Beloved Okanagan 1940s fire truck in need of shelter | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Beloved Okanagan 1940s fire truck in need of shelter

This Peachland parade vehicle has been a fan favourite among residents.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Gordon Anderson
May 02, 2021 - 3:00 PM

A group of dedicated Peachland volunteers are hoping to preserve part of the district’s heritage.

The Peachland Wheel Nuts, part of the Vintage Car Club of Canada, partnered with the Peachland Fire and Rescue Service to refurbish a shiny red 1947 Dodge pickup, a beloved piece of metal and wood showcased at car shows and parades, that has served as a symbol for the fire department.

The mock fire truck was originally owned by former fire chief Don Wilson and it was used to haul fruit in his orchard. In the 1980s, he sold it to the fire department for $1 and they wouldn’t let him cash the cheque, he said.

Fire Chief Dennis Craig said it belongs to the District of Peachland but the Fire and Rescue Brigade has been maintaining it for the past several years.

This Peachland parade vehicle has been a fan favourite among residents.
This Peachland parade vehicle has been a fan favourite among residents.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Gordon Anderson


“I have a real personal connection to it because fire departments are really built on tradition and history so it does mean a lot to the fire service and our department to keep it going,” he said.

Without room for it in the fire hall, the truck has bounced around the district and has been stored at firefighter’s homes and a storage container at one point but after the container was broken into, it was moved to a district public works yard.

It’s currently sitting outside under a car cover, he said, “which has really taken a toll on it.”

The district has allocated $2,500 this year to get it road-worthy again as it needs steering box issues fixed as it isn’t safe to drive, Craig said.

Wheel Nuts President Gordon Anderson said the club is hoping to find a location to store it so it can be restored.

As a retired mechanic, he volunteered at the fire department and worked on the old parade truck before so he has a connection to the vehicle.

Working along with the fire department and other fire chiefs, the club and other community members are also assisting with the labour to repair it.

“It’s a very popular item with children wherever it goes,” Anderson said. “It’s a crowd favourite.”

If you know of anyone who has storage space for the truck, contact Wheel Nuts director Grant Topham at 250-767-2838.

 


To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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