You may not think of Banderas Bay as a hot spot for house fires since they are all made out of cement and brick, but there are plenty of things that can flame up. One local couple has made it easier for departments to arrive with sirens screaming.
“Everyone in the Nayarit Civil Protection Department is really excited because they have a number of bays at the fire station and they only had a pick-up truck, an ambulance and a tanker but they really needed a fire truck/pumper for this location,” says Harold Sokolove, Volunteer Fireman and much more, “This gave my wife, Sue and I chance to really give them a helping hand by procuring a fire truck.”
Members of the fire department can now fight vehicle and grass fires, home content blazes and exploding propane tanks with renewed confidence because they now have a “new” fire engine. They also can assist with other emergencies.
The fire men and women needed to get experience on the new vehicle and were sent north to do so.
“We have had training from our people in Tepic,” says Fire Chief Sergio Carrillo, “they showed us how to use the truck and all its equipment. This new truck will help us a lot and we feel so happy.”
Harold and Sue moved to Bucerias in 2002 and he wanted to become a volunteer fireman because he was a volunteer fireman in Texas and wanted to continue this tradition. Harold contacted the local bomberos and eventually made contact with the director of Proteccion Civil in the state of Nayarit. He has been working with them ever since.
“One day about four months ago the director of Proteccion Civil contacted my wife and I and said they needed some support for a fire truck that he was aware of in San Jose, California,” says Harold, “and he needed some financial support and wondered if we would be able and willing to help out.”
The director told them the fire truck was essentially free and that they would only be paying for the equipment that came with it, the ladders, the hose, nozzles, generator, lights and various other equipment. Plus, the shipping from San Jose to the Mexican Border.
“After some logistical maneuvering, we arranged for the fire truck to be put on a platform truck from San Jose to the border town of Tiajuana,” says Harold, “there it would have to sit and go through processing at Hacienda, the taxing body of Mexico, at that point, once it was processed at Hacienda, it would again be shipped on a platform truck to Tepic, the capital of Nayarit, and then from there it would be transported to La Cruz, where it would eventually be stationed.”
Total cost was $3500 dollars for the fire truck equipment and $2500 for transportation from San Jose to Tiajuana, which was donated by Harold and Sue. The rest of the transport tab was picked up by Mexican authorities.
The fire truck/pumper is a 1971 Seagrave with a 500 gallon water capacity and the ability to pump so much more from tankers. It will service the North Shore and in emergencies Puerto Vallarta, so everyone can feel safe.