Guatemala Mission Bound
I accepted and soon the “real” fun was to begin. I now had to put together my team and get as much rescue equipment donated for the truck as possible before we left in August. I put several emails out for equipment along with several articles. After Woody talked with me he advised Rodger of his situation.
I soon got a call from Rodger and he gladly welcomed me as the new Team Leader. I ascertained from him what training they needed, what they already knew, and how many folks would we be training. He informed me we would be training about fifty. Now the real challenge begins.
First, I needed to put together a team of at least 12 Instructors that would not only be qualified to teach vehicle extrication and rope rescue, but be flexible enough in their teaching to conform to whatever might get thrown at us.
It also needed to be a group that could get along, as we would be spending an entire week together. The first place I went was my own rescue team, as I know we have a great bunch of certified Instructors, but I also knew we would not have enough Instructors to make up the mission team. I put the word out to my folks and within a fairly short time had 8 of my guys willing to go.
They were my Technical Captain, Luke Steele; Technical Lieutenant, Chuck Webb; Water Captain, Bo Medlin; Water & Training Lieutenant, Shannon Orndorff; Member, Jamie Smith; Member, Craig Salvesen, and Member, Mike Arnold.
Using their resources we were able to pick two more, Cory Strange, Rocky Mount Fire, and Mike Allen, Creedmoor Fire. I also asked Joe Mancos from Moore County EMS to join us, and he graciously accepted. The last person I wanted to include was a long time friend of mine who has taken many mission trips to Central America and other places, Bruce Pearce.
I now had my mission team put together, although it did take a little longer than I just made it sound.
Next, I put together a list of equipment I felt we needed to get by with for the truck. Knowing they had virtually no extrication equipment and very little rope equipment, the list was not hard to put together. I put some feelers out but things were slow coming back.
My email on the NCAFC got little response and it was apparent our team would have to push hard to make things happen. Having been in rescue for 34 years, I have made a lot of contacts and friends, so it was time to start making some calls.