OCEAN MAN FIRST NATION -- A retired pump truck was given new life, becoming the first in Ocean Man First Nation’s Emergency Response team’s fleet.

Kamsack Fire Department retired the pump truck back in 2019 and it was donated through Firefighters Without Borders on Oct. 17.

“It saves Ocean Man a lot because it probably would have been a long time before we could go and buy one, so the donation means a lot to Ocean Man First Nation,” said Chief Connie Big Eagle.

The truck from 1972 was retired when the fire department purchased a new one, but Fire Chief Ken Thompson says it still has a lot of life left in it and they are excited to see it go to good use.

“Fire trucks, they’re not like normal cars, they don’t put on that much mileage and it’s basically the amount of hours on the pump so it should last them for quite a while yet,” added Thompson.

This was the station’s first donation through Firefighters Without Borders.

The program typically sees equipment and apparatuses from larger stations donated to smaller ones in places like Central America or South America.

“With COVID-19 and all that going on [Firefighters Without Borders] wanted to donate specifically to somewhere in Canada, so they contacted an organization out of Prince Albert called Saskatchewan First First Nations Emergency Management,” Bonnie Austman, the Emergency Response Planning Coordinator, said.

She added from there the donation was directed to Ocean Man First Nation.

The First Nation currently, and will continue to, purchase fire services from a nearby town, although, the truck will help cut down on emergency response time.