Firehall gives to third world

The Naramata Fire Department has donated 15 sets of used turnout gear to an organization that will provide it to firefighters in third-world countries.

Fire chief Tony Trovao said the department has given the gear to Vancouver-based Firefighters Without Borders, which collects used fire gear and disperses it to countries in need. Trovao said the gear from Naramata will be going to the Phillippines.

"These third-world countries sometimes are fighting fires with sandals and a tee shirt," Trovao said. "What (Firefighters Without Borders does) is they pick a couple countries every year and they send thousands of sets of helmets, boots and all that kind of stuff, so they have a chance to protect themselves."

The sets being donated are past their expiry date of being certified by the National Fire Protection Association to use locally, which Trovao said is typically 10 years.

He pointed out the gear is still in good shape, and said each set consisting of boots, jackets, pants and a helmet is worth about $3,000 brand new.

This donation marks the first time the Naramata firehall has donated to Firefighters Without Borders, and Trovao said they plan to now do the donations annually.

"Our department's getting more established, so now we're starting to get involved in organizations like this and trying to pay it forward," he said.

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