Members of the Bahia de Banderas Fire Department can now fight vehicle and grass fires, home content blazes and exploding propane tanks with renewed confidence thanks to the arrival of a used fire engine from San Jose, California.
“Everyone in the Nayarit Civil Protection Department is excited because they have a number of bays at the fire station but they only had a pick-up truck, an ambulance and a tanker. They really needed a fire truck/pumper for this location,” says volunteer firefighter Harold Sokolove, who was instrumental in getting the vehicle shipped to Mexico.
A former volunteer fireman in Texas, Sokolove and his wife Sue moved to Bucerias in 2002. He soon made contact with Proteccion Civil in Nayarit and has been working with the Banderas Bay Fire Department ever since.
Sokolove got down to business when he learned of the opportunity to obtain the truck for the local department. The fire truck/pumper – a 1971 Seagrave with a 500-gallon water capacity – was essentially free; the only costs would be for the accompanying equipment: ladders, hose, nozzles, generator, lights, as well as shipping to the border.
The final cost of the equipment and transportation by platform truck to Tijuana was US$6,000, a tab generously picked up by Sokolove and his wife. Mexican authorities paid for the vehicle to be brought down from the border to La Cruz, where it will be stationed.
The local firefighters, who service the North Shore and also attend emergencies in Puerto Vallarta have already received training on how to use the truck and its equipment. “This will help us a lot and we feel so happy,” said Fire Chief Sergio Carrillo.