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When Nova Scotia resident Shaun Burke’s friend returned from a trip to various small communities in Mexico, he noticed something a little disturbing about the firefighters who worked there.

The crews he saw were dangerously unequipped to handle live fires. Burke was told that some of them had no fireproof jackets, while others were using antique masks to wade through smoke.

“Literally, they have flip-flops and sandals for the most part,” Burke said. “They may have an odd jacket or one guy will have a helmet.”

A firefighter himself, Burke wanted to do something so that those Mexican brigades could have the gear they needed to do the job safely. So he reached out to various fire stations in the province to see if they would be willing to donate some of the gear that they would otherwise be throwing away. Only a short time later, Burke now has a garage filled with dozens of helmets and boots and over 200 pairs of pants and jackets.

“If it did all go out in the garbage or the trash or wherever, it would be a shame that someone didn’t benefit from it,” he said.

Even though much of the gear is approaching its expiry date, it can still be used for many firefighter-related duties.

Oh, and did we mention another Canadian firefighter recently saved an entire family in Mexico? Way to do us proud, guys!

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