Eight instructors from Firefighters Crossing Borders (FFCB) are back home to the Pacific Northwest and Wisconsin after a busy week in the State of Sinaloa conducting the 7th Annual Sinaloa Fire Training Symposium.
This year saw the most participants yet, 95 firefighters and officers from all 13 departments across the state attended. Courses this year included vehicle extrication, engine and truck
company skills, fire engine operator skills, and incident management.
The three day symposium conducted each year since 2008 is held in Culiacan, the capitol city of Sinaloa. It is hosted by the Culiacan Fire Department and sponsored by Bomberos Amigos, a non-profit group developed to support fire departments throughout the state. Instructors this year hauled personal protective equipment with them as well to distribute to course participants. 60-70 pairs of safety glasses, leather gloves, flashlights, and structural firefighting gloves and hoods were given out to students day one of the program. This equipment supplements other gear sent down during the year from FFCB through Bomberos Amigos.
During the course of the year, FFCB works with Bomberos Amigos and Rotary groups procuring vehicles and equipment from the US and Canada. Over the past year alone over 30 pallets of equipment and 5 emergency vehicles have headed south to support firefighters in the states of Sinaloa, Jalisco, and Nayarit.
Instructors were hosted graciously all week long, dining on carne asada and carnitas tacos most evenings while debriefing the day's events. On more than one occasion our cadre of instructors was invited into the homes of family and friends of the fire department, dining on local seafood and other specialties. Daily interviews with area radio, television,and newspapers have become routine for the crew each trip, often handled by our bi-lingual instructors Moi Castellon and Edgar Ramirez Tellez. As in past years, some of the instructors jumped aboard fire engines to observe and at times work side by side local firefighters responding to fires and vehicle accidents.
Firefighters Crossing Borders initiated it's relationship with the State of Sinaloa in 2006 with the delivery of a 100 foot ladder truck to the Culiacan Fire Department. A second
training session brought in firefighters from Mazatlan and other neighboring departments leading to the development of the Sinaloa Fire Training Symposium. Today 80-100 firefighters and officers from every department in the state come to Culiacan each year to attend this annual three day symposium. Topics over the years have included incident management, engine and truck operations, vehicle, water and rope rescue, live fire training, and more.
Thank you to all who made this come together so well this year, Presidente Jorge Chavez of Bomberos Amigos, Commandante Adan Shinagawa and his staff of Bomberos Culiacan, and our instructors - Edgar Ramirez Tellez, Paul Spencer, Joaquin Hubbard, Moi Castellon, Dave Stevens, Tim Frank, and Eric Grant.