An ambulance, parked in Erik Vogel’s yard, was vandalized just days before it was set to be driven to Nicaragua. (Special to the Langley Advance)

Vandals in Langley damage dedicated ambulance bound for Nicaragua

Two emergency vehicles loaded with supplies are bound for Central America on Wednesday.

Erik Vogel was crushed this morning, when he discovered vandals had graffitied an ambulance bound for Nicaragua in two days.

The Langley resident and Lower Mainland firefighter has arranged a pair of older, decommissioned ambulances to be loaded up with everything from first aid supplies to baseball uniforms. They are set to depart for Central America on Wednesday.

The trip, which has been more than a year in the planning, is part of Operation Nicaragua, a humanitarian program that tries to take decommissioned emergency equipment and supplies – including ambulances and fire trucks – from North America down to Nicaragua – where they typically don’t have any such equipment.

It’s a cause close to Vogel’s heart, who’s travelled down a few times over the years.

He and his girlfriend, Gaby Olson, will be driving one of the two ambulances down to south. But it’s the damage to that ambulance that has literally winded the firefighter.

Saturday or Sunday night, someone took spray paint and drew on the side of the ambulance. But the worst part of the damage, he said, came when paint thinner was randomly splashed along the side of the vehicle.

This time last year, the 1998 ambulance – donated by MedTech EMS in Delta – was blessed by Father James Kairu at Langley’s St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church.

At that time, it was explained that the ambulance was dedicated in honour of Olson’s mother Yvonne Van Rossum.

Sadly the graffiti has defaced that written tribute to Van Rossum, Vogel said.

“I’m crushed. It’s such a bizarre thing to attack,” he added.

“I have no idea why, or what to do about it,” Vogel told the Langley Advance. “It’s such a shame.”

But a short time later, Ian Thompson of 911 Filmcars, stepped up to help. Thompson, who donated the second ambulance going down on this trip (done so in the honour of his late friend Kathy Cadwell), is going to try to repair the damage before the team leaves early Wednesday morning.

Vogel just hopes the damage can be undone in time.

He described the incident as a random, and odd attack. Nothing else in the neighbourhood was touched, and that’s the first time he’s aware of any such vandalism in his Langley City block.

He’s optimistic no other hurdles will come up before the team of four volunteers set off on their trek.

Vogel anticipates travelling to a small town south of Mexico City in about four days, where they’re hoping to drop off water purification tablets, toiletry kits, and some first aid supplies to help the village that was devastated by a recent earthquake.

Then, he said, it’s off to Nicaragua. He expected it will take at least 10 days to get to the final destination, depending on how it goes at the different border crossings.

Related story:

READ: Used fire gear gets an ecclestiastical send off from Langley

 

Erik Vogel’s fellow firefighters in Burnaby, Local 323, donated all their old CPR mannequins, a truckload full. Some are being taken down with the team to Nicaragua this trip, others will be shipped down in the next container of goods.

Just Posted

Mischievious characters take the stage in Seussical: The Musical

Langley’s Ahnika Barber and Lauren Trotzuk are performing the classic stories of Dr. Seuss.

Langley Anti-SOGI activist slams ban on dad speaking out about transgender son’s case

A judge has told the father to stop publicly objecting to his son’s gender

Langley firefighter climbs World Trade Centre in honour of 9/11 fallen

The local man is fundraising for the Memorial Stair Climb

Aldergrove soccer player hailed ‘hero’ for saving a life

Aldergrove resident sprang to action when elderly fan collapsed on the sidelines.

Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand ‘a roof too’

Wealthy people have donated millions to effort to rebuild cathedral after devastating fire

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

‘Ghost restaurants’ cooked up by Joseph Richard Group to meet demand of delivered food

The new Meal Ticket Brands venture aims to ‘disrupt’ the local restaurant industry

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Torched SUV linked to Vancouver’s fourth homicide

Manoj Kumar, 30, was found dead from gunshot wounds in the Kitsilano neighbourhood

Multiple sailing waits as BC Ferries deals with Easter Monday traffic

89 extra sailings had been added to the long weekend schedule

Ex-mayor of northern village claims its drivers are overpaying ICBC $1,800 a year

Darcy Repen says data shows Telkwa households are being ripped off for car insurance

Deadly synthetic drug found in Kamloops that puts users in ‘zombielike’ state

Interior Health warning says substance causes ‘speedy, trippy-like symptoms’ and hallucinations

Most Read