Eric Nicholas of the Alberta Society for Firefighters Abroad signed a fire engine that the Society is donating to a fire department in Paraguay. Todd Colin Vaughan/Black Press

ASFA announces fire engine donation in Lacombe

Aerial Apparatus being sent to Paraguay

The Alberta Society for Firefighters Abroad, which is comprised of many members from the Lacombe County Fire Service and the City of Lacombe Fire Department, recently donated a fire engine to the Encarnacion Fire Department in Paraguay.

The donation, which was made possible through the support of Dow Chemical, is part of the newly formed ASFA’s mission to support firefighting departments throughout the world.

County Fire Chief Drayton Bussiere has been involved with these donations for many years and said the intent of these projects is to create sustainable firefighting departments in places that need them.

“We needed a solid connection with a country and we had a member of the Lacombe Fire Department who was from Paraguay,” Bussiere said. “He is well aware of the need there and helped facilitate the connections. We have built a base there.”

Bussiere said that Paraguay has been their main focus on several projects — but the official formation of the ASFA allows them to expand their scope.

“We may stay there and start operating somewhere else eventually,” he said.

“I think we will because there is a lot of need out there in different countries. The need is great in Paraguay and we will continue to work there for a long time.”

Bussiere said the arrival of these donations is a big deal for these fire departments in Paraguay.

“The fire department that I travelled down to train had no fire engine at all before we donated one, so there were going to calls without proper equipment,” he said.

“They had an ambulance, but really it was a van they modified into an ambulance.

“It is really impressive the amount of work the fire departments are doing without the proper equipment.”

Bussiere said that most fire departments in the region are 100 per cent volunteer and community run, with little guidance from their federal governments.

“There is some fire apparatus, but the road system from community to community really delays response. The more we can help expedite that is significant for them,” he said.

Eric Nicholas, board member of the Alberta Society for Firefighters Abroad, said this particular engine is perfect for the community of Encarnacion.

“With the amount of infrastructure they have, including high-rise buildings and large commercial development, we found that this truck with it capabilities and ladder capabilities would be best suited for that location,” he said.

“This is the first time we have dealt with an apparatus this large. This is our seventh donation truck and we have previously done a few other mid-sized engines that municipalities had retired.”

All of the engines donated, although retired in Alberta, exceed their safety guidelines — meaning they should have long second lives in Paraguay.

The truck will soon begin its trek to South America, where upon arrival, it will be joined by Alberta firefighters to help train the local departments.

“This truck will be loaded tomorrow and is being sent to Vancouver, where it will be loaded on to a shipping container. It will be then transported next week on to a three-month journey down the west coast, through the Panama Canal, around the east coast of Brazil and then up from a river opening in Uruguay,” Nicholas said.



todd.vaughan@lacombeexpress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

The Growler Guy entrance smashed by vehicle

Damages happened sometime in the early morning hours of Nov. 19th

Youth flock to Stetter air cadet program

Promoting respect, citizenship, leadership for youth 12-19

PHOTO: Car Club presents donation to the Stettler Hospice Foundation

The $1,000 donation came from the Drag Race event this past July

This November, Alberta RCMP reminds road users to buckle up for every ride

As Albertans welcome winter, the RCMP reminds all drivers and passengers that traffic safety starts with buckling up

Joe Lang celebrated his 105th birthday with a family gathering on Nov. 10th at Paragon Place

Joseph Lang was born in Saskatchewan on Nov. 12th, 1914, the fourth oldest in a family of 10

Bye bye Bei Bei: Giant panda born in U.S. zoo heads to China

Panda heads back to China as part of cooperative breeding program

Red Deer man facing 13 charges after late night pursuit

Leduc RCMP with assistance from Edmonton Police make arrest

Nothing funny about funny money in Leduc

Leduc RCMP investigate multiple files involving counterfeit currency

‘Midget’ no more: Sweeping division name changes coming to minor hockey in Canada

Alpha-numeric division names will be used for the 2020-2021 season and beyond

Ottawa urges CN and union to continue talks as 3,200 workers go on strike

The rail workers began their strike after failing to reach a deal by a midnight deadline

University of Calgary to slash payroll after post-secondary funding cuts

The government is also cutting all funding for the Infrastructure Maintenance Program

Trans Mountain received $320M in government subsidies in first half 2019: report

The money included $135.8 million in direct subsidies and $183.8 million in indirect subsidies

Canadian universities encourage exchange students in Hong Kong to head home

UBC said 11 of its 32 students completing programs in Hong Kong have already left

Most Read