When I first came to Puerto Vallarta, I never gave a thought to the emergency services that are available here or in any of the other vacation destinations I had ever been to, as I assume most people never do.
When I came to PV to live, again I gave no thought to the Fire Department, or Bomberos. I'm sure, like others, I just assumed these services were in place in a tourist town, since we all know tourists getting hurt is bad for business.
Then Christena Callaghan came walking into my fishing shop. As we discussed her charitable efforts here in Puerto Vallarta and surrounding areas, she lightly touched on the subject of the bomberos and how they were underfunded, overworked, and while not unappreciated, they got no support from the community. NONE!
Since that day I have been supporting Angels for Mexico, a Canadian charity group dedicated to helping the bomberos here and in the surrounding communities of Mascota and Nuevo Vallarta.
Some of the things these angels have helped with in some of the poorer communities are: medical supplies, fire equipment of all kinds, fire trucks, 2 playground jungle gyms ($70,000.00 USD), bullet-proof vests for the police, money for training the bomberos, and they also built two homes to help support two single mother bomberos who were injured on the job or needed housing for their children.
In all, Angels for Mexico has donated approximately One Million Dollars in the last year, an impressive sum to be sure! But, while this is all wonderful and heartwarming,the Bomberos are still in dire straits. The one fire station in the heart of Puerto Vallarta is responsible for a 50 mile diameter. This means if they are at one end of the envelope, the other end is fifty miles away. Now take a busy holiday weekend, say Halloween. There can be as many as 1,700 injury calls in a three day weekend...
Angels for Mexico is not the only group working with the bomberos, but although there is a grass roots surge helping our bomberos across the city, more help is needed. For that reason we are looking for individuals who have fire fighting experience, possibly a retired person(s) who could step-up and become part of the Angels for Mexico team. Every volunteer is welcome and they will need to be self motivated and driven to help support this essential cause.
The bomberos will have a fund raising luncheon at the Fire Hall on Saturday, February 4th to help pay for Hazemat equipment for use in fighting toxic and chemical spills. You can purchase these tickets at my shop, Master Baiter's Sportfishing and Tackle on the boardwalk in Marina Vallarta.
The ticket prices for the event have not been communicated to me as of yet, but whatever they may be, it will be worth the services they will be able to provide to us when we need it. They can't help any of us in our moment of need if we don't support them. For more info on the fundraiser contact Christena Callaghan at the email address that is listed below.
Some of Angels for Mexico's plans for 2012 are to continue to supply more surplus gear, equipment, and to build 2 more playgrounds next fall on our next mission trip. We would also like to be able to find retired firefighters from Canada and the U.S. who are living in Puerto Vallarta, and would be interested in working with us to help train the bomberos. We will meet with anyone that raises their hand!
Feel free to contact Christena directly at: email@example.com and let her know that you like to join the team!
We all look forward to having a professional and well equipped fire fighting force in Puerto Vallarta and you can make all the difference!
Stan Gabruk is the owner of Master Baiter's Sportfishing and Tackle in Marina Vallarta. He came to Puerto Vallarta for a brief, three-week vacation and never left. You can find Stan at his Master Baiter's Sportfishing shop in Marina Vallarta, located on the boardwalk down from the lighthouse. For more information about fishing in Puerto Vallarta, visit his website or email Stan here.
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