Summit Daily letters: Proud of the Red, White & Blue (column)
June 2, 2017
Proud of the Red, White & Blue
I hope to share some amazing things that I want people know about our RWB fire department and firefighters. Summit in Honduras is a small nonprofit that does humanitarian work in very remote rural areas in northwestern Honduras. We have many partners that we work with and who support our work. We are always looking for ways to be more effective and to make a difference. After a three-year project to get an ambulance to a municipality with 135,000 people and no way to transport people (except in the back of a pick-up truck) to the nearest hospital two hours away we were finally ready to put the ambulance that we had purchased into service. There were no EMTs or paramedics but there were villagers willing to learn to be on call and man the ambulance. RWB firefighters were ready to help. RWB stepped up to help us by recruiting some of the firemen and women to go with us to Honduras this past January. Four amazing firefighters touched the lives of many people, not only doing basic training with the ambulance staff but also training Health Guardians (our version of EMTs in the mountain villages. They worked with the staff at an orphanage that we also partner with, training the staff in emergency procedures and training some of the staff on handling forest and wild fires which had happened in the fall of last year near the orphanage. They also spent time with the children interacting with them and teaching them basic fire safety (Stop, Drop and Roll). It was an amazing trip and many hearts were touched by the level of professionalism they all showed in every interaction they had with everyone from the medical professionals to the smallest children, they touched many hearts. Everyone wants to know when the "bomberios" are coming back. In January there were over 12 who wanted to go but our funding would only allow us to take four and a mighty four they were.
We recently had a medical outreach to Honduras the beginning of May and again RWB was ready to help. We had funding for three to go and again the response was overwhelming and a hard choice to narrow it down to three. They made an incredible difference as we treated over 100 people every day. It also included a visit to the orphanage where the children are coming to expect to see their favorite people, the firefighters with every visit!
My heart was filled on each of these trips with the level of professionalism, compassion and sincere caring that each one of these firefighters showed. They are truly special people who risk their lives for us all of the time and truly make a difference both here in Summit County and now also in Honduras!
The negativity that I am seeing I believe is an organizational matter and should not and does not directly reflect on our incredible firefighters. They all have our backs and we should be grateful every day that they are so dedicated!
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