Kids enjoy a part of brigade history
It was a case of the young checking out the old when a vintage fire engine rolled up to Lichfield Primary School.
Fonterra gifted a rare fire engine to the Wellington Fire Museum, retiring the vehicle after more than 20 years of service in the Cooperative.
The 1977 Dodge fire engine is one of only two ever built, and is the only one still in its original condition.
But on May 20 it was more of a toy than a priceless piece of history, when primary students were hanging out of every door and window, tooting every horn possible.
The fire truck stopped in at Lichfield en route to its new home in Wellington, joined by a Fonterra tanker and a New Zealand Fire Service fire engine.
It had been part of the Fonterra Te Rapa Emergency Response Team (ERT) since 1992, after more than a decade in the New Zealand Fire Service.
So it was only fitting that Fonterra Operations Manager Samuel Mikaere join in on the fun.
Putaruru Fire Brigade station officer Fabian Perko alongside volunteer firefighter Brad Morgan, gave the students a run down on fire and road safety before they swamped the trucks.
The engines, built in Rotorua, are the only ones in the world built to those exact specifications.
They have a smaller engine than a standard fire truck, and were designed as a first responder.
Wellington Fire Museum Curator Matt Silver approached Fonterra about donating the vehicle to the privately funded collection, bringing the museum’s total number of fire engines to 15.
‘‘I’m extremely grateful to Fonterra for generously donating this unique engine to the museum,’’ he said.
The 1977 Dodge Fire Engine was swamped by under aged drivers and overexcited passengers when it stopped in to Lichfield on its way to retirement in Wellington.
Kids flood the cabin of the 1977 Dodge fire truck.