Adams Lake Indian Band Receives Historic Hybrid Fire Truck Donation

Jul 11, 2024

group of wildland firefighters setting up equipment. one has his thumb up and smiling.

The Adams Lake Indian Band (ALIB) has received a substantial boost to its firefighting capabilities with the donation of a 2023 International Wildland Type 3 fire truck from the First Nations’ Emergency Services Society (FNESS). This landmark donation, made possible through funding from Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), marks the first time a First Nation community in B.C. has received a hybrid fire truck.

Vital Layer of Protection

The official handover ceremony took place on Friday, May 24, at the Adams Lake Fire Department (ALFD). Representatives from the ALIB, including Chief and Council, were in attendance, along with guests from the Village of Chase, Neskonlith Indian Band (NIB), and Skwlāx te Secwepemcúl̓ecw. ISC representatives were also present to assist in the official gifting of the truck to the community.

“This fire truck is a significant addition to our firefighting capabilities and exercising our jurisdiction to our tmicw (land),” said Kukpi7 (Chief) Lynn Kenoras-Duck Chief of the Adams Lake Indian Band. “It will greatly enhance our ability to respond to both structural fires and wildfires, providing a much-needed layer of protection for our community.”

4×4 Fire Truck

The newly acquired fire truck is a dual-purpose vehicle, uniquely designed for both wildland and structural firefighting. Unlike regular fire trucks, this 4×4 vehicle features a shorter wheelbase, making it capable of handling off-road conditions. As an invaluable asset to the ALFD, this new addition will significantly enhance the department’s response capabilities, ensuring the safety and protection of the ALIB and NIB reserves it serves.

Teaching a class about wildfire training
guard digging

Celebrating community commitment 

Nathan Combs, Fire Services Manager at FNESS, expressed his excitement about the donation.

“We are thrilled to be able to provide the Adams Lake Indian Band with their first hybrid fire truck. This donation represents our commitment to supporting First Nation communities in their efforts to combat both structural fires and wildfires. We are grateful to ISC for their funding and partnership in making this possible.”

In a May 24 news release, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services Canada emphasized the importance of this gift and recognized ALIB Chief and Council by stating,

“With over 80% of Indigenous communities at risk of wildfires, fire protection is essential for safety. Today, Adams Lake Indian Band celebrates their new hybrid fire truck, which will provide infrastructure to improve fire protection on reserves. I would also like to commend Kukpi7 Lynn Kenoras-Duck Chief and council for their dedication and commitment to protect their community.”

During speeches at the ceremony, the Adams Lake Fire Department firefighters were also recognized for their dedication and service to their community. “We’re just so proud that we have these members who are committing much of their life to this and it’s a volunteer job.” added Kukpi7 Lynn Kenoras-Duck Chief.

Joyce Kenoras, Tk’wemi’ple7 (Councillor) for ALIB, expressed similar sentiments, stating,

“Every little milestone is something for us to be proud of and today is no different. It’s another proud feat for our membership. And I think these are the types of things that bring us together as a community to remind us of who we are… And we need to be proud and join hands and continue to move forward for our young people. I know we got an awesome young up-and-coming fire team and I’m proud of them.”

As the celebration came to a close, the firefighters pushed the new fire truck into the fire hall with Tk’wemi’ple7 Joyce Kenoras in the driver’s seat. The pushing in of a new fire truck is known as a “push-in ceremony” and it’s a firefighter tradition going back to the early firefighting days. Back then, firefighters used horse-drawn wagons and the horses were unable to back the equipment back into the hall. So, the firefighters had to push it into the fire halls themselves.

This celebration was a great example of collaboration and dedication and FNESS is looking forward to pushing in more hybrid fire trucks into First Nation communities across British Columbia.