Kelowna firefighter shocked by conditions Peruvian firefighters work in
A once in a lifetime experience.
That is how a Kelowna Fire training officer is describing his trip to Peru in April.
Glenn Paley traveled with Firefighters Without Boarders to help train firefighters in Peru on new equipment.
He says it was quite the culture shock.
"Even the condition in the fire hall, very primitive. Some places for example they didn't have proper furniture, they were using church pews in their living rooms. It was an old automotive shop that they turned into a fire hall. But they were always making the best of what they had, they were always proud of what they were doing."
Even the equipment they were using could be described as ancient.
"One place I was at they were still using a WWII era firetruck. It was actually a British firetruck and they were still using it as one of their first line trucks. When you go to the smaller towns, the experience was even more rewarding."
Paley says the smaller communities had even less and were more grateful that FFWB took time to stop in their towns to help.
The group spent a lot of time training Peruvian firefighters the arts of safety, how to deal with troublesome situations, and ventilation equipment.
Equipment was also brought over to give to the fire departments. While that equipment was new to them, the technology is about 10 year old in Canada.
Paley has plans on returning next year and is already trying to convince his fellow "brothers" to join him.