“It's like a dream come through,” said Gallant, a veteran firefighter with the West Prince department.
“It is going to have a huge impact on our department, our community and our fire district.”
The truck’s arrival marked nearly three years of hard work by the community, the fire department, and especially the support network behind the fire department, the Miminegash Firemenettes.
Raising the $350,000 for the truck, and another $50,000 or more for equipment on the truck, is no easy feat for a community with a population base of less than 200.
Crystal Gallant, president of the Miminegash Firemenettes, says her group formed in January 2007 following two major fires in the community.
The idea, she said, is that they would bring food and drinks to firefighters during major fires.
“I think we only did that once,” she said, standing by the bright red fire truck, which had a special thank you to her group of volunteers painted on the back.
“We were too busy with the fundraising.”
The Firemenettes helped raise funds for equipment, a rescue van, and for the past three years, the new pumper.
The group of 14 women raised more than $90,000 through dances, dinner theatre and the annual Oktoberfest celebrations.
But more work is needed, she said.
The truck is not fully paid for yet and it has to be supplied with more lifesaving equipment.
The Miminegash Fire Department now has two pumpers, a tanker, and a rescue van.
The fire chief said that will provide a better level of protection for the fire district and better equipment for the 28 firefighters who volunteer with the Miminegash department.
“Now, when we respond to a mutual aid call, we can have one pumper back in the community, just in case.”
Santa himself delivered the truck during the Miminegash Fire Department Festival, a three-day fundraiser also for the fire department.
Rob Tremblay, deputy chief of the Miminegash Fire Department, said the arrival of the new truck was emotional.
“I am still a bit teary-eyed,” he admitted.
“It was so much work. I can’t believe it is finally here.”