IFRM Assists Dominican Republic Firefighters

The International Fire Relief Mission (IFRM) continued its work of making firefighting safer in developing countries by sending a 40-foot container of donated gear to the San Pedro de Macoris fire department in the Dominican Republic. In late February, an IFRM team will be in the country to distribute the equipment and provide training on its proper and safe use.

“With all of the attention focused on the massive needs in Haiti, it is easy to overlook some of the chronic problems with its neighbor the Dominican Republic,” says IFRM President Ron Gruening. “In San Pedro de Macoris we have a situation where the department has committed to self improvement, but lacks the necessary equipment.”

The government in San Pedro de Macoris has built a training facility to prepare its emergency responders. Yet the facility does not have the basic equipment—such as ropes, hoses, SCBA, ladders, and hand and hydraulic tools—to carryout effective training. IFRM’s delivery will change that.

In addition to supplying the training facility, IFRM’s delivery also will outfit the city’s two fire stations. This used, yet serviceable fire and EMS equipment was donated to IFRM by fire departments across the United States. Because it no longer meets U.S. standards, this equipment would have been taken out of service. Now, it is getting a second life.

“From everything I’ve seen, the San Pedro de Macoris has the desire and a plan to better prepare its firefighters to respond to hurricanes, earthquakes and the everyday emergencies that we all face,” Gruening says. “They simply don’t have the quality or quantity of equipment to carry out this desire. Gear that can no longer be used in the United States may very well save these firefighter brothers and sisters from death or injury.”

Those interested in donating equipment, time or money to the International Fire Relief Mission can do so by contacting Ron Gruening by e-mail at rgruening@ifrm2007.com or by phone at +1 612-669-8500.

IFRM is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization who’s mission is to collect donated new and used fire and EMS equipment, deliver it to fire departments in developing nations and educate members of those fire departments on the equipment’s safe and proper use. IFRM is a nonreligious, nonpolitical group dedicated to saving firefighter and civilian lives. IFRM members do not draw a salary and all of the money raised is used to fulfilling the group’s mission. IFRM was formed in 2007 by retired emergency-response professionals. For more information, visit its website at www.ifrm2007.com.

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