On December 9th the Springerville RC President Bryon Harrington and his wife & Club Treasurer, Jackie went to Nogales, Mexico to donate an automatic, bilingual defibrillator to the Nogales Fire Department. This defibrillator is the first of a kind for them and the only one in the entire department with soon to be 6 fire stations.
The day started off meeting the President of the Nogales Rotary Club, Rogelio, who along with the Captain of the Fire Department Victor, took us to breakfast, then a quick TV and Newspaper interview about the donation with pictures of course. After that, they took us on a tour of the town and the 5 fire houses they have in operation with the 6th currently under construction. We had the opportunity to talk with the different fire chiefs and some of the crews, as well as look at their trucks and equipment, which is all donated by local and international businesses and charities.
Every truck has a name, from their big ladder truck, Lord of the Rungs, their large fire truck, The Fat Girl and even the small fire truck, The Baby. One of the coolest trucks they showed us was the original, and first fire truck ever in Nogales, from 1926. Which is still in mint condition and operational. It was even decorated for the Christmas Parade during our visit.
We learned while driving around with Captain Victor that the Nogales, Mexico FD works on both sides of the border and so does the Nogales, Arizona FD. If either of them need help, they just make a call and the border patrol just runs them through immediately. That is real cooperation!
This project was born of a donation of a water truck that the club acquired from a local business last year. The challenge was getting the money to have the truck delivered. Since it was past the grant submission deadline, a call was put out and 4 clubs in District 5510 came to the rescue with the funds.That truck has since been painted and named "Patrick", as in the starfish character from the Spongebob Squarepants children's cartoon. The business that donated the  water truck, was owned by a former Rotarian who has since passed away, but his daughters carry on the charitable practice and ties with Nogales.
The water truck and the defibrillator are just the beginning of our relation with the Nogales FD. We had a really good time, made some great friends and even got a little bit of good PR for Rotary.
Bryon Harrington