Summary of Brazilian Firefighters Fellowship to Kansas

Two Brazilian firefighters from the state of Pernambuco, Brazil spent 8 weeks in Kansas from April 15- June 15, 2008. Anderson Barros from Recife, Brazil and Moacir Porfiro from Petrolina, Brazil are both captains in the Pernambuco Fire Brigade. They were on a fellowship program from Partners of the Americas. Kansas Paraguay Partners was asked by the Partners of the Americas to host because their Georgia partners were unable to host because they don’t have any type of bomberos/firefighters program. Lorraine and Steve Richards volunteered to coordinate their visit to Kansas.

They spent 4 weeks in the Newton area and 4 weeks in the Topeka-Lawrence area. They were able to observe how various sized departments are organized, how training is done, and how the various organizations cooperate to provide emergency services. Time was spent at the Hutchinson Community College Fire Science Department, Kansas Fire Marshall’s, Kansas Fire and Rescue Institute, Emergency Management departments, and various fire departments in those areas of Kansas.

There were 756 hours of volunteer time dedicated to the project. The hours were divided between 14 people. Both firefighters also met with Governor Sebelius and were given recognition by the mayor of Wichita, Kansas.

The cooperation of the various departments and organizations was wonderful. The fellows were impressed with the willingness of the organizations and departments to allow them to observe and participate in activities. They felt they learned many new ideas that would be good to take back to Brazil. They were also able to make many contacts through out the state and teach us about the fire departments and emergency services in their country.

This was a very successful exchange and fellowship. We were also able to get the fellows connected with their Georgia partners and have identified continuing support for them from the Georgia partners. Lorraine Richards will be going to Recife, Brazil in November to make a presentation to the Georgia-Pernambuco Partners about the 2008 bomberos exchange.

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