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'Los Bomberos' learn from L.A.'s finest

October 27, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
More than two dozen firefighters from Mexico are getting some special training from some of L.A.'s finest.The Los Angeles Fire Department is hosting 26 Bomberos teaching them how to use the latest equipment, and helping them bring those tools back home.

Los Bomberos is spanish for firefighters and the 26 are from three cities in Baja California.

Naelle Marin is the only female firefighter or Bombera and has been a fire inspector but now is making the transition to firefighter in her home city of Ensenada.

The Mexican firefighters are here to train for two days at a level and intensity that's unknown in their home cities of Tecate, Ensenada and Tijuana.

Los Bomberos is an organization made up of Southland firefighters who sponsor the training.

The two day training session is conducted in Spanish by bilingual L.A. City Fire crews.

"It's a very worthwhile program for us and it's a thrill for them," Capt. Milton Urguilla from the LAFD said. "It just enhances the relationship between our city and their cities."

The Mexican firefighters are only in Los Angeles for two days, but during that time they learn survival techniques, search and rescue, and forcible entry.

Forcible entry requires power saws and other cutting tools, which many Mexican fire departments do not have. But Los Bomberos also sponsors programs to raise money to help buy them this type of equipment. Trainees then go back to Mexico to help train their colleagues at home.

"There is a lot to learn," LAFD Capt. Phil Dominguez said. "We're throwing a lot at them in a quick amount of time. But we're making the most of it and I think they adapting to it well."

The Mexcians say these lessons are important, but so are the friendships they make during their stay in Los Angeles.

"We're learning a lot," Marco Olmos from Tijuana Fire said. "There is no way that we can take this kind of training in Mexico, so I want to thank everybody."


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