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Grand River CarShare’s now-retired 2001 Honda Civic was donated to the Woolwich Fire Department three weeks ago and used in an auto extrication training exercise. Taking part in the training were students from the Conestoga College Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training program, who were training that week at the Woolwich Fire Department.
Donating the vehicle to the fire department was the idea of Grand River CarShare’s president, Jason Hammond, who had seen a similar demonstration in another jurisdiction.
“The community will benefit far more from this donation than the CarShare would if we had decided to sell the vehicle. It is of greater value to the Fire Department as a contribution for firefighter training,” Jason said.
It was coincidence that Grand River CarShare donated the vehicle during a week that Conestoga students were training at the Woolwich Fire Department, so they got to participate in some extra training.
“The donated vehicle will assist the Conestoga students in their pursuit of becoming fire fighters,” Woolwich Fire Chief Rick Pedersen said. “These cars are needed to practice their skills in auto extrication. Without this donation the Woolwich Fire department would have to assume the costs of these vehicles and the students could not enhance their practical skills.”
While the co-op’s Civic didn’t exactly get cut up by the Conestoga students during the exercise (the Civic was in much better shape than most cars the fire departments usually has for training), it was saved by the Fire Department for additional training at a later date. As most cars used in trainings are sourced from auto wreckers, the firefighters said with the Civic having all its systems intact, such as air bags and electrical components, it makes for a much more realistic training exercise.
Grand River CarShare is also in the process of expanding its service to Woolwich. With the recent announcement of GRT Route 21 being made permanent, the CarShare will now have access to a $30,000 line of credit from the Township of Woolwich to support the expansion.
“With our co-op’s coming expansion to Woolwich, we felt this would be a great way to give back to the community,” Jason said. “The only thing holding us back from launching CarShare is recruiting fifty members. We encourage everyone who is interested in joining to contact us as soon as possible.”