Nova Scotia

N.S. fire department receives hundreds of donation offers after tires stolen

After an emergency vehicle for the East River Valley volunteer fire department in Pictou County was stripped of its wheels and rims, people came from far and wide to donate.

'For every one bad person, there's hundreds that aren't'

The East River Valley volunteer fire department's emergency SUV was discovered up on blocks, its tires stolen, Wednesday morning. (Capt. Dalton Holley)

The deputy chief of a Nova Scotia fire department was in disbelief this week after discovering four tires had been stolen from an emergency vehicle parked outside the station.

But after receiving hundreds of messages from people wanting to help, the only thing Jason MacIntyre can't believe now is the generosity of strangers on the internet.

"You know, first thing in the morning, your faith in humanity is completely destroyed. And by the end of the day, it's renewed," MacIntyre said Thursday, one day after the tires went missing from an SUV at the East River Valley volunteer fire department.

He posted photos of the vehicle hoisted up on cement blocks to the fire department's Facebook page and was shocked to see support pour in.

"It just completely blew up. From there, it went everywhere," he said. "I literally started getting Facebook messages from people that I didn't know within 10 minutes."

He said more than 200 people reached out to him — some local and some even from across the globe — offering to make donations to cover the cost of new tires and rims.

"I get a message from a fellow saying, 'Hey Jason, you don't know me ... I'm so-and-so messaging you from New Zealand,'" said MacIntyre.  "He was wanting to donate $100 Canadian."

Local businesses stepped in, including Andy's Tire Shop. It donated four brand new tires and agreed to put them on free of charge. Others chipped in to donate the rims and locking lug nuts, which need a key to be removed.

"It is something that does make you feel pretty good," said Andrew Pye, the tire shop's president.

Pye and his team said they hope to have the fire department's SUV back on the road within a few days.

"It's unfortunate that this situation happened in the first place, but really, the whole community came together here. And now the fire department is going to be back up and running here in just a couple of days solely through community donations," said Pye.

People also donated two security cameras for the department, hopefully to prevent a similar theft from happening in the future.

MacIntyre said all the messages and donations the department received have renewed his faith in humanity. He's asking anyone who still wants to help out to make a donation to a hospital burn unit.

"For every one bad person, there's hundreds that aren't. And yesterday, as bad as it started out, I'm not even angry about it anymore," he said. "It's just completely turned my attitude around towards everything."

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