APRIL 14, 1997

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Old aid car gets new legs, new beat down south

aid car

Gathering for the roll-out and reassignment of the first aid car to serve Woodinville, members of the Lions Club joined with a deputy chief of the Woodinville Fire & Life Safety District, the students who repaired the vehicle, and the gentleman who towed the unit. From left to right: Jack Sharpe, John MacMahon, Dan Bulstrode, Frank Akiyoshi, Kevin Hackney (behind Frank), Lowell Power, Pete Dolan, Ray Robison, Ed Nelson, Art Bradley, Steve MacDonald, and Alan Crow.
Photo by Andrew Walgamott/Northwest News.

first aid car by Andrew Walgamott
An aid car, retired last fall after 22 years of service for Woodinville fire districts, is going back on duty. Recently fixed up by students in the Northshore School District's Automotive Service Technology class at Bothell High School, the vehicle, a 1974 Dodge Maxi-Van, has been donated to a fire department in Mazatlan, Mexico.
   "It's going back into what it's designed for in a city that can't afford to buy its own," said Ray Robison, zone chairman-elect of the Lions Club. "They're very much looking forward to getting it."
   The vehicle was originally bought in 1974. The Woodinville Lions Club aid car committee, Ken Haugen, Bernie Weigelt, and Frank Peep, as well as firefighters, raised $17,000 to purchase the van. It replaced a station wagon that King County Fire Protection District 36 (a.k.a. Summit Fire Department) was using.
   The vehicle was converted to an aid car and turned over to District 36, a predecessor of the Woodinville Fire & Life Safety District (WFLSD), with the stipulation that when the vehicle was surplused, it would revert to the Lions Club. The van was District 36's first aid car.
   Recently, in the service of the WFLSD, the engine dropped a timing chain. WFLSD decided to surplus the vehicle, and ownership reverted to the Lions Club.
   Jack Sharpe, past district governor of the Lions Club, was vacationing in Mexico when he heard from other clubs of Mazatlan's need for vehicles. "Mazatlan covers quite an area and hasn't much in the way of equipment," said Robison.
   Robison said the van couldn't be used locally because fire departments here require newer, more updated units, but "by leaving all the gear in, it [could] go back in use as an aid car."
   The decision was made to fix the unit up with the help of the automotive technology class at Bothell High School. Alan Crow of Totem Lake Towing towed the vehicle from Station 31 to the repair shop free of charge last November. Since then, Bothell High senior Kevin Hackney has repaired the timing chain, set the timing, checked the brakes, changed the oil, given the van a tune-up, and generally made sure it was safe to operate.
   At the roll-out ceremony last Thursday, Doug Angell, instructor of the automotive course, said he had his students work on one community service project a quarter. "I like to have my students participate in community service," said Angell. "I think it's good for the students to give back to the community," he added.
   Angell noted that it was the first time his class had worked on such a project. "Hopefully we can do it again," he said. The automotive course has been at Bothell since 1965 and Angell has taught it since 1985.
   Robison said arrangements were being made for the navy to take the unit from Everett to Mazatlan. Also, shirts, pants, jackets, and jacket liners have been collected by Sharpe to be donated to the Mazatlan fire department.