September 2nd, 2013- Day one

Monday September 2nd– Day One


Our flight left at 1700 and we all arrived at the airport around 1430.   Along with the 11 guys going this year, we were also planning on shipping over 1,000 pounds of bunker gear and equipment… for free.  Although Mitch had worked out all the details weeks ago, there was no record of the agreement included with our ticket information.  Fortunately, Mitch was able to work his magic and we finally got the good word that all our stuff gets on the plane for free!  Thank you American Airlines for accommodating us so well!

The flight left right on time and we had no issues with the plane, a first for our trip.

Once we got into Guatemala, everything went smoothly with customs and after they opened up a few of the boxes of gear to inspect, they let us go without requesting any money for taxes. Gracias!

This was the second time we attempted getting gear into the country, and I do believe God’s favor was on us as we moved it across borders so easily and cheaply.

We stopped and got some authentic Guatemala tacos on the way to the station and made it to Station 69 around 9:00 local time.  As we approached the station the bomberos welcomed us by turning on all the apparatus lights and sirens and blowing the horns.  Apparently they only do this on very special occasions (Christmas, New Years etc.).  It was a really kind gesture, and loud.

It has been great to be back in country and reconnect with old friends.  We weren’t here but an hour before the ambulance caught a call and three of our guys jumped in to help.

Tonight they are running two ambulances out of the station with only three staff, so if things get hairy, the second ambulance really just acts as a taxi.  Normally they have two bomberos per ambulance.  I have no doubt that we will be utilized on calls if we hop in and go with them.

Tomorrow we will be preparing for class, shopping for food for the week, and spending time with the crew at 69.

This year’s trip includes 8 returning guys and 3 new ones.  A good mix in my opinion.

This year’s crew is :

Clay Rozell- Denton FD

Robert Vaughan- Denton FD

Duane Cavett- Denton FD

Chris Lillie- Denton FD

Chad Neely- Denton FD

Hayden Mooney- Lewisville FD

Kevin Tarlton- Ft. Worth FD

Jim Blair- Farmers Branch FD

Brian Stacy- Coppell FD

Lan Leavell- Denton FD Chaplain

Mitch Gray- DFW FD


2 Responses to “September 2nd, 2013- Day one”

  1. Chase Kirby Says:

    Hope you guys have a great trip, wish I could be there. Tell the guys I will see them next year. Be safe!

  2. 054 Craig Gajdos Says:


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