Chief Ike Isakson stands beside the fire engine donated to Patagonia recently. Photo by Marion Vendituoli

The Patagonia Volunteer Fire Department got an unexpected gift this winter when the Racine, Ohio Fire Department offered them a new fire engine.

“It’s kind of a miracle to me,” Patagonia Fire Chief Ike Isakson said. 

The 1985 pumper, with a 1000-gallon tank, cost the Patagonia Dept. a grand total of $1.50, one dollar for the truck and 50 cents for the stamp to mail it to the Ohio station.

According to Isakson, the Racine Fire department had received a grant to purchase a new engine and was looking for a volunteer department to donate their old truck to. After searching the internet, they chose Patagonia to receive their engine.

“The Chief said he liked what he saw on the internet,” Isakson said. 

This engine will become the frontline truck for the Department.

“It’s a beautiful truck,” he added. “We didn’t even need to wash it.”

Isakson estimates that it would have cost $300,000 or more for the station to have to buy a comparable new truck.

When Isakson investigated transporting the truck, he was quoted a price of $12,500 to deliver it to Patagonia. However, Reliance Transport Service donated the cost of shipping and the truck arrived in Patagonia two days before Christmas. 

The new truck is now officially Patagonia Fire Department Engine #3. The old #3 engine, built in 1964, is being donated to the Nogales Fire Dept. who plan to use it as a memorial truck.

The department now has a new, reliable engine and a new water truck. When asked what was next on his wish list, Isakson thought for a moment before answering with a laugh, “We need more firemen.”