At the request of a Newton resident whose family descends from Mexico, firefighters from three Iowa towns scoured the supply closets of their home fire stations for any spare equipment to donate to their fellow public safety officials working south of the border.
Kimberly Lopez couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the sheer amount of firefighter turnout gear piled onto the garage floor of the Newton Fire Department shortly after the first week of May. It was exactly what she had asked for and more. Much more, in fact. She was practically speechless when Newton Fire Chief Jarrod Wellik sent her the inventory sheet.
Forty-six bunker coats. Thirty-nine pairs of fire resistant trousers. Twenty-five helmets, many equipped with visors. Twenty-one protective hoods. Nineteen pairs of thick gloves. Thirteen pairs of fire boots. Altogether, the Iowa Association of Professional Fire Chiefs (IAPFC) estimated the cost of the equipment would be about $88,000 if purchased new.