Panhandle fire departments donate gear to be used in Guatemala

POTTER, NE — Multiple volunteer fire departments are giving their old gear to fellow firefighters in Central America. 

The Potter, Sidney, Dalton and Gurley all donated equipment to be used in Guatemala through AMEDICAusa. 

Potter Volunteer Fire Department public information officer Bob Hilpert said all the gear given away cannot be used by departments here anymore due to state and federal firefighter equipment standards. 

The departments contributed 75 complete sets of bunker gear, 18 pairs of boots, 30 helmets, 33 lengths of hose along with wild land jackets, air pack bottles and other protective gear. Potter Volunteer Fire Department members loaded the gear into a truck for to be sent off Sunday.

AMEDICAusa takes in the equipment and transports it to its Chicago warehouse. From there, items are sorted, packed, shipped and distributed amongst fire companies in Guatemala. According to the organization's website, nearly all fire equipment used in the Central American country has seen previous use in either the United States or Canada. 

Short for Aid for Medicine, Education and Disasters In Central America, AMEDICAusa is a non-governmental non-profit organization that provides disaster relief, medical care and education support in rural Guatemala.