Behind the Badge: IMPD officer, IFD officials team up to help first responders in Chile

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- An officer with IMPD along with officials from IFD, recently teamed up to help a group of first responders thousands of miles away.

Last month, Officer Carlos Trincado and members of IFD helped out a volunteer fire department in Chile by donating 30 full sets of firefighting gear.

Officer Trincado is a native of Chile. Earlier this year he says his family told him about a volunteer fire department there that was in desperate need of some new equipment. According to Trincado, all of the fire departments in Chile are volunteer departments and up to date equipment is something many lack.

“How come these people that work so hard, have so few resources? They’re doing it for free; they aren’t doing it for money. What they do, helping the community, is all because they want to do it,” Trincado said.

Trincado had a friend who was a former IFD firefighter reach out to officials and ask if they had any gear to spare. Turns out they did.

“We were able to give them thirty full sets of gear, and quite frankly it’s probably gear that they could not have otherwise afforded,” IFD Deputy Chief of Logistics Jason Kelly said.

The gear IFD was able to donate had all been previously used, but was in great shape. Quartermaster Captain Marilee Richards had to spend roughly forty man-hours to make sure all the gear was sized correctly, cleaned, free from any disrepair and able to perform correctly.

“It took us at least a full work week. It was quite time consuming to get it all done, but in the end it was pretty worth it,” Richards said.

Trincado says he never expected to receive so much help from the IFD, particularly for a group of strangers that lived thousands of miles away.

“They’ll (the Chilean fire department) have the ability to get to places where they weren’t able to before, because they didn’t have the proper uniform,” Trincado said.

The shipment of donated gear arrived in Chile late last week. Trincado says eventually he would like to take a trip back to Chile to meet the firefighters in person.