WINNIPEG -- Keeping an eye on city surplus sales could have landed you a prized piece of life-saving equipment - a used Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service Firehawk 24-foot Fire Rescue Boat.

The 2008 five-seater, 450 horsepower vessel was replaced in 2020 as part of the WFPS apparatus replacement schedule. It came complete with remote controlled spotlights, PA system and even a siren. The city says many pieces of specialized equipment are offered through an RFP, with the successful buyer usually being the one having the highest bid if it meets the reserve.

It’s all part of a WFPS commitment to finding the best use for surplus vehicles and equipment while keeping them out of the landfill.

Other examples include collecting decommissioned firefighting equipment and donating them to Firefighters Without Borders, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping equip and train large and small fire departments around the world. Members then clean and ship the equipment worldwide to areas where firefighters lack the proper gear.

It’s not just boats and safety equipment. Fire hoses that fail routine water pressure testing have been donated to community centres where they are used to flood rinks.

Decommissioned hoses have even been donated to the zoo, where they have been used as toys or beds for some animals.

Some equipment stays in its natural state, as a historical record of firefighting equipment in the Winnipeg Fire Fighters Museum.

Your chance to own the fire rescue boat has come and gone as the offer submission deadline was January 8.     

However, keeping your eyes open for upcoming surplus sales could land you some interesting items in the future.