Five Arlington Fire Department members are back home after answering an international call for help. The firefighters traveled to Mexico last month to donate training time and supplies to departments in need. While Arlington has access to the latest fire safety technology, the same cannot be said for many Mexican border towns. In fact, equipment commonly retired here is nicer than many departments in Mexico have access to.
With a goal of saving lives, Arlington firefighters joined with other North Texas departments to gather donations and plan a trip to Mexico. Each firefighter used his own money and vacation time to make the trip possible. For two members, this was their third training visit.
“These trips are all about helping and keeping our brothers and sisters in Mexico safe,” said Arlington Firefighter Javier Benitez. “After our first trip, we came back extremely humbled with a new sense of perspective. We realized we can offer help to those that don’t have the same resources as we do.”
Arlington firefighters did more than just donate life-saving supplies. They also shared their expertise in various training sessions. Their work did not go unnoticed, earning recognition from Mexican media and the state of Jalisco’s Red Cross chapter.
“That is what we aim to do, sharing the wealth and knowledge with others,” Benitez said. “If we can improve their chances of going home at the end of their shift, we have done well.”