Hello, world. Meet my sweet new ride.
Well, I haven't actually WON it yet, but last weekend I ventured to Hayden, Idaho and paid a visit to the Northern Lakes Fire District where I bought 2 raffle tickets on this little beauty. Yes, it comes with the axes and the ladders and the hoses. No, it doesn't come with the cute little probie I met at the fire house.
I actually photographic proof of said cute little probie, but my official photographer, Baby Girl, had "phone issues" and so I ended up with exactly 3 pictures. Did I get the one of the cute guy in his turnout gear with his arm wrapped around my waist? No. I got the truck, a Smokey the Bear sign, and me and Baby Girl in front of one of the district's trucks.
So it turns out my new friends at the Northern Lakes Fire District had an extra fire truck to surplus, took an idea from their brothers at Spirit Lake, and decided to raffle it off. There are 10,000 tickets at $5 a pop. At the house, Fireman Fritz (a very nice guy, by the way) told me that the truck's value was about $4,000....however, my study of firefighter math tells me that the District has the opportunity to make $50,000 - money that could be used to update equipment at no cost to the taxpayers. And let's face it, it's a fun idea. Who doesn't want their own fire truck? I'm torn between parking it at Alex's house and putting it in my grandma's garage. Won't they be surprised and excited?
I did have a great conversation with Pat Riley, Deputy Chief of Operations, about volunteer opportunities for residents of the Hayden, Idaho area. He said that the district is looking to resurrect its volunteer rehab program, and I can't tell you how much that makes me want to move to Hayden. For those of you who aren't familiar with that term, a rehab team provides support to the fire team onsite - food, water, medical services, a place to rest...the district recently surplussed an ambulance and which will be the rehab vehicle. If you are in the district, want to help out but can't stand the sight of blood or can't physically put yourself in a fire....DO THIS. If you click on the district link above, you can drop them a line and let them know you are interested.
Just because I have no other pictures - here's Smokey.
I then headed down to the park where I met up with Ralph, who was hawking the raffle tickets. He was kind enough to let me crawl all over the truck and take pictures, which of course have since gone to picture heaven anyway. Not that I will ever bring that up again. Anyhow, Ralph tells me that WHEN (not if) I win this truck, I should expect about 8 miles to the gallon from my new 1972 Chevy with the 350 and I probably shouldn't drive with the lights/sirens on. He was a super-friendly guy, and I believe every word he says. Ralph says that the winner of the Spirit Lake raffle only bought ONE TICKET. It only takes 1, folks. It only takes 1.
Also at the park was the Greater Kootenai County Fire Prevention Cooperative smokehouse trailer, manned by Tyler. The trailer, funded by grant dollars, sees a substantial amount of use at schools, fairs, community events. Basically it's a mock-up of the interior of a house, filled with the types of fire hazards you would see in an average home. Kids go through from one end to the other and learn how to get out through a window, how to spot fire hazards (ie paper towels on the stove), how to call 9-1-1, stuff like that. I seriously would have went through it but a group of ACTUAL kids came up while I was there, so I deferred to the target audience.
Here's the flyer for the raffle. Your money will be well-used by the fire district, so go to their site and buy a ticket. Make sure you put my name on it, though. Think of it as a "referral fee."