California fire truck donated to Armenia


A California fire truck is headed to Armenia, thanks to a donation from the Montebello Fire Department.

After the department purchased a new rig with an Assistance to Firefighters Grant, an old fire truck had to be classified as surplus and not available for use in the United States, reported.

“I saw this as an opportunity to help a fire agency in need,” Councilman Jack Hadjinian told

The Montebello Fire Department has used the rig since 1987, the fire chief said.

Department fire trucks were also donated to Armenia and Mexico in 2003.

While the paperwork still needs to be completed before the rig can leave the U.S., local Armenian groups are already working with Hadjinian to raise the estimated $3,000-$5,000 needed to ship the rig, according to’s full story is here.

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  • Michael

    Wow, my tiny all-volunteer fire department here in frontier northeastern Oregon would be ECSTATIC to have an engine that’s only 26 years old.

    We’re based in a small city of 45 people where we provide fire/rescue service and mutual aid to ranches, three highways and other communities in 150 square miles of unprotected area. Our fire department was recently resurrected last year after years of inactivity and has a tiny budget just enough to fuel the trucks, pay utilities and government fees and make minor repairs. Aside from that, we depend solely upon donation for equipment, training and improvements.

    Our only working structure apparatus is a 1975 Ford Pirsch & Sons Type 2 engine. That’s 38 years old. It used to be a training engine for a larger department in the Willamette Valley during the 80s/early 90s. It’s been through three different owners and our department got it from a nearby ranch years ago.. It’s really beat up, body banged in, some doors don’t shut right, leaks a lot, has a finicky pump, rust everywhere and electrical/mechanical issues. It’s only a matter of time before it quits on us, so it’s really best suited to be a back-up engine. Or a collector’s project.

    However, it’s relatively reliable and it’s all we’ve got. The soonest any kind of fire or medical mutual aid can arrive here is 45-60 minutes from any direction-in good weather. We have been trying for a while to get a replacement engine and have seen so many pieces of good used surplus apparatus get sent to other countries while departments like ours right here in the U.S. suffer with antiquated junk.

    Shouldn’t charity start at HOME first? I’m all for helping people around the world. Really. However, I’m sure there are some small rural volunteer fire departments like us in the West Coast and the Southwest who are really hurting for equipment just as much as anyone in Armenia or anywhere else in the world. What’s so wrong with helping a needy department in your own back yard?