Lakeside Assistance waits for Covid restrictions to end to bring in 3 donated fire trucks
The three pumper trucks are in a warehouse in Vancouver awaiting lifting of restrictions to be distributed to fire stations in the region
John Kelly and firefighting equipment in his garage awaiting distribution.
Patrick O’Heffernan, Ajijic. Somewhere in a warehouse in Vancouver three shinny pumper trucks are waiting to be put on a ship to Puerto Vallarta to be distributed to three lucky Jalisco fire stations by Lakeside Assistance.
The used trucks – all in very good condition – were donated by fires stations in Richmond Canada and the northern Vancouver suburbs, who have been sending used equipment to charities for years with the blessing of their local mayors and city councils.
The three trucks are pumpers – trucks equipped to pump water from an internal tank or a tanker truck to a fire. The trucks are destined for Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos, Poncitlán, and Atotonilquillo, each of which has been waiting for as long as three years for trucks.
John Kelly, of the Lakeside Assistance met with Laguna and said that the trucks came to them through Toronto-based Firefighters Without Borders, who for years have been collecting used fire trucks and other equipment, refurbishing them, and making them available to non-profit organizations to distribute to underequipped fire stations around the world. One of the Chapala Bomberos’ two pumping trucks was donated by Lakeside Assistance who obtained it from Firefighters Without Borders.
According to Kelly, the trucks are valued at about $5000 each, but if the stations had to pay for them through a broker, they would cost at least three times that much. The fire stations have to pay for tires, batteries and shipping costs.
Kelly, who is Canadian retired military, got involved when a friend in the Royal Canadian Legion in Chapala asked for help finding “mules” to bring used fire equipment into Mexico, and the request eventually grew into a container shipment of 650 sets of hoses and uniforms. Kelly has been involved ever since, visiting fire stations all over Mexico to assess their need and ability to use equipment. And even today, he has 50 sets of hoses and helmets and fireproof uniforms in his garage awaiting distribution.
Although the donations and sponsored by Lakeside Assistance, delivery dates are up to the municipalities that will receive the trucks and has not been determined yet, as their transfer is awaiting lifting of Covid restrictions. Processing and customs and safety approvals take about six months