research, he learned fires in the province “can be quite devastating.”
“I imagine it has to do with their density and construction type and response all combined,” he said. “They had four fires this past July that displaced close to 1,000 residents.”
The engine’s sale marks the first time in recent history that a White Rock truck will travel such a distance. Two others remain in active service in Three Valley Gap, a heritage ghost town located between Sicamous and Revelstoke. And a third now sits at an old highways yard on the other side of Revelstoke.
The 1990 engine is currently in storage in Richmond, awaiting shipment to Cebu, which is expected “within the next few weeks.”
Proceeds from its sale will be returned to White Rock’s general revenues.