KAILUA-KONA — From Billy Pugh nets to ATVs, the Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation has donated millions of dollars in equipment to first responders.
The foundation’s latest addition took place Saturday, when a $310,000 4×4, 1,250-gallon Bulldog Fire Truck was gifted to the Waimea Fire Station — making it the first such lava-rock-traversing truck in the state of Hawaii.
“It was a joyous occasion,” co-founder Laura Mallery-Sayre said. “We have been waiting for something like this for forever. It is the first truck of its kind in Hawaii. We are lucky to have it here on our island.”
The truck is an off-road vehicle designed to reach areas where brush fires start, like the ones that plagued the Kohala district in recent years.
“We have a huge wildfire problem, particularly on the northern end of the island,” Mallory-Sayre said. “We had an 18,000-acre fire last year that got away because of the winds. Hopefully this apparatus will put a stop to that.”
After an anonymous North Hawaii resident’s home was saved by firefighters during a brush fire about 10 years ago, they donated the vehicle’s cost to the Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation, enabling the truck purchase. Around 50 people attended the blessing.
“It is not every day that you get a fire truck to give to the fire department,” Mallery-Sayre said. “I was blown away … To think that we had a role in that is such an honor. It is an honor to do this for the people that go above and beyond for us every single day.”