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19 Jul 15 - 20:44

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In 2000, he founded canadian aid for fire services abroad(Cafsa), and now travels across western Canada gathering used fire gear and equipment to send to countries in need, mostly in Latin and South America. "I know how it is to work a fire without proper protection,"Says fernandez, who is particularly concerned about health risks like exposure and toxic substances that firefighters in chile face. "Firefighters go into fires with shoes, jeans, no jacket, no gloves--No protection whatsoever.So one of my goals was to send equipment to my buddies in chile. "

He started by sending two helmets.Now 10 years later, cafsa has collected, refurbished and shipped five fire trucks and more than 800 complete sets of personal protective gear--Jackets, pants, coveralls, helmets, boots, gloves, breathing apparatuses--To chile, ecuador, colombia, el salvador, guatemala and cuba.So far, 11 big shipments have been sent south, each of which requires about 11 months of prep time.

In canada, where standards are high, says fernandez, fire gear and equipment can't be used beyond a fatigue level or expiry date.Trucks are resigned after 15 to 20 years, even if in good condition--And many are, says fernandez.

Listen to a profile of victor fernandez

True Religion Outlet By cbc radio reporter niall mckenna:

Fernandez has put in countless off-Hours to the cause, not just gathering gear and soliciting

Donations, but getting service suppliers on board.A cargo company now ships two fire trucks a year for free, a service fernandez pegs at $60, 000.And a calgary company donates its service of refurbishing all the used gear.Dow chemicals donated two fire trucks to cafsa, which sent them to chile after last winter's devastating earthquake, along with gear that included 53 breathing apparatuses.That's a far cry from the amount of equipment available in some regions.For example, in chillan, a city of 170, 000, says fernandez, five apparatuses were being shared by the city's entire firefighting crew.

Fernandez and cafsa teams also travel south to teach firefighters how to use and care for equipment. "It's a basic thing, firefighters helping firefighters.But we're also helping canada by recycling old equipment. "And by nurturing foreign friendships, he adds. "All these countries know is that this all came from Cheap True Religion Jeans canada--The gear, the trucks.They don't remember cafsa.Depuis cette découverte, les normes régissant la fabrication des équipements de protection incendie dans les pays industrialisés ne cessent de s'améliorer, mais il n'en va pas ainsi dans les pays en développement.Victor a constaté que même l'équipement de sapeurs-Pompiers qui avait dépassé sa durée de vie utile ici demeurait de qualité supérieure à la plupart des pièces d'équipement utilisées en amérique du sud où, dans certains cas, les sapeurs-Pompiers ont pour tout équipement de simples chaussures de sport et des shorts.Pendant son séjour au chili après le séisme de février 2010, victor fernandez a constaté que de nombreux pompiers n'avaient même pas de masques appropriés.

Motivé par les possibilités dont il bénéficiait au canada et désirant donner un peu en retour à son pays natal, victor fernandez a décidé de ramasser le matériel de protection personnelle usagé, mais encore utile, dans tous les services de lutte contre les incendies du canada et de redistribuer cet équipement, non seulement au chili, mais dans d'autres pays d'amérique du sud dont le guatemala, la colombie et l'équateur.Après des débuts modestes-Don de deux casques et d'une veste-, son projet a pris de l'expansion;C'est maintenant des camions entiers chargés d'équipement qu'il achemine en amérique du sud grce à une entente conclue avec une société sidérurgique de vancouver.Il considère ce qu'il fait comme un « programme de recyclage à grande échelle visant à aider les collectivités moins favorisées par des dons de matériel destiné aux rebuts ici qui connaîtra une nouvelle vie ailleurs, là où les besoins existent.»

Lyall hutchinson, le commandant du peloton du service-Incendie où victor travaille en alberta, affirme que lorsque victor n'est pas à la caserne, il fait du bénévolat pour la cafsa.« Victor consacre de 40 à 60 heures par semaine à son travail bénévole chaque fois qu'il n'est pas en service à la caserne.Chilean bomberos remain unpaid, even today, and in fact, must pay monthly dues to the station they're assigned to.

Dues help cover the costs of operating the fire hall, as government funding is sporadic, often limited to one-Time grants for equipment or upgrades.Fire halls also raise funds through community events and raffles.

Standards(Stations and equipment)Vary so widely across chile that in some regions, dowsing flames with handheld buckets of water is still the way it's done.

Though chile does have a firefighting training academy, only a portion of the national force is professionally certified.Bomberos also pay for their training, but do train other volunteers at their home fire hall.Experienced bomberos also train rookies.

Canadian firefighting, on the other hand, is a publicly and fully-Funded service, most often with fulltime, fully-Certified staff-Though according to firefighting in canada, there's still 127, 000 volunteers serving in canada.

For more info on canadian aid for fire services abroad's(Cafsa)Upcoming missions.

For more info on the chilean bomberos.

For more info on canadian firefighters who've died in the line of duty, or how to give to fund for the 2012 canadian firefighters memorial, see the Religionjeansuk canadian fallen firefighters foundation.

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