International Fire Relief Mission signs historic pact with Peruvian government
The International Fire Relief Mission President Ron Gruening recently signed an agreement with officials in Peru to provide long-term humanitarian assistance and education to that nation's underserved firefighters. This is the first such nationwide agreement for IFRM and a model for future agreements.
"From our very beginning, one of IFRM's tenets was to establish on-going relationships with the countries we aid as a means of bringing lasting, sustainable improvement to their fire services," Gruening said. "This formal agreement with the government of Peru is the biggest step toward that end in IFRM's history."
In 2007, IFRM began aiding firefighters in developing nations who often lacked basic equipment such as turnout gear and SCBA. IFRM collects out-of-service and surplus equipment — even apparatus — from fire and EMS agencies across the United States. IFRM then sends a team to each recipient country to demonstrate how to properly use and maintain the donated equipment.
IFRM has grown exponentially because of global need and overwhelming support from across the U.S.; they have sent missions to 40 countries on five continents with several more in the works over the next 12 months.
Gruening recently visited Peru to meet with Brigadier General CBP Juan Gonzalo Lostaunau Silva, comandante general Cuerpo General De Bomberos Voluntarios Del Peru and other national dignitaries to discuss how IFRM can held improve Peruvian firefighters effectiveness and safety. Former IFRM volunteer Mark Allen and Lion Apparel representative Rodrigo Vargas also attended the meeting. Lion is a primary corporate partner with IFRM and plans to play a key role in IFRM's efforts in Peru.
"Doing one-time donation drops is not the best way to serve the firefighters, the civilians they protect or our equipment donors," Gruening said. "Lasting relationships with high-ranking government agencies is critical in moving these fire departments from underfunded, under trained and under equipped to a service that is modern, safe and sustainable.
"The level of commitment we have in Peru will become our benchmark for working with other countries in the future."Gruening also said that large-scale humanitarian efforts like this are an excellent opportunity for fire service equipment manufacturers to open new markets."
Companies that help finance our humanitarian efforts are invited to join IFRM on its missions," he said. "When those countries' fire services evolve from needing equipment donations to being self-sustained equipment buyers, those companies will have strong, existing relationships with their officials."
About the International Fire Relief Mission
IFRM is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization who's mission is to collect donated new and used fire and EMS equipment, deliver it to fire departments in developing nations and educate members of those fire departments on the equipment's safe and proper use. IFRM is a nonreligious, nonpolitical group dedicated to saving firefighter and civilian lives. IFRM members do not draw a salary and all of the money raised is used to fulfilling the group's mission. IFRM was formed in 2007 by retired emergency-response professionals. For more information, visit its website at www.ifrm2007.com.