Fire Engine Experience
What 50 year old kid wouldn’t love the opportunity to drive a fire truck and shoot the water cannon?! Kids of all ages (surprisingly the oldest ones seem to have the most fun!) enjoy our firetruck. It was purchased for the intended purpose, but after numerous requests to drive it from our guests, we have decided to make it an actual activity here at Scotlyn Ranch and guests love it!
In the Western United States wildfires can be a serious concern, they can be started by a campfire that wasn’t quite put out or more likely a dry lightning strike when the fields are dry. Most ranches have water trailers or other equipment to deal with the possibility of a fire. Although a wildfire would be devastating to our beautiful land, in the event one started we want to be able to protect our structures and as much land as we can. It was surprising to learn (after we bought the ranch) that we are not in a fire district. I was not aware that there was anywhere in the United States that did not have a responding fire department, but yet that was the case. The bad news is that fires do happen around here and there is no fire department to respond, but the good news is that the neighbors all have equipment and rush to help. There was a several hundred acre fire a couple of years ago on the Butte only a couple of miles from the ranch and it was amazing to see how the community came together with tractors, bulldozers, water trucks and more and were able to contain the fire. Even though the fire came within yards of people’s houses, the community worked together and the only structure that was lost was an old hay barn that had seen better days.
After the fire on the Butte, we decided to invest in more fire equipment, not only for our ranch, but to be part of the community and have equipment to help out if needed. No one around here had a genuine fire engine so we decided to purchase one. True story – shortly after getting our fire engine I was called by a neighbor because a trailer full of hay had caught fire on the highway a short distance from our ranch. It was early evening and me and our chef at the time jumped in the truck and drove over to find a pickup truck and a large trailer piled full of hay on fire. The Sheriff was there and several neighbors were watching and Idaho Department of Lands showed up shortly thereafter. The chief from IDL came over to where I was studying the multitude of dials and gauges and levers and informed me that the Sheriff had called them in to “assist Scotlyn Ranch Fire Department” – it was hard not to laugh. I responded “Yeah, great, can you show me how to work my firetruck?”. We eventually figured it out and with the assistance of another neighbor who brought over an 18 wheeler with a 6000 gallon water tank (the engine only carried 700 gallons at the time, we have since added an extra 800 gallon tank for a total of 1,500 gallons) and we hooked up to the water tanker and successfully put out the fire.
Since that time, we have purchased additional equipment for the firetruck and regularly run drills on its use.
We may be the only guest ranch that allows guests to drive a firetruck and shoot the water cannon off the top, I don’t know, but I do know that guests love it!
All proceeds from the Fire Engine Experience go toward the maintenance and upkeep of our firetruck and other fire fighting equipment.