The Apex Mountain Volunteer Fire Brigade has its very first fire truck, thanks to a generous donation by Pioneer Log Homes of HGTV’s Timber Kings fame.
Bryan Reid was at Apex Wednesday to meet the volunteer fire brigade in advance of the truck’s arrival next week.
Since sustaining heavy losses in 2017’s forest fires around Williams Lake, where the company is based, Reid has been purchasing and donating fire trucks to small communities in need. Apex is the fourth such donation.
“He found out that we didn’t have a truck, or hall, and he gave me a call and said he had a truck down in Seattle and that it was ours if we wanted it,” fire brigade chief Gabe Lavoie said, calling it “huge” for the community.
The next step, Lavoie says, will be finding a home for the truck.
The 20-member Apex Brigade operates without a fire hall. Volunteers store their gear at home and drive to fires in their personal vehicles. Small boxes near fire hydrants store equipment, a system Lavoie calls “really inefficient.”
“So now with the fire truck we are going to be much more capable.”
Lavoie said the resort has agreed to let the brigade store the truck in one of their buildings while they work to find a home for a permanent fire hall.
“We have a lot of people that just assumed we had a fire hall and a fire truck, and it’s not that easy. It’s been quite a struggle up here,” he said, referring to three referendums for a tax-funded fire department that residents have voted down.
The fire department currently operates solely on donations, and Lavoie expects they will need to do plenty more fundraising to purchase the needed gear for the fire truck, which is a full-size engine from the City of Seattle.
The brigade responds to about 20 fires a year at Apex, with plans down the road to start eventually responding to motor vehicle extrications. It’s hoped the new truck will in service by the end of the month.
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