Churchill firefighters seek donations to replace aging fire truck
Pumper truck is older than almost everyone in northern town’s volunteer fire department
Volunteer firefighters in Churchill, Man., are trying to raise money to replace one of its pumper trucks, which is almost 50 years old.
The Churchill Volunteer Fire Department has launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise $50,000 to buy a newer fire truck.
The town currently has two fire trucks, including a 1969 GMC pumper that's starting to show its age, says deputy fire chief E.J. MacCuaig.
"It's old but it still works; we're still using it," MacCuaig told CBC News.
"We had three fires this summer and we used it on all three of the fires, but it has its quirks. It has trouble at times, it's getting old, so it's time to replace it."
Churchill has a population of at least 800 people, but during the tourist season there can be upwards of 10,000 visitors who come up see polar bears, beluga whales and the northern lights.
The fluctuating population creates the potential for large-scale emergencies, MacCuaig said.
"The standard is you should replace your trucks after 25 years," he said.
"This truck is coming up on 48 years now, so it's almost double the age — like, it's older than 21 of the 22 firefighters we have on the fire department."
MacCuaig said the department has found a used truck that is reliable and would be a great fit for Churchill. It costs $100,000, and firefighters hopes to raise half that amount from the community.