The Apex Fire Brigade welcomed a new member to their family on Sunday, the community’s own fire truck.
“I’d like to introduce Engine 121, or Timber, as she’s affectionately called,” said John Davis, the president of the Apex Fire Brigade Society, from on top of the new truck. “She’s brand new to us, this old girl, although I shouldn’t call her old, spent 17,000 working for the community of Seattle, and we can only imagine what this thing did for the community there. And this is now the first community-owned piece of equipment that we have as a community here.”
With the new engine, the Apex Fire Brigade plans to change how they operate and respond to emergencies, as well as acquire full fire department certification.
“Our fire supplies are all in boxes, beside each and every fire hydrant in the village,” said Fire Chief Gabe Lavoie. “It’s super inefficient, because it spreads our resources too thin, but with the truck, everything will be in one place. “
The engine was donated by Bryan Reid Sr., the owner and founder Pioneer Log Homes in William’ Lake, B.C., and star of the HGTV show Timber Kings. In 2017, when fire raged through the area, Reid stayed to help protect the construction sites and homes in the area, alongside volunteers from 13 different fire departments who came from across B.C. The many departments who came to help left an impact on Reid, who recalled how hard they worked despite often not having all the gear they needed.
“What I found was, most of them were under-equipped for the job,” said Reid. “They were well-serviced as far as volunteers, and they were passionate about what they did and lots of them worked 24-hours a day when they had to. When there were people’s homes were threatened, or lives were threatened, they really just didn’t have the equipment to pull it off.”
Following the fires, Reid purchased a pair of extra fire engines from the Abbottsford department and donated them to 150 Mile Fire Department. The 150 Mile Fire Department then took two of their older engines and donated them to other departments.
Since then, Reid has continued to purchase engines in order to donate them to departments in need.
“You couldn’t help but give back,” said Reid. “It’s like us, if you don’t have the proper tools to do your job, then you’re not doing your job.”
The engine alone, while a boost to the brigade’s capabilities, is not enough for full certification. All of the equipment necessary to stock the engine, as well as an eventual fire hall, are still needed. The medical supplies and the ladders have already been donated by members of the community, and the Apex Fire Brigade is running a GoFundMe campaign to cover the costs of what equipment that can’t be donated.
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