No I wasn't seeing things - it is a real E-One HPR 6X6 Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting vehicle, belonging to the Canadian Armed Forces. It's a major piece of work, with a 3000 (US) gallon water tank, 400 usg foam cell and 2,000 usgpm Hale pump. With the usual array of monitors and a massive 665 BHP Detroit it means business.
Ever since it arrived in Halifax on the Saudi Arabian ship Saudi Diryah on January 14, along with two aircraft re-fuelers (on Sterling chassis) I have been wondering if perhaps it came from the ill-fated and no-longer secret Canadian military base in Dubai. Following a silly spat with Canada over landing rights for Emirates Airline in Canada (Canada said no), the United Arab Emirates unceremoniously kicked Canada out of Dubai with 30 days notice, back in October. The secret base, used as a staging area, was attached to Al Minhad Air Base and was used by CF Hercules and other aircraft to land and transfer supplies and people for Canada's military ops in Afghanistan.
There certainly must have been a fairly large collection of military vehicles attached to the base, some of which would have been re-deployed in the general area, but others would not have been needed anymore, so where did they go? Back to Canada would be the answer, and perhaps due to their size the tankers and this baby were sent home by Saudi ship. Just a guess.
Photo taken this morning on the waterfront, with the ARFF chained down to a trailer ready for road transport. With those low pressure tires provoding lots of bounce, I hope the chains are tight!