It's nice to see life-saving equipment getting a new lease on life.
A New Jersey fire truck recently made a 3,700-mile journey to its new home in Managua, Nicaragua.
The 1982 Mack fire truck was loaded onto a 439th Airlift Wing C-5B Galaxy here Aug. 12, thanks to the combined efforts of Airmen from the Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve and active-duty Air Force, as well as a host of government agencies.
It wasn't an easy task, and it took an individual to recognize a country’s need for that fire truck and pursue it to make it a reality.
Master Sgt. Jorge A. Narvaez, a New Jersey Air National Guardsman with the 108th Security Forces Squadron, was responsible for getting that fire truck sent to Nicaragua.
In 2014, Narvaez traveled to Nicaragua. While he was there, he visited the headquarters of the Benemerito Cuerpo de Bomberos, a group of volunteer firefighters located in Managua, the capital of Nicaragua.
“I saw that they were in dire need of serviceable fire trucks and equipment,” Narvaez said. “I offered to help and get them assistance in the United States. I explained to them that I couldn’t make any promises, but that I would try to do my best.”
Narvaez talked to Ray Wadsworth, the former fire chief of Mercer Engine No. 3 in Princeton, New Jersey, and was able to get some coats, boots and hoses that had been slated for replacement. Like their counterparts in Nicaragua, the Princeton firefighters are also volunteers.
The Nicaraguan firefighters were grateful for the donated gear, but their need for a new truck remained. In 2015, an opportunity presented itself.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration informed Mercer Engine No. 3 members that they would have to replace two of their fire trucks. One of them, a 1982 Mack 1250 GPM pumper truck, could no longer be used because the open cab was considered a safety hazard.
There's more at the link, and also in this report.
Seems odd to me that a fire truck can be perfectly OK to use for decades, then suddenly be 'unsafe' because of the open cab it's had all along! I doubt the Nicaraguans will have similar bureaucratic scruples. May it serve them long and well.