Since 1965, a tradition continues in which a group of firefighters have been traveling to San Felipe, Mexico. San Felipe is a small fishing town located about 150 miles from Ensenada on the Gulf of California coast. It is known for game fishing, sand dunes and one of two places in the world where the tide goes out for several miles every night.
The trip started out as a firefighter fun week, but with relationships made throughout the years with the local fire department and several of the volunteer fire fighters from neighboring housing communities, it became an opportunity to lend a helping hand. LAFD members provide training on basic EMS and firefighting skills and also teach them how to operate donated equipment. One of the original members of the group who continues the traditional trip is retired Battalion Chief Craig Yoder, also known as Yoda to the locals. We have other names for him but that stays in the camp!
On this last trip in May, the fire chief of San Felipe’s Fire Department was in desperate need of a replacement Jaws of Life cutter – their old donated one had broken on a recent incident. The Baja 250 and 1000 pass through San Felipe and a race was coming up shortly. They were in desperate need and were unable to find a way to get it repaired or replaced. Depending mostly on donated equipment, a replacement was not possible.
To their rescue came Apparatus Operator Albarran “Alby” from Heavy Rescue 56. Through his network of rescue tool vendors he was able to obtain brand new replacement cutters. This was through the generous donation of Diamondback Fire and Rescue based out of Temecula, Ca. Mr. Preston Hanlon and Aaron Ford were the persons that were able to facilitate the donation. San Felipe Fire Department gives them a great big “gracias!”
If you’d like to join us next year for a five day get-away in San Felipe on April 29 – May 3, give me, John Gonzalez 112-C or A/O Albarrran 56-C, a call for details.
By John Gonzalez, Captain FS 112- C