Iowa Firefighters Donate Used Gear To Mexican Counterparts
(*Note: Photo above is a stock photo and not that of the actual gear discussed in this story.)
The Newton Fire Department's chief says his team has undergone a project donating gear to firefighters in Mexico. Here, the gear and equipment firemen use has to be "retired" after 10 years, according to National Fire Protection Association regulations. That's where Chief Jarrod Wellik got an idea.
Wellik, who has been with Newton Fire for 20 years, says he decided to take on the project knowing that the need for firefighters here to have the proper gear to do their work is no different than anywhere else.
Three other fire departments---including Marion--lent their assistance, and a local Newton restaurant owner named Kim Lopez, whose parents are from Jalisco, Mexico helped make the connection between the city's fire department and their Mexican counterparts who could benefit from the donation.
What's more, the $90,000 worth of gear that is still safe to use but past its lifespan in Iowa, is being personally delivered, over 1800 miles by SUV from Newton to Jalisco.
"The fact that they don't have the resources available to purchase new equipment, anytime we can help out a fellow brother or sister, we're going to give." That quote from Chief Wellik sums it up well.