As two Peruvian firefighters stood nearby, Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer settled his gaze on a cluster of boxes in the middle of a large hangar at the fire department’s training facility near Spokane Community College.
“I’m gonna donate all of that to them,” he said Thursday afternoon, pointing to the half dozen boxes of coats, pants and boots. “And probably a firetruck.”
The equipment – all “expired,” as far as NFPA safety codes and standards are concerned – are at least 10 years old and can no longer be used by the city’s fire crews. The fire engine, or engines if the Peruvian government can raise enough money to ship both to South America, are at least 20 years old and have already been retired as out of service.
Rather than scrap the trucks for metal, or dump the clothing in a trash heap, two representatives of Peru’s volunteer fire departments made the trek to Spokane to accept the donation.