The Los Fresnos Volunteer Fire Department made history this week by donating thousands of dollars in equipment to their counterparts from Matamoros, Mexico.
Representatives of the two departments met Thursday night in the year-old LFFD/Emergency Medical Services. Here, all witnessed the generosity from a department that has 35 volunteer firefighters.
Chief Gene Daniels estimated the equipment at some $40,000. It includes a brush truck, the jaws of life, boots, tanks and numerous other gadgets used in such line of work.
“This truck costs about $80,000 if it was bought new,” he said. “We bought it several years ago and it has less than 20,000 miles.”
Coming together to help
Daniels said the assistance is only the start of more things to come. He adds the Los Fresnos Volunteer Fire Department acquires new equipment regularly. It has also donated surplus equipment to other fire departments in the Rio Grande Valley as well.
The two departments got in touch through a LFFD volunteer, Cynthia Rios, who has family across the border. She made contact with the Los Fresnos Rotary Club. The benevolent organization then arranged the meeting.
Ellison Crider, governor with the Rotary Club District 5930, described the meeting as one of a kind as the two countries got together for a good cause.
“The Rotary Club has a theme every year,” he said. “The new theme is ‘Rotary Connects the World.’ ”
A historical connection
Crider said that is what the two countries and cities were doing Thursday – making a historical connection. Miguel Trevino, a Matamoros Rotarian and president of the city Chamber of Industries, also thanked the LFFD for such an important donation.
“The Matamoros Fire Department has always been in need of equipment,” he said. “It’s such a vital role. Unfortunately, it has been neglected throughout the years.”
Trevino said the MFD has one working engine, one water truck and two pumps and a department staffed with 50 firefighters.
“YES,” he continued, “50 firefighters for a city of more than 600,000 people.”