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Fire Department Chiefs and U.S. Ambassador Mark Culmination of Training Supported by U.S. Government

Ambassador with Fire department chiefs

Fire Department Chiefs and U.S. Ambassador Mark Culmination of Training Supported by U.S. Government

Mexico City, December 14, 2012 — U.S. Ambassador Anthony Wayne, along with partners from Mexican federal, state, and city agencies, today marked the culmination of an extensive capacity-building and training program for chiefs of Fire Departments from seven Mexican cities, in a ceremony at the “Ave Fenix” fire station in Mexico City.  The training, benefiting over 400 firefighters, was conducted over a three-month period in Baja California, Chiapas, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Oaxaca, Mexico City and San Luis Potosi, and is part of ongoing coordination between agencies of the U.S. government and our Mexican counterparts to better prepare for and manage emergency incidents that can adversely affect the citizens of both countries. It was funded by the Humanitarian Assistance Program of the U.S. Defense Department’s Northern Command (USNORTHCOM).

Also participating in the event were Lic. Dr. Octavio Tripp Villanueva, (General Director for Technical and Scientific Cooperation of the Mexican Agency for International Cooperation and Development of the Secretariat of Foreign Relations); Lic. Luis Felipe Puente Espinosa, (General Coordinator of Civil Protection of SEGOB); Commander Adolfo Miguel Benavente Duque, (President Association of Mexican Fire Chiefs); Superintendent Raul Esquivel Carbajal, (Superintendent of Fire Fighters of Mexico City) and Mr. Robert Mackay (Chief of Humanitarian Assistance for USNORTHCOM).

Ambassador Wayne congratulated the participants and said, “This fire fighting training program and materials donation represents a collaboration and relationship that transcends our borders and recognizes our enduring friendship. Firefighters are some of the bravest and most selfless among us, and we are pleased to support and enhance their ability to save lives.”

The training was conducted by CHEMONICS Inc, a U.S. company contracted by USNORTHCOM, which specializes in firefighter training.  The 48 hour course was conducted over five days and designed to meet the needs of fire executive management for Mexico. 

Working in coordination with Government of Mexico Civil Protection, the USNORTHCOM Humanitarian Assistance Program staff developed a three-phase training program to train firefighters at all rank levels.  Phase One included the training of over 400 fire chiefs, Phase Two will focus on lieutenants and captains, and Phase Three on actual frontline fire fighters.  USNORTHCOM’s Humanitarian Assistance Program also provided the manuals, handbooks and other reference material needed for the training. 

Over the past six years, USNORTHCOM’s Humanitarian Assistance Program has worked closely with the Government of Mexico’s Administrator of Federal Civil Protection and the United States Embassy in Mexico to strengthen our partnership in emergency preparedness and civil protection by delivering a number of initiatives valued at approximately U.S. $7.3 million.

Calling the cooperation a “model,” Secretary of Gobernacion’s General Coordinator for Civil Protection Luis Felipe Puente Espinosa stated: “With the support of training, we are striving to standardize knowledge – not only within the country, but also in keeping with international standards – with the purpose of strengthening our response capacities, as well as the coordination between each of the principals that form the system.”