Beaver Lake Cree Nation and Buffalo Lake Metis Settlement both were donated fire trucks by Lac La Biche County at the end of August.
Beaver Lake Cree Nation received a 1993 Ford F700 Tender, and Buffalo Lake Metis Settlement received a 1996 Ford F700 Rescue.
During the council meeting last week, the fire truck donations were brought up in connection with the Liquidation of Surplus Assets and Policy Procedure, which is when the County acknowledges that certain assets are no longer in use, are passed a certain age, or need to be replaced.
“Most municipalities have policies for sale or donation of equipment and other assets that the County doesn’t use or need anymore. This policy guides County staff, in this case, to donate old used fire trucks,” said Regional Fire Chief and Manager of Protective Services, John Kokotilo.
Even though the fire truck has been replaced in Lac La Biche since it’s 25 years old, they are still able to be used in other areas.
“Lac La Biche County has a vehicle/apparatus replacement policy. Once, fire apparatus’ reach 25 years of service, it is either retired, auctioned, traded, or donated,” said Kokotilo.
“Also due to government regulations and guidelines fire apparatus’ over 15 years of services require annual inspections on drive train and water pump, plumbing. This also proves costly over time.”
When Lac La Biche Fire Services and the County came to choose which communities to donate the two fire trucks to, they knew they wanted to support areas close by that could really put the fire trucks to good use.
“It was determined that Beaver Lake and Buffalo Lake Fire Departments would make excellent use of the apparatus. This would help to improve their overall emergency response in their areas, as well as being able to provide more mutual aid support for our municipality if we requested,” said Kokotilo.
Lac La Biche Mayor, Omer Moghrabi, had the same sentiments during The Day After Debrief.
“They are our neighbours, and we want to help each other, so we want to ensure that they help us and we help them,” said Moghrabi.
“We want to indicate that we are working with our surrounding communities and also some of our equipment that is outdated we try to give it to groups that work within the region that are non-profit.”
Since the fire trucks have been donated, Kokotilo has kept in contact with Beaver Lake Cree Nation and Buffalo Lake Metis Settlement and has received positive feedback from both.
“I have had several conversations with both Beaver Lake Cree Nation, and Buffalo Lake Metis Settlement before, during, and after the donation of the units. Both parties were ecstatic on the endeavor and both were extremely appreciative of the donation,” said Kokotilo.