The Cowlitz Indian Tribe and Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue have collaborated to promote public health and safety since 2017, when ilani opened. The donation reflects the mutual respect the organizations hold for one another, according to a news release.
“Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue has been a valuable partner to our Tribe and our economic engine, ilani,” Cowlitz Indian Tribe Chairman David Barnett said. “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 planning efforts but also for their swift response to the unplanned emergencies for which they are well trained and prepared. We are honored to support their life-saving efforts in our community with the gift of a new fire engine.”
The $700,000 fire engine, which features the Cowlitz Indian Tribe’s insignia on the rear doors, was blessed by Spiritual Leader Tanna Engdahl at the Friday ceremony that began at ilani and ended at Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue’s Station 23 in La Center. Firefighters pushed the new engine into its assigned bay — a first responder’s tradition signifying it is officially ready to respond to emergency calls from within 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 crews need reliable, up-to-date vehicles to ensure we can reach people quickly and with the appropriate equipment,” Nohr said. “We are thankful to the Cowlitz Indian Tribe for the new engine, which boosts our resources and enables us to better serve community members when they need us most. The Tribe has been a true public safety partner, and we look forward to continued collaboration.”
The fire engine will replace part of the aging fleet at Station 23 and will be the primary vehicle for emergencies in La Center and throughout the Cowlitz Indian Reservation.