Old ambulance, new hope

A B.C. firefighter will make a marathon journey to Nicaragua, delivering a decommissioned ambulance to first responders in the Central American nation. 

Metro Vancouver's Erik Vogel is part of a group effort called Operation Nicaragua that started in Kamloops and sends badly needed emergency vehicles to under-funded first responders in the poverty-stricken country.

He says a second-hand ambulance is better than nothing.

"This is going to save lives," he told CTV.

Vogel scrounges up the donated equipment himself, and hopes to get Canadian cities thinking about donating ambulances, equipment and fire trucks that have passed their regulated lifespan here.  

He and his wife will hit the road on the 7,000-kilometre journey Oct. 4, and hope to deliver a fire truck next year.

"Every year we go down, it's amazing to be there, they're so excited," Vogel said. "We're really looking forward to handing over the keys and giving this a long life."

– with files from CTV Vancouver

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