This fire brigade is yours…

By Juan Antonio Ruiz

«This Body is Yours» is the suggestive name for the gala to benefit the Heroic, Historic and Honorable Fire Department of San Miguel de Allende. It promises to be a night of fun, dancing, and music. There will be great food with the theme «Fire Cuisine» by Chefs Armando Prats and Mariano Ochoa, which is already guarantees the enjoyment of a spectacular four-course dinner. Along with all this, there will be an art auction with pieces by Ana Julia Aguado, Marvin Berk, Ri Anderson, Linda Laino, Polly Stark, George Kalmar and others.

Undoubtedly, a magnificent experience within the range of events that the city offers every day. But this one in particular, a truly, noble and charitable purpose—the work of firefighters, who do their job with well-being in mind. They serve the residents not only in San Miguel de Allende. They have come together to serve their fellow men since ancient times. Now it is our turn to help them.

The name of the event is ambiguous and can divert your thoughts in many different directions. But «this body is yours» is a reality, it is the reason for the existence of this group of men and women dedicated to protecting and helping those who need it. A body that works and lives, that provides care and service in cases as diverse as anyone could imagine.

«This Body is Yours» is an invitation for the residents of San Miguel to see their Firefighters, to know and appreciate their work. After all, their job is to save your life or mine. You should know that the work of the San Miguel de Allende Volunteer Fire Department is for its residents when they face danger or are in need of help. None of us are untouchable. None of us are sure that we may not suffer an accident at any time and under the simplest situation; that our house, business, company or whatever we have, can be at risk. Are we prepared? Unfortunately, the vast majority would have to admit that they are not prepared. That is why we must remember that our Volunteer Firefighters are willing, and prepared regardless of the hour or day to attend to emergency services for any one of us.

The preparation and readiness of firefighters (not only in San Miguel) costs a lot of money. On average, each trip to a service costs 2,500 pesos, considering the use of fuels and inputs, wear and tear on emergency units, and man-hours. Firefighters must be properly protected with personal protection equipment that is expensive given its characteristics. There are boots, gloves, helmet, pants, jacket and other outer protections, and autonomous breathing equipment. This does not even include the need for various pieces of equipment in each unit for their specific functions—tools, specialized implements for each type of service, accessories and hand tools, whether hydraulic or electrical; lighting, specialized teams for rescues in different scenarios, stairs, sections of hose to reach areas that are often inaccessible, such as the streets and alleys in San Miguel. This is only part of what is used on a normal day at the Salida a Querétaro fire station, where to date an average of 65 services are provided weekly. It is not only fires, but gas leaks, car accidents, incidents with electricity, and other events. There is always the commitment to safeguard the life and integrity of the residents of San Miguel. 

Another of the important functions that this body (…which is yours) attends to day by day is related to prevention. This is aimed especially at children and students who are taught topics related to avoiding fires or accidents.

At present, the growth of the city has made the work of the San Miguel Volunteer Firefighters move beyond everything related to fire. There are various different scenarios that are critical to the life, and health of the residents. For all this, vehicles and equipment with particular characteristics are needed, as well as the training involved in using them. The acquisition of all this is expensive, and as they are an NGO, they do not receive any support from the government. They have to raise resources for themselves.

That is why the Board of the Fire Department works to obtain these resources through donations, events and other programs. They resort to the generosity of the people, as will take place with this particular event at La Casona, where chefs, artists and many sponsors have decided to be part of this great event.

If you have spare tools in your home or garden, a ladder, or furniture, they are welcome at our station. They can all be used for emergency care. Your ideas, donations and contributions are welcome. We will be very pleased to greet and talk with you, at the upcoming gala: This Body is Yours.

The event will take place on June 22 at La Casona, and promises to be a lot of fun. The personal donation is 2,000 pesos, which may be deductible. If you buy a whole table you will get a good discount. Tickets can be purchased at Café La Ventana, Sollano 11 and El Sindicato at Recreo 4. You can call 415 100 3857 or 415 101 4844 to request your tickets. Come and be part of this event, meet us, help us, have fun, sing and dance with us. Be our hands and our hearts, because «This Body is Yours.»