Work under way to restore historic Wittenoom Fire truck at Tom Price emergency services precinct

Alexander ScottPilbara News
The Bedford Fire Truck purchased by the Shire of Ashburton.
Camera IconThe Bedford Fire Truck purchased by the Shire of Ashburton. Credit: Shire of Ashburton

Work to restore a 50-year-old fire truck once stationed in the asbestos mining town of Wittenoom to its former glory has started with the project expected to take 12 months.

The truck was stationed at the now-abandoned town from the 1970s until the early 2000s, and purchased by the Shire of Ashburton in October 2021 to be restored and housed at the planned Emergency Services Precinct in Tom Price.

The shire announced on June 28 it had contracted Perth-based company Premier Truck Painters to restore the Bedford Fire Fighting Truck with work to begin in July and take about 12 months.

Councillors unanimously approved a motion last October to buy the heritage truck for $5000.

According to a shire report, current owner and one of the last Wittenoom residents Mario Hartmann claimed the truck was originally in Newman and was operated by BHP before being relocated to Wittenoom.

Shire of Ashburton president Kerry White said that she hoped the truck’s presence would act as an acknowledgement to local volunteers for the work they do in the community.

“This Bedford Fire Fighting Truck is reminiscent of its era and a relic of a life gone by,” she said.

“Placing it at our new Combined Emergency Services Facility in Tom Price, once both projects are complete, is a great way to highlight the shire’s dedication to remembering our history and developing our future.”

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