Alaskan Islanders Welcome Blue Fire Truck

It's blue -- and it's the pride and joy of St. George.

It's the first time in about five years that the small island has had a functional fire truck. ,

Thanks to a department more than 1,200 miles away, the fire engine arrived  last week  aboard a crab vessel after two local fishing companies footed the bill for the shipping. Rough seas delayed the engine's delivery. according to the Alaska Dispatch.

After the tank on the old fire engine cracked probably due to the unusually cold weather, the island was left without one.

In 2012, the local maintenance garage burned down. Folks believe had there been a working fire truck the outcome may have been different.

The effort to get the engine -- dubbed 'Big Blue -- started last year in Sitka in southeast Alaska, reporters noted.

Michael Lejarzar, the village's public safety officer, was taking a class at the fire academy in Sitka, and mentioned he'd been asking  for a truck for the past four years.

But, he knew the island's 90 residents couldn't afford purchasing one.

Sitka Fire Chief Dave Miller told the local media the fire truck, with 15,560 miles on the odometer is in good condition, was washed and waxed after every call, and has very little rust. He let it go because his town replaces vehicles after 20 years. A former chief chose the blue.

Miller added that a woman who is paying for half of the new $600,000 ladder truck insisted it be red. “She didn’t think fire trucks should be blue," he told a reporter.

St. George Mayor Pat Pletnikoff said Big Blue will soon make a victory lap around town with lights flashing and sirens blaring. “We want everybody to see it. We’re proud of it.”