Our projects are geared to meet each department's current training needs, whether skilled tactical, medical or both. Our goal is to provide excellent professional training that will equip the fire and EMS professionals with knowledge, skills and confidence, in order to benefit the department and the community each serves.
Project 1. Sangolqui, Ecuador-September 2016
The first Gear Up trip took place in September 2016 in Sangolqui, Ecuador at the Ruminahui Fire Department, and the team consisted of 6 men (4 firefighters and 2 police medics) from Greenville, North Carolina, in addition to Pastor Jeff Duvall, Darin Coyle and a couple amazing Ecuadorian translators.
What an incredible launch week it turned out to be as the team served 6 days and nights, giving of themselves professionally and spiritually.
The end result? Not only did the department's personnel receive excellent technical rescue training throughout the week, but the Gospel was daily proclaimed and 4 lives were visibly changed: 2 men rededicated themselves to Christ and 2 men made a profession of faith for the very first time.
Project 2. San Vicente, Ecuador-March 2017
San Vicente is located about 90 minutes from Manta in the coastal region of Ecuador. 42 firefighters (both paid and volunteers) from 9 small departments were represented in this week of training and ministering. What a blessed, though very arduous, week it was for the 4 participating US firefighters (2 of which served on the first trip).
Each day the Ecuadorian firefighters were trained in basic rescue skills and were, most importantly, presented the life-saving message of the Gospel. When it was all said and done, the team left San Vicente knowing that their brothers in the fire service were better equipped to do their professional jobs, and Jesus' sacrificial love had been taught and demonstrated.
Two firefighters, one a volunteer rookie and the other a high-ranking veteran, both accepted Christ as their personal Savior. Additionally, contact was made with a local evangelical church that committed to reaching out to these new Christians.
Project 3. Santa Lucia, Ecuador- September 2017
Over the course of 5 days, the small Gideon's Army that showed up at the Santa Lucia Fire Department trained over 50 firefighters from 8 different departments in vehicle extrication and fires, building collapse, fire attacks, and patient assessment. Most importantly, they completed what is at the crux of Gear Up Ministry, and that is sharing the love of Christ and the message of the Gospel. When a salvation invitation was given at the end of the week, 10 firefighters raised their hands in response. Pastor Jeff Davoll (who lives about 45 minutes from Santa Lucia) will be instrumental in the weeks and months ahead in counseling with these individuals and coming alongside of them in discipleship training.
As always, God is so good. And when He whittles, there's nothing little about it.