El Cajon Firefighters Work to Restore Vintage Fire Engine

El Cajon Professional Firefighters Foundation (IAFF) is hoping to raise $15,200 to bring a classic fire engine back to its former glory.

The money raised will go toward the restoration of a 1950 American LaFrance fire engine’s motor and radiator, which need to be completely replaced, according to the foundation's mechanics. The IAFF still needs an additional $6,000 to reach their goal to successful completely the restoration.

Beyond the cost of the parts, all of the labor will be free and performed by active and retired firefighters.

Donations are tax deductible and any donations of $1,000 or more will be given an engraved plague on the fire engine, the organization says.

The foundation hopes to continue using the engine in community events such as parades. The El Cajon firefighters also hope the vehicle will play a role in raising awareness and fundraising for organizations like Make a Wish and the Burn institute.

This classic fire engine was used for local events even before IAFF owned it.

Gil Buxton, the original owner of the engine, used the vehicle in the Mother Goose Parade during his time as the parade’s president.

The 66-year-old engine was donated to the association by Gil’s wife, Meg Buxton, in honor of him after he passed away from pancreatic cancer. Gil used to restore classic cars as a hobby. The vehicle was in a poor condition when he bought it but he was able to completely restore it with almost exclusively original parts.

For those interested in donating, checks are payable to The El Cajon Professional Firefighters Foundation and should be mailed to headquaters addressed as ATTN: Ryan Abell, El Cajon Firefighters Union, Local 4603, 100 E. Lexington Ave, El Cajon, CA 92020.

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