The Courier-News has an article about a retired Elgin fire engine being donated to a fire department in Chile:

There’s a retired Elgin fire engine that’s been tucked away on John Tobin’s driveway in West Dundee since October. Tobin … has been readying the vehicle to put it back in service in Cauquenes, Chile, Elgin’s Sister City.

The engine is a 1996 Seagrave that last worked at Station 5 on Villa Street in 2012. The engine cost Elgin $228,000 when new and would cost more than that to totally refurbish, Tobin said. The work he’s done on it includes re-strapping the fuel tank, getting “Cauquenes” stenciled onto the cab, replacing a pump shift and gauges, and even installing a bell.

Tobin — who has sold fire apparatus for many years — said there is still some life left in the engine. And Elgin fire Lt. Bob Bedard said it is superior to anything now owned by the stations in Cauquenes, where pickup trucks with a pump in the back are what’s used.

The Elgin truck came into Bedard’s possession after the city bought a ladder truck … As part of the deal, the city [received] $10,000 to trade in the [old] engine. … company representatives to donate[d] the vehicle to the Sister Cities effort.

In February 2011, a group of firefighters from Elgin headed out on a goodwill mission to Rancagua. [They] helped train public safety workers in … on used firefighting and rescue equipment donated by the Elgin, South Elgin, Hampshire and Pingree Grove fire departments.

In January 2013, … Elgin … [sent] Cauquenes fire hoses, turnout gear, helmets, boots, nozzles, electronics, medical equipment, and a fire engine — all outdated and surplus by U.S. standards — with the Chilean recipients picking up the shipping tab.

Bedard had to raise $20,000 to pay for shipping the engine. No money from the city of Elgin is being used on the effort, he said.

Bedard said the Chilean firefighters have asked to learn more about such techniques as shoring up buildings and rope tactics. And they’re also interested in extrications, because it is difficult to find used cars in Chile to train with, according to Bedard.