Where does a Big Canoe firetruck go when it’s retired? Would you have guessed Mexico?
The Big Canoe Public Safety Department’s Air and Light unit truck served our community for 34 years before it was retired and replaced in 2020. After the vehicle was stored for two years, a new owner was secured, allowing it to start a new life south of the border.
“Ultimately, this truck had exceeded its lifespan for our department and had great difficulty climbing and stopping on the steep terrain of our mountain community,” says Ricky Jordan, our director of Public Safety.
An Air and Light truck is designed to give extra support to firefighters by providing extra lighting, firefighter-rehab support, and air refill for breathing equipment. While our truck had fulfilled such duties, it was far from ready for the scrap heap, says Ricky. The vehicle was listed with a broker who dealt specifically with used fire trucks. Eventually, our truck had a buyer – all the way from Rioverde, a town in central Mexico.
Selling the truck was only half the battle. The other half was perhaps the most difficult part: delivering it. The Public Safety staff drove the truck from Big Canoe to Woodstock, Ga., for a mechanic to review and prepare the vehicle. From there, the team drove over 1,552 miles to the truck’s final destination in Rioverde.
On Sept. 29, the City of Rioverde welcomed the refurbished truck into service.
“A truck that was no longer useful for our mountain community and its unique challenges will now live” another life,” Ricky says.
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