WORLD MEMORIAL Gear Up
His GEAR-UP team has put together an overall program to collect, recycle and distribute used fire-fighting equipment to developing countries, beginning with Ecuador . The other key feature is fire training and maintenance. In the United States , each city has hundreds of well-equipped fire stations to protect families in their trust. Equivalent cities in South and Central America have a fraction of that support network. To illustrate this shortfall: Guayaquil . Ecuador only has one working “jaws of life” rescue device for its four million citizens.
Collection of Equipment: The United States Fire-fighting industry saves lives and property by constant improvement of equipment and fire training, required at all levels due to government regulations. Thus, there is a natural surplus of equipment available for donation from manufacturers and “obsolete” storage.
Communities from around the world have requested trucks, ambulances, hoses, pumps, personal equipment and of course, US training. GEAR-UP wishes to send this useful “outdated” equipment to those firehouses in need. American Airlines, 1-800- Mattress and two maritime freighters have pledged to transport the equipment at cost. Life-saving experience will be passed on throughout the country by ensuring an instructor cadre is fully trained in rescue, fire fighting procedures and truck maintenance. Under the GEAR-UP master plan, an advanced fire fighting training academy and maintenance facility will be programmed in-theater, once funding is available. As part of Gear-up's “Adopt a Firehouse” program, hundreds of American Fire Fighters have already volunteered their services to instruct in these national Fire academies, on a ten day rotational basis. Finally, a landmark bonus is a children's future scholarship fund, in the unfortunate event of a debilitating injury/death on-duty of a certified GEAR-UP graduate.
At present GEAR UP has donated several trucks and tons of equipment to Ecuador. Last September, WORLD MEMORIAL, Air Ambassador, New Freedom Partners and Gear Up have cooperated together to provide a donated modular ambulance to the impoverished town of La Mission, Baja, Mexico. And most recently those efforts have yielded a Class-A fire truck to the tsunami victims of Phuket, Thailand. We are currently waiting for airlift/sealift of the donated items.