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City of Colorado Springs / Fire / News

CSFD Donates Protective Equipment to Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Colorado Springs, CO – In late January, retired Colorado Springs Fire Department employee Sandy Friedman delivered six complete sets of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the bomberos (firefighters) in Isla Mujeres, Mexico, compliments of CSFD.

Friedman has made it a habit to visit the fire departments whenever he and his wife, Marcelle, travel abroad to learn about their departments.  Ten years ago during one such visit on the island of Isla Mujeres, it became increasingly obvious that they had no Personal Protective Equipment.  They only had 2 sets of bunker gear for their nearly thirty firefighters.

“I decided then, that if we ever went back for another vacation, I would try to bring them some Personal Protective Equipment,” said Friedman.

When the Friedmans decided to visit Isla Mujeres again this year, he approached Chief Riley for a donation of retired PPE from CSFD.  Chief Riley approved the request, and Captain Scott Smith and the crew at Station 18 assisted in putting together six complete sets of PPE in various sizes. (Note: The United States has very stringent requirements for PPE that place it out of service for use here, but those same requirements are not in place in other countries.  What CSFD can no longer use is often of much better quality than what is currently in use in other parts of the world.)

Friedman took the equipment to Cancun in three military duffel bags, and after being waived through customs, presented the equipment to the Isla Mujeres Fire Chief.  Once the Chief realized what he was receiving, he insisted that a formal presentation be made to the Mayor and City Council of Isla Mujeres, which was done the day before they returned home.

Fire Equipment gift to Isla Mujeres, Mexico

“The look in the bombero’s eyes said it all,” said Friedman.  “They knew how much this meant to help safeguard them and better be able to serve their community.”