Dylan Jefferies / The Colombian
On Friday, the Cowlitz Indian Tribe donated a new fully equipped fire truck to Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue.
The Cowlitz Indian Tribe and Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue have worked together to promote public health and safety since 2017, when ilani opened. The donation reflects the mutual respect the organizations have for each other, according to a press release.
“Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue has been a valuable partner to our tribe and our economic engine, ilani,” said Cowlitz Indian Tribe President David Barnett. “Fire Chief John Nohr and his fellow first responders have provided sage advice as our development grows, ensuring proper safety mechanisms are in place throughout. We are not only grateful for their collaboration in our efforts but also for their quick response to unforeseen emergencies, for which they are well trained and prepared.We are honored to support their rescue efforts in our community with the donation of a new fire truck.
The $700,000 fire truck, which features the Cowlitz Indian Tribe badge on the rear doors, was blessed by spiritual leader Tanna Engdahl during the Friday ceremony which began in ilani and ended in Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue Station 23 at La Center. Firefighters pushed the new engine into its assigned bay — a first responder tradition meaning it’s officially ready to respond to emergency calls from the department’s more than 125-square-mile service region.
“Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue responds to approximately 4,900 emergency calls each year across a wide area, and our teams need reliable, up-to-date vehicles to ensure we can reach people quickly and with the right equipment,” Nohr said. “We are grateful to the Cowlitz Indian Tribe for the new engine, which increases our resources and allows us to better serve community members when they need us most. The tribe has been a true partner in public safety, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration.”
The fire truck will replace part of Station 23’s aging fleet and will be the primary emergency vehicle at La Center and throughout the Cowlitz Indian Reservation.