Iowa Fire Departments donate used equipment to Guatemala, El Salvador

Iowa Fire Departments donate used equipment to Guatemala, El Salvador

June 21, 2022

About 24 pallets of turnout gear, helmets, hoses, air packs, masks and more were donated to Midwest Mission Distribution Center by fire departments across the state.

Conference Disaster Response Coordinator Pastor Catie Newman reached out to Rev. Keith Pitts when she heard about the need to send equipment to El Salvador and Guatemala. Pitts, who pastors Delhi and Buck Creek United Methodist Churches, is also an EMT, rescue diver and firefighter for the Delhi Fire Department. 

"The equipment will be sorted and tested, and any repairs by a local fire department that Midwest Mission has a relationship with," said Pitts. "Then the equipment will be boxed and shipped to either El Salvador or Guatemala where the towns are trying to start fire departments. Currently, they are fighting fires in flip-flops and shorts."

Pitts contacted his chief and the local Emergency Management Director for permission to use the Delhi department and county warehouse as a command center to collect the equipment. He then reached out to other counties to make drop-off points across the state. After contacting the Iowa Firefighter Newspaper, which has a circulation of about 16,000 firefighters, the equipment started pouring in.

"The project was a great success," said Pitts.

Learn more about how you can partner with your local fire department on Midwest Mission's website.