PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- For decades, law enforcement in Pueblo has engaged with its sister city's first responders in Chihuahua, Mexico, providing training and gear whenever they can.
Thursday was the latest installment of the relationship, as the Pueblo Fire Department gifted 53 equipment packs, 100 bottles and 250 masks to the Chihuahua firefighters. Gear that will greatly aid first responders in the most hazardous conditions.
Pueblo Fire Capt. Woody Percival spoke on the impact of the donation.
"This is probably quite an upgrade for them, and it is a significant donation," Percival said. "I would say each pack typically is several thousands of dollars new, and when we upgraded a couple of years ago the plan was to get these to our brothers and sisters in Chihuahua."
Six firefighters made the trip from Chihuahua to Pueblo. The fire chief of Chihuahua says the gear will transform the way they are able to do their jobs.
"This gear will help the work we do in Chihuahua," Fire Chief Joel Estrada said. "It will give more security to our firefighters, and help them be more efficient, as well as benefit the community."
Estrada says their current equipment is 30 years older than the newly received equipment, making the 17-hour journey well worth it.
"We have a 30-year difference in the equipment we have, making the 17-hour journey feel real short," Estrada said.
The impact on the community of Chihuahua, Mexico with me immense, according to Chief Estrada.
"The people of Chihuahua will be able to have direct service from the firefighters. They will be able to do their job more securely," Estrada said.
The firefighters are receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as heading up to the San Isabel mountains to test out their new gear and obtain updated training procedures from Pueblo Fire.