Kansas Paraguay Partners Helps Paraguayan Flood Victims

Paraguay had a devastating flood that by some accounts displaced more than 300,000 people. While Paraguay experiences floods almost every year this was one of the worst in history.  KPP member Ceci Martinez initiated a fund raising effort among Kansas-Paraguay supporters that resulted in raising substantial funds.  Here is her report with some photos.

These are the results of our Bañado Sur campaign:

* We got two fifty-pound suitcases full of winter clothes. One went to Bañado Sur and the other to Bañado Tacumbú.

* A first total cash donation of $850.00 used to buy 82 blankets

* A second total cash donation of $330.00 that will be used to buy nonperishable food.

Thank you so very much to all of those who supported this effort especially toKansas Paraguay Partners for receiving the money donations.

As you see in the pictures, there is still a long way to go. Please, please, please support other efforts to help people who are still unable to go back to their homes.

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More Fire Equipment Photos from Paraguay

Our southern partners (CPK) sent more photos of the fire equipment. Read the previous post for the story of the equipment. In the first photo the third person from the left is Ramon Grange one of the key people in getting this project to become a success. Enjoy

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Donated Fire Fighting Equipment from Kansas Arrives in Paraguay

Kansas Firefighter Equipment Delivered in Paraguay

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A container of firefighting equipment has landed in Paraguay and has been delivered to members of Comité Paraguay Kansas (our counterpart) Emergency Preparedness Committee headed by Steve Richards.  This nears the end of a 7 year saga that began with a cultural exchange to Kansas by Jorge Martín.

In 2009 Steve and Lorraine Richards along with several other Kansas Paraguay Partners (KPP) attended a Partners of the Americas (POA) regional meeting in Chicago.  At this meeting we all learned about the Wisconsin Nicaragua Partners remarkable ability to ship donated firefighter equipment to Nicaragua.  Steve came away from this meeting with a smile and the name of the Denton Program.

Steve and Lorraine were the lead KPP members on the Emergency Preparedness Committee and envisioned sending donated equipment from Kansas to Paraguay.  Under a POA travel grant Paraguayan firefighters had been to Kansas and indicated the need for updated equipment.  But why would Kansas’ fire departments donate equipment to Paraguay rather then to the many small rural communities in Kansas? There are standards for firefighter equipment and with technological advancement the standards change and fire departments must update to the latest equipment. This means that Kansas fire departments must get rid of old equipment.  Steve and Lorraine were glad to help out.

Now KPP had an interesting problem.  Steve’s basement was soon out of space to house donated equipment.  Under Steve’s leadership KPP bought an old shipping container and Steve arranged for it to be housed on the Wichita Fire Department’s property.  This storage and work space also came with the beginning of Scott Fromme’s involvement in KPP.  Scott is a Wichita fireman with lots of international experience.  Under a POA travel grant he traveled to Paraguay to make certain that the donated equipment could actually be used rather than sit in some warehouse because it didn’t work in Paraguay.  Scott visited lots of Paraguayan fire departments and learned a few words of Guaraní that helped forge a bond with Paraguayans.

Donated equipment kept coming in and Steve was learning about the Denton Program. Here is how the Department of Defense describes the Denton Program.

The purpose of the Denton Program is to allow U.S. based non-governmental sources to transport humanitarian aid at little or no cost to the donor, while simultaneously putting the extra space on U.S. military transport assets to good use. This program is jointly administered by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Department of State (DOS) and Department of Defense (DOD). Transportation is generally available to close destinations such as Latin and South America; however, the availability of transportation to particular countries is affected by current military and political situations. Transportation can neither be scheduled nor guaranteed; and therefore, cannot be used to meet urgent needs or deadlines.

Steve met the challenge of satisfying two government agencies and KPP was approved.  This is far from the end of the story.  I will let Steve tell more of the story.  Please click and enjoy.

 The Rest of the Story

Fire Equipment Coverage

Here is even better coverage of the KPP Emergency Preparedness Project.



Fire Equipment on its way!

Check out this good article from Wichita about the KPP project to ship donated fire equipment to Paraguay.



Fire fighting equipment ready to ship!

Thanks to the persistence of Steve and Lorraine Richards Kansas Paraguay Partners now has a shipment of firefighting equipment packed and read to ship to Paraguay.  This is the culmination of much work over several years.  Steve and Lorraine first collected equipment from cooperating fire departments in Kansas.  Then when their basement was getting pretty full, KPP purchased a shipping container to be used for storage.  The Wichita-Sedgwick County Fire Department graciously agreed to have the storage unit in one of their locations. After another couple of years of paperwork Steve and Lorraine received the go ahead to prepare for shipment.

On Saturday, January 18th ten volunteers of the Wichita – Sedgwick County Fire Reserve joined 4 members of KPP Emergency Preparedness Committee to prepare donated equipment for airlift. Two-dozen pallets were stacked, wrapped and strapped with more than 10 thousand pounds of cargo.

We are not done yet. We anxiously await the flight schedule.

Bomberos Project Work Day

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Aprox. 25 metros cúbicos, hasta ahora . . . Approx. 34 cubic yards, so far!

Enrollando 480 metros de manguera. . .
Rolling 1,600 feet of hose . . .
Kansas Paraguay Partners welcomes opportunities to develop appropriate
collaboration with Kansas fire, EMS and emergency response agencies.

To learn more about the Bomberos Project CLICK HERE!

To offer donations or inquire about involvement or details,
please contact Steve or Lorraine Richards
at slrichards@cox.net or 316-284-2042.

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