Elena Agala of the Richmond- Sunrise Rotary Club has been a vital part of these efforts from the start. In 2010 she approached FWB Canada with the wish of obtaining a fire truck for the Filipino-Chinese Fire Brigade in Cebu. FWB Canada had previously sent two shipments of firefighting equipment to the Brigade after a prior request was received for assistance. Elena introduced Mr. Jun Tallo, a former Vancouver resident, and current member of Rotary in Cebu to Bob Dubbert, a Lieutenant with Vancouver Fire Rescue, and the Director of Apparatus & Equipment for FWB Canada. While in Vancouver in October 2011, Jun and Bob met and looked at several used trucks for sale. The City of White Rock had a recently retired pumper truck for sale, but the price was a little higher than the Rotary budget. Introductions were made and a selling price negotiated. With the support and assistance of White Rock Fire Chief Phil Lemire and the White Rock City council, a deal was struck to sell the truck to Cebu at a substantially reduced price. The White Rock FD also included a long list of equipment with the truck including ladders, hose clamps, axes, tools, a generator set and hose that alone matched the price of the truck. The truck is a 1990 Freightliner/ Anderson with 1250 gallon per minute pump and 500 gallon tank. The truck is still in excellent condition, but its age required it to be retired due to Canadian regulations.
On November 25, 2011, the truck was picked up and transferred to Lt. Dubbert’s driveway in Richmond. On December 1, 2011, the truck was driven to Canadian Cargo & Shipping on Annacis Island to prepare for its journey to the Philippines. Randy Dubbert, Bob’s brother, who is the Vice President of FWB Canada and also a member of Vancouver Fire Rescue drove the truck with Elena riding along in her first ride in a fire truck.
On December 6, 2011, the M.S. Andromeda Spirit departed Annacis Island on its way to Manila. It arrived in Manila just before New Year’s, and the truck was then transferred to another ship for it’s final trip to Cebu.
The truck arrived in Cebu in early February 2012 to the delight of the local firefighters from the Filipino-Chinese Brigade. It is hoped that this truck will see many more years service protecting the citizens of the Cebu area.
This past week, Rotary and FWB Canada teamed up again to assist with the recovery efforts from the recent typhoon and flooding on the island of Mindanao. Twenty two boxes of school binders were donated by FWB Canada and will soon be on their way to assist in the relief efforts.
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