Volunteers from Kelowna, BC and Richmond, BC will be using the weekend of June 22 to move donated fire trucks and equipment from Kitimat, Smithers, Prince George and surrounding areas to Vancouver, BC in preparation for donation to Peru.
The equipment can no longer be used within Canada according to standards established by National Fire Protection Association and the apparatus are also not practical for use by BC departments. However, the donated items are still in good working order and will provide the firefighters (known as Bomberos) with the ability to deliver emergency services more effectively and efficiently in Peru.
The City of Smithers and its fire department have donated a 1976 International/Hendrickson/Nordic LTI 1050/200/85′ Platform truck which originally served Abbotsford along with their 1987 Amertek Crash Truck 500/500/75 foam/500 Dry Chemical. These trucks are presently being stored at the Beaverly Fire Hall. The city of Kitimat has donated a 1978 Ford L900/Anderson 1500/500. FWB Canada President Bob Dubbert, Lieutenant/Acting Captain with the Vancouver Fire Rescue Services will be travelling to Kitimat on June 21 at his own expense to move the 1976 International to the Beaverly Fire Hall to join the rest of the volunteer team who will arrive in Prince George on June 22. Glenn Paley, Training Officer with the Kelowna Fire Department along with his wife Kelly will be joined by Kelowna Fire Department Emergency Vehicle Technician John Pinoli and volunteer Kevin Lauer from Summerland, BC. Together, the team will begin the nearly 800km journey to move the trucks to Vancouver on the morning of June 23. It is anticipated that the convoy will take two days to make the journey, stopping overnight to bunk in the 100 Mile Fire Department and arrival at UBC Fire Hall is scheduled for June 24.
Along with the donated apparatus, FWB Canada Regional Representative Melanie Perrin, Fire Services Coordinator for the Regional District of Fraser – Fort George has been collecting firefighting equipment from around the Prince George area. The donations are expected to fill a 14ft cube van and will be added to the shipments of equipment bound for the countries served by FWB Canada including Peru, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and Greece.
All of the volunteers involved in this project are travelling at their own expense and the costs of transporting the vehicles (fuel, insurance, etc.) will be funded by donations made to FWB Canada. Donations can be made online at http://www.fwbcanada.ca/how-you-can-help/donate/ . U-Haul is assisting with some of the cost of the truck rental. FWB Canada is fortunate to have the support of GearBulk Shipping, Pangea Logistics and ACGI Shipping to make it possible to send the apparatus and equipment to countries in need.
The Cuerpo General de Bomberos Voluntarios del Peru (CGBVP) is an all volunteer National Fire Service serving the over 29 million citizens of Peru. There are approximately 10,000 male and female Bomberos protecting the citizens and property of Peru from 196 fire stations. While the country moves forward with a booming economy, the Fire Service is also trying to modernize with their main emphasis being on improved training and equipment. Over the past two years, FWB Canada has donated three apparatus, hundreds of sets of turnout gear, SCBA’s and tons of other firefighting equipment to Peru. The Peruvian Fire Service have expressed their gratitude for these donations and quickly become proficient in the use of these donated items and quickly put them into service in the communities they serve.
Firefighters Without Borders Canada is a registered charity in Vancouver BC. What began as a group of dedicated firefighters in 2008 as Engines for El Salvador, then became Firefighters Without Borders BC and finally Firefighters Without Borders Canada. The mission of the group is to collect outdated firefighting apparatus and equipment and donate it to countries where there is a need. Since 2008, the group has donated 13 fire trucks, over 1000 sets of turnout gear, over 400 breathing apparatus and over 20 tons of equipment valued at over $2 million to Belize, Cebu Philippines, The Congo, El Salvador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Thailand. Also in that time they have deployed on training missions to El Salvador- 5 times; Paraguay- 4 times; Peru- 4 times and once each to Panama and Thailand. The main emphasis on these deployments is to deliver training. Firefighters from all over B.C. have participated in the training, using their own vacation time and paying their own airfares to participate.