After spending decades apart, the Rosedale antique firetruck has been reunited with one of its original counterparts thanks to the efforts of Chilliwack firefighter.
More than half a century ago, members of Rosedale got together and built themselves not only a firetruck, but also a trailer to pull an auxiliary pump, so they could try to fight any fire they came up against.
“A water pump is a motor,” Pat Liebault previously explained to The Progress.
“Attach some hard hose and put it into a hard reserve, and it sucks the water and forces it through the fire hose. (The tanks can) only hold so much water … and this could be moved around and put within arms’ reach of the water and supply water to the fire.”
Liebault, who’s been a firefighter in the area for nearly two decades, says he’s had it in the back of his mind for years to find the old auxiliary pump and trailer, but it wasn’t until this year when he decided to cast a larger net and call in the local newspaper.
On Friday, Sept. 28, The Progress published an article, “Hide and seek: Firefighter looking to find old auxiliary pump for Rosedale Fire Department,” which was Liebault’s call-out to the community. And within hours of the article’s online publication, Liebault was connected with longtime Rosedale resident, Peter Thornton.
“I was looking at the picture (online), and I thought to myself, that’s my trailer,” said Thornton, which had been the home of a prickly bramble bush for several years.
“Actually, I was getting ready to build a house (on this part of my property) and didn’t know what I was going to do with (the trailer),” explained Thornton.
Making arrangements, Liebault and Thornton met at Thornton’s Rosedale property, and Liebault confirmed it was the trailer he’s been looking for.
“I was hoping to find the whole thing, but maybe (the pump’s) still out there,” said Liebault. Thornton isn’t ready to give up, either, saying he’d ask around with some neighbours to see if they’d seen anything, because it was through a neighbour that he originally acquired the old trailer.
Using a lawn tractor to pull the trailer out from the bramble bush, Liebault and Thornton dragged the antique equipment over the the firetruck, where they fit together as if they’d never been apart.