Princeton’s Highway Rescue Society is getting ready to accept delivery of a new truck – one that will replace the vehicle that was destroyed in an accident three months ago.
Spokesman Rob New said the truck, which is being ordered from a Manitoba company, is already built and is currently being customized.
It will arrive sometime in the next two months and cost between $220,000 and $240,000, he said.
Two rescue volunteers received minor injuries when the truck they were driving failed to negotiate a turn on a forestry service road near Jurra and slid about 30 feet down an embankment, January 19. They were en route to an off road medical assist.
The vehicle was a write off, said New, but it was difficult to make plans until ICBC settled the matter.
“It was really hard to wait for ICBC. I mean, we knew we needed a truck.”
The destroyed truck was “arguably under-insured,” he added.
It cost $134,000 in 2014 and was paid for with funds raised in the community. However the insurance did not factor in replacement costs.
Highway Rescue was compensated for $120,000, and then purchased the vehicle back from the insurer for $10,000 so it could salvage and repair a scene light that would have otherwise cost an additional $30,000.
“Anything that has the word ‘rescue’ on it is going to be expensive,” said New.
Princeton Rotary, Princeton Hospital Auxiliary, Princeton Redi-Mix and the RDOS have all committed funds for the new vehicle.
“It’s been a big set back but it’s been humbling, the amount of support that has come out it.”
As well, the society had some dollars set aside to replace its truck eventually, in five or six years.
Highway Rescue is comprised of 14 volunteers, and is paid a fee-for-service – which goes to the society and not the individual members – by BC Emergency Health Service.
The team attends between 60 and 120 incidents each year.
Despite losing their truck, Princeton crew members were only out of service in January for about 24 hours, said New.
Just hours after their crew members crashed, they attended an accident on Highway 3 and performed a complicated extrication. “They showed up on fire trucks,” said New, and then used equipped borrowed from the Keremeos department.
The society then used a truck provided by the Princeton Volunteer Fire Department, and is currently operating a rental vehicle.