Mexican fire department receives donated equipment from U.S.
YUMA, Ariz. (AP) - A former Yuma Fire Department battalion chief
helped gather air tanks and other used gear that will be used by
firefighters in San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico, where crews
sometimes have to go without even basic equipment.
Steve Wyant and members of the Somerton-Cocopah Fire Department
delivered the 29 air tanks, 16 harnesses, 13 air masks, 12 coats
and eight pairs of pants on Saturday to the rural fire department.
Somerton-Cocopah Fire Department spokesman Robby Rodriguez said
departments in the U.S. are regularly upgrading to the newest
technology because of government standards and the desire to have
the safest equipment possible.
Many departments in Mexico receive little or no government
funding, however, and don't have even the most basic gear.
"I've fought fires where I've seen guys come out of the fire
with only a handkerchief over their face," he said. "And I'm
there in my full gear."
Sergio Nunez, a firefighter in San Luis Rio Colorado, across the
border from San Luis, Ariz., said he has gone into burning
buildings with little more than a fire retardant coat and pants.
In such cases, he said, he does his best to stay below the
smoke.
Thanks to the equipment donation, Nunez and his fellow
firefighters should now be able to go into burning homes more
safely and with more success.
"Before, we could only put on water from the outside," Nunez
said through an interpreter. "Now, we can go inside and fight the
fire from where it starts."
Eduardo Anaya, the rural fire chief, said the equipment received
last weekend will be put right into service.
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Information from: The Sun, http://www.yumasun.com