In a split vote, the Menlo Park Fire Protection District Board of Directors voted on Sept. 19 to donate a surplus fire engine to the Maui Fire Department in the wake of the fires that spread across the island.
The effort to donate the engine was led by Fire Board President Virginia Chang-Kiraly in response to the Lahaina fires that burned 2,170 acres last month and caused the Maui Fire Department to lose a fire engine and a brush engine. The Menlo Park Fire Protection District (MPFPD) had a surplus of seven fire engines for sale and auction, and elected to donate one to the Maui fire department, an estimated value between $45,000 and $75,000.
“As a taxpayer, I'd like to say that I do respect the argument for fiscal responsibility,” an Atherton resident said. “But I also do feel that something that really bonds us as Americans is helping each other in need, and I think this is the right thing to do to donate the firetruck.”
There was some discussion over whether the MPFPD could request funding from the federal government in exchange for exchanging the fire engine with the Maui Fire Department, but the board elected to donate the fire engine directly.
The motion passed 3-2 with Directors Chuck Bernstein and Rob Silano dissenting.