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Orem firefighters outfitting fire engine for comrades in Peru

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  • Orem firefighters outfitting fire engine for comrades in Peru

    Orem firefighters outfitting fire engine for comrades in Peru

    By Sam Penrod

    March 6th, 2012 @ 6:59pm

    OREM — It has been a very long time since Engine 999 has fought a fire.

    But soon, the truck will be coming out of retirement and helping to put out fires on a different continent.

    For nearly 20 years, the fire engine was stationed at Geneva Steel. After the steel plant went under, it was sold and hasn't been used in years. Now Orem firefighters are working hard to get the fire truck back in service again.

    Engine 999's second chance began in November. That's when Orem Fire Chief Mike Larsen, along with Battalion Chief Layne Pace, visited Peru as part of a BYU-sponsored trip to evaluate and help improve the country's fire stations.

    “We discovered their No. 1 need was fire engines, and so we asked them what their No. 2 need is, and they said fire engines.”
    –Orem Battalion Chief Layne Pace

    “My first impression was, as we're walking through that every one of them is a museum,” said Pace. “We literally saw fire engines that used to be pulled by horses, that were powered by steam, and many of the operational ones are from the ’70s and ’80s right now.”

    It was obvious to Larsen and Pace that the Peruvian firefighters were in desperate need of fire engines.

    “We discovered their No. 1 need was fire engines, and so we asked them what their No. 2 need is, and they said fire engines. So I said, 'Let me guess. Your No. 3 need is fire engines?'” recalled Pace.

    Within a day of returning home, Pace started making phone calls and discovered Engine 999. He contacted the current owner of the 1986 GMC engine and arranged for a sale.

    “There’s nothing wrong mechanically with this engine. It just needs a good wash,” he said.

    The $8,000 price tag is being picked up by a local marketing company's charity.

    For nearly 20 years, Engine 999 was stationed at Geneva Steel. After the steel plant went under, it was sold and hasn't been used in years.

    “It's something different, something unique,” said Nick Greer, the CEO of One on One Marketing. “But it's a great way to give back to a community that is in desperate need of something like this."

    Employees of One on One helped clean up Engine 999, and after a thorough inspection, firefighters say it is ready to go.

    But getting engine 999 to Chicama, Peru, a small coastal town in the northwestern part of the country, will take some effort. The truck will be driven to California in a couple of weeks and, with the help of Globus Relief based in Salt Lake City, will be put on a cargo ship and eventually delivered to Peru.

    And that is where Engine 999 will get a new look. The old industrial green paint will be replaced by fire engine red.

    Pace said the local fire department will not only have its first fire engine, but a fully equipped fire truck.

    "All of the equipment that's on this engine is well beyond what usually comes with any used fire engine," he said. "The equipment alone is worth thousands and thousands."

    Sam Penrod, Utah County Bureau Chief/Reporter

    Sam Penrod is the Utah County Bureau Chief for KSL 5. He primarily reports on stories in Utah County and frequently travels to cover news in Central and Southern Utah. Full Bio »
    Last edited by UTFFEMT; 03-07-2012, 10:47 PM. Reason: add photos
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ID:	1978756Orem fire department, Lehi company to send fire engine to Peru

    Jordan Stead
    Volunteers spent an afternoon cleaning out an old firetruck recently purchased from a private owner to be donated and shipped to Peru for use by firefighters abroad Monday, March 5, 2012, in Orem, Utah. Under a sunny sky, participants took breaks from cleaning to unwind with a number of water fights involving buckets of soapy water and the station's fire hoses. JORDAN STEAD / Daily Herald

    OREM -- Orem firefighter Layne Pace went to Peru last fall with a mountain of information. He had been asked by BYU to participate in a delegation of officials heading to the South American country to provide various types of aid, but Pace didn't know exactly what to expect. As a result, he tried to think of as many ways to help as possible, then lugged all of the information along with him to South America.

    Pace said that after he arrived he eventually sat down with the Peruvian national fire chief and asked him to list the country's top three fire-related needs. The answer surprised Pace.

    "All three top needs were fire engines," he recalled.

    When Pace returned from Peru he began looking for ways to meet those needs. Eventually he found an old fire engine being stored in Tooele.

    "Our efforts are pretty much focused on connecting the dots," Pace said. "So finding an engine. I contacted engine reps and asked if they knew of any used fire engines. They called back and said they knew of an old Geneva engine that was for sale."

    The engine was from the 1980s and had been used at Geneva Steel in Utah County. It was in good condition, Pace added, and had a lot of extra equipment.

    But unfortunately, the owner wanted $15,000 for it. Pace talked the owner down to $8,000, but the Peruvians couldn't afford that price, and Pace's department also couldn't foot the bill. So he began hunting for additional help.

    Pace and others involved in the project found that help in Thanksgiving Point-based company One on One. The company -- which helps connect schools with potential students -- has a charitable operation called Five 12. Through that charitable operation the company managed to pay the $8,000 and is preparing to send the engine to Peru.

    One on One CEO Nick Greer said the engine will go to the small town of Casa Grande, about 50 miles from the larger city of Trujillo. Greer's company became involved in the project through his parents, who went to Peru on a humanitarian mission.

    According to Pace, the engine will make a huge impact in its future home. Pace said during his time in Peru the newest engine he saw was seven years old, and many were much more outdated than that. The entire budget for the Peruvian national fire department is $13 million, he said, and the 17,000 firefighters in the country are volunteers. Casa Grande has never had a fire engine, so fires can be devastating.

    According to Greer, those circumstances raised concerns about the city's ability to maintain the fire engine. But rather than give up, people involved in the project found a solution.

    "We actually got an agreement from the city down there and a company called Gloria," Greer said. "It's the largest company down there. The company is going to build a fire department."

    Greer and Pace both said the engine has undergone maintenance and cleaning by firefighters and One on One personnel, and the next step is shipping it. The logistics of that process are still being hammered out, but Pace said the project has already been rewarding for those involved.

    "At the beginning we didn't know where this was going to go and I don't know where it's going to go in the future but I know this engine is going to benefit people," Pace said. "We've already created a higher standard of living for people in Peru. I may not get to see it personally but I know it's going to happen."

    Read more: http://www.heraldextra.com/news/loca...#ixzz1pTpJeRZn
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