In With the New(er)
In late July, Quemado Lake Fire Chief Mike McDoniel and Assistant John Griffin, elatedly accepted the long awaited delivery of a newer model fire engine from San Diego, CA. Under criteria set by the state of California, the San Diego Rural Fire District identified several fire apparatus destined for retirement for various and sundry reasons.
Vince Clancy, Quemado Lake Estates homeowner/ part-time resident and active firefighter, was instrumental in securing the transfer of the truck from San Diego to Quemado Lake. Vince’s son-inlaw, Tony Mecham, presently of CAL FIRE/San Diego County Fire, spearheaded the administrative actions required to effect the transfer, assisted by colleagues Mike McDonald, Gary Croucher and Dave Nissen. Catron County Manager Kate Fletcher was engaged during the process ensuring acceptance of this action by the New Mexico State Fire Marshall’s Office.
The donated vehicle is a Pierce Class A pumper built over a heavy Ford chassis powered by a Caterpillar diesel engine with Allison drive train. The vehicle was shipped to New Mexico freshly cleaned and shined sporting brand new tires, a fresh maintenance regime, and partially equipped with an assortment of ladders, hoses and nozzles, portable lights, Honda trash pump and the like. The truck was even “tricked out” adorned with brand new “Quemado Lake Fire
Dept.” decals on the cab. This newer and more functional fire apparatus is designated Unit 1303 and replaces a decrepit GMC model gasoline engine powered pumper.
Due to the gracious efforts of Chief Mecham and colleagues, all of this transpired without direct monetary cost to the state of New Mexico, Catron County or Fire District 13.
Members of the Quemado Lake Fire Department have recently undergone training in the operation and maintenance of the apparatus, have operated the pumps and “squirted water” and are actively moving required and necessary equipment from the retiring apparatus to the new 1303.
Congratulations and kudos are due all around to Quemado Lake Chief McDoniel, Vince Clancy, friends and fire brethren from San Diego, and other principals involved in acquiring this most generous gift from San Diego and the state of California!