Keremeos volunteer firefighters welcomed a shiny new member to the detachment on Thursday, Aug. 19 when their new fire engine arrived.
The brand new engine has been five years in the works and replaces one of two 20-year-plus engines in the Keremeos Volunteer Fire Department’s fleet.
The old engine is being kept around in case of emergencies where an extra engine might be useful.
“It’s easier to keep it for back-up than sell it,” said Bosscha.
The over $500,000 engine was put together over a year after the bid was accepted, with the parts coming from across the United States and Canada to be assembled.
“We were lucky we ordered it when we did, because there’s a shortage of trucks and chassis right now,” said Bosscha.
Bosscha and his crew spent eight hours on Thursday training on the new technology and controls in the truck, and there was another three hours of training and loading hoses and equipment on Friday.
The engine is now set to respond to any calls to service.
“It’s ready and waiting,” said Bosscha. “Not in any rush of course.”
It is not likely that the engine will have to wait long. 2021 is already looking to be the department’s busiest year on record, after its previous busiest year in 2020.
This year, the dry and hot conditions have seen multiple grass and brush fires, as well as multiple structure fires in Keremeos and the surrounding communities.
“Not as many car accidents as we would have thought,” Bosscha noted. “We had a huge increase in structure fires this year. Some are suspicious, some are accidental and some are undetermined.”
The new truck has come at a good time. As well some potential new recruits for the department have come forward, and they’ve brought a feeling of relief.
“I feel much more comfortable that the new truck is here and that we have the old truck to use if necessary,” said Bosscha. “We’ll have a full roster if everyone pans out.”
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