U.S. government trains firefighters in 7 Mexican cities

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs | December 17, 2012

MEXICO CITY – The United States Embassy in Mexico, working in close coordination with the Department of Defense’s U.S. Northern Command, recently announced the completion of the first phase of training for more than 400 Mexican firefighters in seven cities.

Ambassador Anthony “Tony” Wayne congratulated the participants and said, “This fire fighting training program and materials donation represents a collaboration and relationship that transcends our borders and recognizes our enduring friendship. Firefighters are some of the bravest and most selfless among us, and we are pleased to support and enhance their ability to save lives.”

Working in coordination with the Government of Mexico’s Civil Protection organization, USNORTHCOM’s Humanitarian Assistance Program staff developed a three-phase training program to train Mexican firefighters at all rank levels.

The first phase, which recently concluded, trained approximately 450 fire chiefs; Phase Two will focus on lieutenants and captains, and Phase Three on actual frontline firefighters.

The training was conducted over a three-month period in Baja California, Chiapas, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Mexico City, Oaxaca and San Luis Potosi.

The training was conducted by CHEMONICS Inc, a U.S. company contracted by USNORTHCOM, which specializes in firefighter training. The 48-hour, 5-day course was designed to meet the needs of fire executive management for Mexico.

USNORTHCOM’s HAP also provided the manuals, handbooks and other reference material needed for the training.

Over the past six years, USNORTHCOM’s HAP has worked closely with the Government of Mexico’s Administrator of Federal Civil Protection and the United States Embassy-Mexico country team to provide a number of initiatives valued at approximately $7.3 million designed to further the United States Government’s and Government of Mexico’s mutual security cooperation goals, primarily in support of Civil Protection identified federal level requirements.

General Coordinator Luis Felipe Puente Espinosa added: “With the support of training, we are striving to standardize knowledge – not only within the country, but also in keeping with international standards – with the purpose of strengthening our response capacities, as well as the coordination between each of the principals that form the system.”