CHESTERMERE – Local car enthusiast Vince Young is the main man for the Chestermere Historical Foundation’s fire truck restoration project.
The truck in question is Chestermere’s first ever fire truck, which was in used by the local volunteer fire department from the late 60’s until 1981. Now it is in the hands of the CHF, who hope to fully restore it and get it back on the road.
Young has kept himself busy for the last few months tracking down parts and pricing out materials so that they could restore Chestermere’s first ever fire truck to its former glory.
Last week, he spotted a worse-for-wear looking truck parked at the Chestermere Fire Department, and after inquiring about it, it was discovered that the fire department no longer had use for it, and that they were happy to donate it to the Historical Foundation. Epcor had donated the truck to the fire department for use as a training vehicle.
Young said that the back end of the truck is the most beneficial to the project, as they were having a hard time coming up with how to remodel a back end on the original truck. No original photos of the truck that shows what it looked while it was in use as an emergency vehicle have been found, so they didn’t have much to go on.
“It was an awesome little turn of events and it will be a huge help,” Young said. “It’s not perfect and will need some modifications done, but it will fit.”
Young said that the donation will probably save them around $2,000 in material costs, because although it is a bit rusty and will need to be sanded and painted, it is still more affordable that having to build an entire back end.
“We were going to build one from scratch and metal is pretty pricey right now, so we owe a big thanks to the fire hall and to Epcor,” he said.
Young, along with helpers Don Lemma, Marty Trim and Sandra Smith get together every Thursday night to work on the truck. He said that anyone with experience in restoration, welding, sanding or more is welcome to join in and help.
The truck restoration has been a slow but steady process, and members of the Historical Foundation hope that their upcoming fundraising efforts will raise both money and awareness about their initiative.
Their online auction last month, which featured Calgary Flames attire and photos, generated around $600. They hope to be more successful with their M&M Meat Shops fundraiser that will be held on May 5, as well as make good revenue off of ticket sales for the Great Canadian Barn Dance. Purchasing Chestermere’s history book – Chestermere: A Home For All Seasons – from the historical foundation also benefits the fire truck restoration.
“Even if you can’t donate money, donate your time,” Young said. “Every little bit helps and it will be all worth it when we get it done and get it back on the road.”
For more information, to donate visit chestermerehistory.org. To get involved with the restoration or donate parts, call Vince Young at 403-819-4117.