WILLIAMS LAKE, B.C.—Carpentry students are helping Williams Lake firefighters give their historic truck a place of honour.
After years of planning and fundraising by the Williams Lake Firefighters Association, the City of Williams Lake and the Williams Lake Fire Department have partnered with Thompson Rivers University carpentry students to build a new permanent enclosure for its historic 1947 Chevrolet Maple Leaf pump engine.
The truck, the department’s first ever motorized fire engine, was delivered to the city in 1947. Built in Ontario, the three-ton Chevrolet Maple Leaf engine arrived to replace the pull carts used by the firefighters of the time.
“It was a welcome innovation and served the community well until the late 1960s,” states the city in a press release. “When the truck was retired, it sat in the City Works Yard until the 1980s when the Williams Lake Firefighters Association purchased it from the city.”
The engine was restored by local firefighters and the Williams Lake Firefighters Association built an enclosure to protect it outside of the old firehall on Fourth Avenue. The site is now the Central Cariboo Arts Society.
According to the city, when the new Williams Lake Firehall was constructed, budget limitations did not allow for an enclosure. A committee was formed to attempt to pay for a new enclosure, and officials said the association received a significant donation from Chemo RV in 2017 that gave the committee the boost it needed.
Construction has started on the enclosure after being planned for the past year. The new garage will be located in front of the firehall adjacent to South Lakeside Drive.
“The generous support of local companies has been outstanding, and we would like to recognize the following sponsors: Chemo RV, TRU, West Fraser Plywood, United Concrete, Wise Windows & Doors, Econo Glass, Tolko Lakeside, Windsor Plywood, Central Interior Concrete Services, Mainline Roofing, and Schickworks Signs & Stitches,” said Mayor Walt Cobb. “The support of our local community is always so extraordinary and we are looking forward to displaying Engine 1 at the Firehall.”