On Nov. 18, members from the Lincoln County Ambulance District filled a truck with used medical equipment that was originally destined for storage. But instead of storing the old equipment away, LCAD donated all of it the International Fire Relief Mission.
Although the equipment was still in working order, it was outdated by EMS standards in the United States and had long outlived its usefulness to the residents in Lincoln County. By working with IFRM, LCAD is giving the equipment a second life in developing countries where it is needed.
IFRM is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that provides humanitarian aid to fire and EMS first responders in developing countries by recycling serviceable firefighting and EMS equipment. IFRM then dispatches teams to the receiving countries to demonstrate and provide the necessary information to safely and effectively use the donated gear.
With its headquarters in Minnesota, IFRM has recently established a collection and distribution hub in the St. Louis area. The donations from agencies in Missouri and Illinois will be staged at this new hub until packaged for shipment to its final destination somewhere around the world.
“This donation is extremely generous,” said Ryan Ruckel, IFRM’s regional coordinator for Missouri and Illinois. “Due to strict regulations in the United States, equipment must be replaced as it ages or when technology renders it useless. Many emergency service organizations have no idea what to do with the old equipment and simply throw it all away.”
The donated equipment is valuable to emergency responders in other countries where they often don’t have any equipment to work with. It could make an impactful difference in the ability of a fire or ambulance crew being able to save someone’s life, according to Ruckel.
IFRM continuously seeks donations of used fire and EMS equipment from departments all over the United States. The group’s members draw no salary and any money it raises is used to deliver equipment and instruct the recipients. Organization wishing to donate or get involved with IFRM can contact Ruckel at 636-492-1730.
By donating outdated equipment to the International Fire Relief Mission, LCAD is giving medics and firefighters in developing countries greater ability to help their communities.