Guatemala Mission Bound
To make a good impression, I ordered all the members a jumpsuit and had them embroidered. I also had everyone four T-shirts screened, and got shirts from Rescue Jack, Sterling Rope, and Paramedics for Children. I also got hats from Sterling Rope and Rescue Jack for us to wear. The plan was to wear different shirts each day so we stayed looking professional and as a team. The jumpsuits were our meet and greet attire. Everything was now falling into place as we continued to try and bring in donations for the trip. Each team member had to cover the cost of their airfare, shots and passports. We did get a few donations to help offset the cost, but not many. Hopefully next year we will do better with the donations.
The truck was on its way and we were now ready to make the trip. It was only a week before we were scheduled to fly out when I got an email from Rodger and Silva. Silva was our Liaison from Guatemala. They informed me that the truck had transmission problems and was stranded in Mexico. This now became a problem, not knowing if the truck would make it to Guatemala by the time we arrived. We were asked if the truck didn’t make it, could we change our flights.
However, this was not going to be an option, so plan B was to have a pickup truck go to Mexico and get the equipment off the truck and take it back to Guatemala. Luckily, they got the truck repaired and it was now on its way to destination, Guatemala. We arrived at Raleigh Durham Airport at 6:15am on Sunday, August the 1st, ready for our 7:30am flight to Atlanta, then on to Guatemala.
Next article I will talk about our flight over, reception and our training plans and execution. We are already scheduled to return in July 2010 to continue with the training we started and take them up to another level. We are also going to train a group of “Bomberos” or firefighters, as well as try and get them some equipment donated.
We can use any of the following equipment for our return trip; Hydraulic tools, PowerHawk tool, Air lift bags, Hand tools, SCBA’s, turnout gear, boots, and helmets. We can use used rescue trucks, fire trucks, and ambulances as well. This rescue truck is the only one of its kind in the entire country, so any used rescue and fire equipment is a treasure to them.
If you know or can donate any equipment, email me at email@example.com or call me at 919-291-6201.
Until next time, train hard and stay safe.
David Pease, Chief The Reds Team