SMALL TOWN IN ARGENTINA GETS A NEW JERSEY FIRE ENGINE     

Story and Photos by Ron Jeffers

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Through the kindness of the City of Englewood officials and the Fire Department, a town of La Guna Paiva, Argentina, will be getting a custom built fire engine to protect it citizens, replacing a commercial vehicle with a water tank.

At Englewood Fire Headquarters, on Wednesday morning, Fire Captain Mike Johnston turned over the ownership papers of a 1998 Emergency One model pumper to Robert Nunez, Jr., president of the 911 FUND.  Nunez, a Jersey City firefighter, and John “JB” Beslanovitz, donation coordinator, accepted the pumper with gratitude for their fellow firefighters in another country.

The 911 FUND was created after the 9/11 attacks on our country.  The organization was conceived by former members of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) with all of their efforts being voluntary.  The organization neither request nor accepts financial contributions for the work that they do.

Current members work to acquire fire apparatus, ambulances and related equipment and then donate it, along with training, to public safety organizations that need it.  One hundred percent of the training and equipment is given free-of-charge to firefighters and emergency first responders, according to their web site.

Over the past years, the 911 FUND has donated emergency vehicles and equipment to Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Hati, Panama, Paraguay, Spain, South Africa and Uruguay.

Transportation of donated equipment and apparatus has typically been provided for free or at minimal cost from freight forwards and shipping companies, who share the organization’s goals and values.

City firefighters prepared the apparatus for the 911 FUND members along with operational information.  This pumper was recently replace with a new 2018 model.

Also present was retired Jersey City Battalion Chief Charles Lind, Jr., who is president of the New Jersey Deputy & Battalion Fire Chiefs Association.

“To date, “ Lind said, “through the members of the Deputy & Battalion Fire Chiefs Association, we have donated over 100 sets of personal protective equipment, apparatus and training to our brothers abroad.”

Englewood Fire Chief Erik Enersen, who was on vacation, is a member of the fire chief’s association.