Spanish Translation: Dos Camiones de Bomberos Un Regalo Por Vida
Stockton, CA – During the morning of Monday March 28, two retired fire engines roared for the last time in Stockton as they headed south to a new home in Empalme, Sonora Mexico. The obsolete engines, “were first line 15-years ago,” explained Captain Jonathan Smith adding, “today the engines are estimated at a $5,000 dollars [each],” scrap metal value.
While the engines may not be suited for U.S. Fire Engine standards, “the two units will make a huge difference to the lives of Empalme Residents,” noted Louie Gonzales who has seen firsthand the need for the firefighting equipment at the sister city. “My wife [Lucero Gonzales] and I, visit Empalme at least once year,” Gonzales recognized that the nearly 100 thousand residents have limited equipment in a city known for its dry and warm weather.
“Two years of hard work, raising funds, completing paperwork between two governments; the project has finally become a reality,” said Rosalinda Galaviz, Chair of the Stockton-Empalme Sister Cities.
Fire Captain Dan Morris remembered the conversation when representatives of the Sister City tour Stockton’s Fire Station 2 and the question was brought up, “what do you do with your older engines when you are done with them?” Morris answered, “They go to auction,” to which rose the question, “is there a way we can get them?”
“It’s a great feeling to know that the engines will be put to good use,” said Captain Morris during a 45 minute departure gathering by community members. The engines are estimated to have more than a decade of functionality and “the two units are compatible; which will be beneficial for parts in the future when one of the two breaks down,” said Morris.
Members of the community gathered to appreciate the City and the Department’s donation. Stockton Catholic Dioceses’ Bishop, Stephen Blair, blessed the drivers, the engines and their journey before the two engines departed to their new home.
While the two volunteer drivers; Tracy Firefighter, Clarence Marquez, and Retired Firefighter Roger Gray will meet their Empalme Counterparts in Tucson. The fire engines will be accompanied by Stockton residents all the way to the destined fire district in Empalme. “I am excited to be the designated drive on heading the caravan,” said Susana Dominguez who will be accompanied by Rosalinda Galaviz and Ana Zapien. They are expected to reach Empalme by March 30, 2016 midday.
Bilingual Weekly (BW News) – Your source of local news covering topics of Latino interest in Stockton, California; and San Joaquin County.