Donated Sterling fire engine joins the Ukrainian war effort

The Sterling fire engine responds to the scene of a commercial building in Odessa that was hit by a missile.

STERLING – A Sterling fire engine that hit the 20-year-mark and was replaced by a newer model is now serving a new purpose in Odessa, Ukraine, where it is helping the embattled republic fight the war with Russia.

Odessa, on the Black Sea, is the third-largest city in Ukraine, and a major port for exporting grain. It has been the subject of several recent missile and drone attacks.

Christopher Manson, founder of the nonprofit group US Ambulances for Ukraine, recently toured the city, met the five Odessa Volunteer Fire Department crew members assigned to the engine, and took photos and videos of it responding to buildings hit by missiles.

Despite its age, the technology on board is a boon to the town, which is altering the way it fights fire to take advantage of the engine’s abilities, Manson told the City Council at Monday’s meeting.

“Your engine is fighting fires. Your engine is going to medical calls,” Manson said. “It’s doing its job.

“I just can’t tell you how appreciative they are.”

Kathleen Schultz

Kathleen A. Schultz

Kathleen Schultz is a Sterling native with 40 years of reporting and editing experience in Arizona, California, Montana and Illinois.