The Portland City Council unanimously approved donating two pieces of aging fire equipment to Guadalajara, Mexico. Portland Fire & Rescue generally shelves aging equipment after 20 years of heavy use.
Portland has participated in the sister cities program, through the Sister Cities International nonprofit organization, for decades.
Donating fire equipment to Guadalajara isn’t a new phenomenon.
In 2007, the council approved donating a 1982 Marion Spartan Pumper (valued at $10,000) and a 1974 Seagraves Tractor 60 foot Aerial (estimated at $5,000). The Mexicans picked up the equipment in 2007, approved by an emergency ordinance “because it is a matter of fire and life safety” for the city.
This year’s donation will also be picked up by the Mexican delegation and driven all the way down to its new home.
Commissioner Nick Fish called the donation “one of the great rituals of our fire bureau,” and said he marveled at the site of the old fire equipment hitting the road.
It’s a more than 2,500 mile journey, according to Google Maps.
Judy Parker, Hales’ staffer overseeing the sister city program, said it’s great that Portland can help its diplomatic partners with fire safety needs. Portland has done the same for other sister cities, she said.
This year’s donation includes a 1984 Thibault Rear Mount 100 foot Aerial Model 100 Truck (estimated at less than $5,000) and a 1981 Seagraves/FWD Pumper (estimated value of $2,400).
Fire & Rescue rotates its equipment to make sure they don’t run up the mileage and wear and tear on the expensive trucks. The average age of frontline vehicles is 10 years with an average of 87,000 miles. After 20 years (15 years on the front lines and 5 years in reserve), the bureau typically retires vehicles, according to fire officials.
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