Volunteers Help PeruDo you love a good story about people helping one another? I certainly do, and I learned about a great one in Orem this week. Last November individuals from Orem’s Public Safety Department were invited to join a humanitarian delegation to Peru. The delegation included experts in education, agriculture, irrigation, nutrition and many other areas. Director Mike Larsen and Battalion Chief Layne Pace paid their way from their own pockets to lend their expertise to the country of Peru, specifically regarding fire fighting. They learned that the whole country has one fire department and very limited resources. The budget for the entire country wouldn’t even cover the current needs of Orem and Provo. In Peru, thousands of calls for help go unanswered each year. When Mike and Layne met with fire personnel, they asked about what was needed most. They were told the number one need is fire engines, the number two need is fire engines, and you guessed it, the number three need is fire engines. Peru’s limited firefighting equipment dates back to the 1970s and older, and there isn’t even enough old equipment to go around. When they returned to the States, Mike and Layne contacted local dealers for fire equipment and they located a quality older engine that had been sold when Geneva Steel no longer needed it. The engine was originally selling for $15,000, but the price of $8,000 was soon negotiated. Peru was not able to secure the funds for this purchase, so a local company, One on One Marketing of Lehi, stepped up to provide funds for the purchase and some small repairs. Volunteers from the company also cleaned the engine on Monday, March 5, in preparation for it to be driven to California then shipped to Peru. Layne said this particular engine was an incredible find, because not only is it in great shape, it also came with lots of equipment—everything from hoses and ladders to breathing apparatus. “Usually used engines come with tires, and that’s it,” Layne said. This engine has a lot of great equipment that is badly needed in Peru. The success of this venture has inspired others to continue to look for ways to help the people of Peru. I commend Mike, Layne, the Orem Fire Department, One on One Marketing, Globus Relief, and many other volunteers who made this generous donation to Peru possible. This engine will be a great benefit for some of Peru’s 17,000 volunteer firefighters. Well done!
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