About Baja California

Before becoming a state in 1953, the area was known as the North Territory of Baja California. It has an area of 70,113 km2 (27,071 sq mi), or 3.57% of the land mass of Mexico and comprises the northern half of the Baja California peninsula, north of the 28th parallel. The state is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean, on the east by Sonora, the U.S. State of Arizona, and the Gulf of California (also known as the Sea of Cortez), and on the south by Baja California Sur. Its northern limit is the U.S. state of California.

The state has a population of 2,844,469 (2005 census), and estimated 3,165,776 (June 2009) much more than the sparsely populated Baja California Sur to the south, and similar to San Diego County, California on its north. Over 75% of the population lives in the capital city, Mexicali, in Ensenada, or in Tijuana. Other important cities include San Felipe, Rosarito and Tecate.

Baja California is where it all began, our visit to Tecate in 1999 started us on our path. We began working with the city of Tecate and the Bomberos from around the state. We have been working to bring agencies representing millions of citizens in the State together for more collaborative training and operations. Where borders were distinct and rarely crossed there is now more mutual assistance and development of resources. 

In 2009, we began working with the group Bomberos De San Diego, a group of San Diego Fire firefighters that work in the area doing similar work. We partnered to bring training to Tecate initially and eventually worked in Tijuana Bomberos and were able to organize regional training at both Tecate and Tijuana inviting bomberos from around the area. Today, being one of the largest Cities in Mexico,  we regularly rely on these Bomberos to assist us in our training.

Baja 2012 Training Day Four

on . Posted in Baja California

rit pak review classroom day 4

Training at the Baja Protection Civil facility felt a lot like home, with Washington like weather Marcelo DeCasas and fellow Bomberos De Sandiego member Oscar Saucedo lead the days training for over 35 firefighters from Tecate and Tijuana fire departments.

The topics today centered around Rit (Rapid Intervention Team) deployments and techniques which included  Firefighter rescue techniques, self rescue, search, forcible entry and drags and carries. Assisted by a few trainers from TJ, Live situations were created and teams of Bomberos were placed in fairly realistic scenarios. All were tired when the day ended.

These 4 days of training took a lot of work to put on. From inception to development to making it happen we would like to give a special thanks to the two organizations that without participation this would not have happened.  Thanks to Tijuana Fire Department for their support of logistics, arranging the facility for the second two days and the equipment and the selfless attitude of the instructors that came with this equipment.  To Tecate Fire Department for their site development, support and logistics for the first two days in Tecate.  To Fire Chief Cesar Vitale who recognized that it was important to host the TJ Bomberos who attended day one, and the importance of getting his firefighters to Tijuana days three and four.  The training they received will inevitably help them and the Bomberos they work with every day.

Thank you to all those friends following us on face book, and our website. Special thanks to Mama Booth for the shout outs!

One more day in Tecate to finish the mission, evaluate the work and begin preparations for the next.  We recognize that we can make more impact with more frequent visits and will be looking for ways to make that happen. With the partnership developed with Bomberos De San Diego some 5 years ago, we have seen some great improvements and look forward to many more.

Not over, we still may see more interesting stuff as Joel and Scott prepare for the return home. We have a few scheduled stops enroute home to pick up donations and visit old friends. Update to follow.

Tags: Missions

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