Portland Firefighters Ed Resch, Brian Profit, Don Gresham and Al Burns will be joining firefighters from Clackamas Fire District #1, Keizer Fire District, Santa Clara County Fire Department, and San Francisco Fire Department to travel to Lima, Peru in March on a firefighter training mission.
Resch, Profit, Gresham, Burns, and other fellow firefighters will spend three weeks from March 18th to April 7th in the capital and largest city of Peru, teaching local police (National Policia) and public safety responders and officials Emergency Medical Response (EMS) and Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) skills. This trip to Lima will be the first time the group of firefighters will travel and serve together. Training will include intense hands-on skills as well as classroom lecture. A veteran interpreter will be joining the firefighters as a resource. During that time, the firefighters will call the Lima Police compound “home.”
The trip was arranged through Global Mission Readiness (GMR), a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing education and training to firefighters and rescue workers in developing nations. GMR was founded just under four years ago by Lieutenant Don Davis of Clackamas County Fire District 1. GMR sends veteran firefighters, medical providers, and rescue personnel from the United States to countries with less advanced training. Normally, mission such as this is planned over a 12 to 14 period. This mission was planned in less than two months. Because of this short time window, it has been difficult to coordinate fundraising efforts and events to help support travel costs and other supplemental expenses.
Firefighter Resch teaches Haitians about proper nutrition and water treatment
Resch, a firefighter at Portlandfor over 14 years, has never traveled to Peru on a GMR mission or otherwise. He has, however, traveled to Haiti and Ghana, Africa. Resch joined GMR as a volunteer five years ago, and feels strongly towards supports GMR’s mission to provide education and resources necessary in developing nations.
Firefighter Resch teaching EMS class to first responders in Ghana
Resch notes, “I have seen first-hand how this training can make a difference in peoples’ lives. The most rewarding part of these missions is knowing that the people that take our courses will use the skills they learn to save the lives of others.”
To learn more about the goals, missions planned, and how to donate to Global Mission Readiness, visit http://globalmissionreadiness.org. Any donations made will aid the firefighters in their travels as well as purchase equipment needed to teach the EMS and USAR courses. Emergency equipment purchased to teach on will be donated to the public safety responders in Lima, Peru.