Portland, OR USA- Cornhole Tournament

First Local 1159/ GMR Cornhole Tournament Scheduled

14 November 2018

Clackamas County Professional Firefighters IAFF Local 1159, along with Global Mission Readiness, will be holding a cornhole fundraising tournament at Portland Cider Company on Saturday, November 17th. Funds raised go toward L1159 community fund and GMR international firefighter training.

This is an exciting opportunity for both organizations to raise money to help others. The Local 1159 community fund helps in the local area with scholarships, aid, and other community-related efforts. GMR provides free emergency response training to those less fortunate living in developing nations and poverty-stricken areas of the world. These developing nations are grossly underfunded and generally, lack government support.

The corn hole tournament is open to spectators from the public but is full for registration, and is a kid-friendly event. Prizes will be given to first, second, and third place finishers of the tournament. There is also raffle drawings with various prizes that anyone can participate in.

A very big thank you to the Portland Cider Company for hosting the event. Mr. Plywood donated the wood for Valley Craftsman Woodworking to cut and assemble the corn hole boards. Irena Owens of Hasson company, Sun Glow Inc. Heating and Air Conditioning, IAFF Local 1660 (Tualatin

Valley Professional Firefighters), IAFF Local 314 (Salem Professional Firefighters), IAFF Local 43 (Portland Professional Firefighters) FLIR, FIRE Restoration, C. S. Bray Accounting, Fire-Hide Leather, and Bennet Hartman Morris & Kaplan LLP for board sponsorships. Numerous raffle prize giveaways were donated by members throughout the Portland, OR area. Special thanks for IAFF Local 1159, Clackamas County Professional Firefighters Union Secretary, Nate Hon for coordinating the event and making it all come together.

Without the help of numerous other volunteers, this event and other fundraising events for our non-profits would not be possible.

GMR56 Team Colombia October 2018. GMR Volunteers from Lake Oswego Fire Department with some students from El Rosal, Colombia.

People ask why do we do what we do? Why do we want to do THAT? Why do you travel to those places, or help those people? People need each other, sometimes it is not just about the task or the aid, sometimes it is more than that. Sometimes it is just about helping those less fortunate and giving up something to make the community, the county, the world a better place. To donate to this fundraiser or to future fundraisers, or trips, you can make a tax-deductible donation by clicking on the donate tab to through the link, here.


El Rosal, Colombia: Firefighter Skills

GMR56 Class line up for role call and opening ceremony in October 2018.

Opening Ceremony of GMR56 kicks off in El Rosal, Colombia.

12 October 2018

In the Western Savanna Province, part of the department of Cundinamarca, 12 miles (20 Km) outside of Bogota, sits El Rosal. Approximately 8,800 ft (2,685M) above sea level and a population of nearly 20,000 people, the Bombers El Rosal prepare to protect the city for emergencies. Global Mission Readiness has traveled to El Rosal in 2017 and this year in 2018. GMR is not only training the local, El Rosal firefighters, but also training the region. Firefighters and first responders come from all over the area to take part in training. This mission, 30 firefighters from 5 different agencies, some from up to 8 hours away, have come to learn fire control, advancing hose-lines, ground ladders, search and rescue, and firefighter safety and survival.

These firefighters have a passion to help their community, their country and each other. This is proven during the opening ceremony where all 30 are lined up, at attention, singing their national anthem, ready to take on the week. Their passion to want to learn and help their community cannot be taught by GMR. GMR has the ability to get some of the greatest trainers and provide equipment, but cannot teach passion.

GMR56 Class line up for role call and opening ceremony in October 2018.
GMR56 Class line up for role call and opening ceremony in October 2018.

The GMR teams that go to areas like El Rosal, are purely voluntary. The members take time off of work, from their families, and their lives, to selflessly provide skills and knowledge to develop these areas. At a cost to them as well. GMR assists by fundraising for transportation costs, but ultimately it is the team’s responsibility to fund their trip. GMR has no paid personnel. All the members that help GMR do it to make the world a better place, to selflessly give knowing that the seeds that are sewn will outlive all of us. GMR could not accomplish this without them.

Agencies like El Rosal, have taken it upon themselves to seek assistance in preparedness, basic training, and equipment acquisition to help their community for everyday emergencies as well as large-scale disasters. GMR is proud to help El Rosal and all of the agencies worldwide. Click the link to watch a short opening ceremony video of GMR56. The firefighters of Colombia singing their national anthem. El Rosal Opening Video

Santa Cruz, Bolivia, GMR55

Cochabamba, Bolivia, 2015. Water and Canal Rescue. GMR volunteers pictured in blue shirts- Left: Sean Carris, Middle: Ariany Melgar, Right: Scott Walker.

Global Mission Readiness keeps moving forward in the worldwide safety and training arena. GMR is happy to announce to continue training in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, South America for GMR’s 55th mission.

Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, South America; “The Center of South America.”

On September 19th, 2018, firefighters from Clackamas Fire and Forest Grove Fire and Rescue, specially trained in Rope Rescue will be heading to Santa Cruz to train with firefighters in Basic Rope Rescue. GMR has been in this region to teach EMS, Vehicle Extrication, Water Rescue, and Firefighter Safety and Survival. We are excited to go back to this area as the need is high and much appreciated. The area is home to over 2 million people, including areas of industry, recreation, residential, and farming on the outskirts. With the main system of water removal being canals, first responders from the area struggle to safely remove trapped victims and animals from the canals before flash flooding occurs. The skills, knowledge, and equipment that GMR will bring, increase safety, efficiency, and truly saves lives.

The team is made of up volunteer Ryan Patrick (CFD), Shawn Mullen (CFD), Rick Ilg (FGFR), and team leader Patrick DeLair (CFD). GMR is also excited to have photographer Juliana Patrick accompany the team and document the trip. Juli is a well-respected photographer and videographer in Portland, OR, USA.

Cochabamba, Bolivia, 2015. Water and Canal Rescue. GMR volunteers pictured in blue shirts- Left: Sean Carris, Middle: Ariany Melgar, Right: Scott Walker.
Cochabamba, Bolivia, 2015. Water and Canal Rescue. GMR volunteers pictured in blue shirts- Left: Sean Carris, Middle: Ariany Melgar, Right: Scott Walker.

Return trips to areas like Santa Cruz are exciting for GMR because we build on previous trips, test the skills and abilities from previous training missions, and build lifelong friendships around the world. Our collaboration breaks down cultural barriers, provide the education and resources to help save lives by teaching first responders how to help themselves, help their communities, and their countries. To learn more or to get involved, follow along on Facebook and Instagram and our website at Global Mission Readiness. You can learn more about Juliana Patrick by visiting www.julianapatrick.com

GMR 54 is off to Lima, Peru

GMR at the Airport

Global Mission Readiness is off on its 54th trip. 

Image: Alberto Caceres

Volunteers for Global Mission Readiness (GMR) are headed to Lima, Peru to teach a basic rope rescue course. While this is not GMR’s first time to Lima, Peru, it is the first time training with the host agency, Proteccion Civil Internacional (PCI). PCI is volunteer responders from around the region that assist Peruvian National Police and Peruvian National Fire Brigade with technical rescues such as rope rescue.

The need is constant in this area of Peru. With many opportunities for tourist in the region, buses are one of the main modes of transportation. The roads of Peru are windy and as you can imagine very scenic due to the Andes Mountains. There comes a danger with windy, mountain roads though. Bus crashes happen all too often down steep embankments. Having well-trained responders to quickly and safely, respond and provide aid will save more lives. Like most remote and rural communities, having good first responder aid that can affect rescue and provide treatment until definitive care is necessary for any region. This class focuses on basic rope rescue including safe anchor points, basic knots, lowering and repelling systems, and raising systems. Every GMR class has portions on basic first aid and rendering medical aid, this one is no different.

Agencies from all over the area will be in attendance. Some of them are new to rope rescue and some of them have skills that will be able to augment the instructor’s information. The instructors are all career firefighters that work on technical rescue teams for Albany Fire Department. Albany, Oregon is located approximately 80 miles (128km) from Portland, OR, USA where GMR is located.

GMR at the Airport
Pictured: (left to right) Shannon Baker, Tim Verdun, Mike Hurley, Tom Henke (Photo Credit: Carly Shears)

Led by team leader Carly Shears, who could not accompany the team on the trip. Tom Henke and Shannon Baker have participated in GMR missions before. Mike Hurley and Tim Verdun round out the team. Tom and Shannon have participated in missions to Africa. This is Tim and Mike’s first time as volunteers with GMR. GMR is looking forward to continuing relationships in Lima as well as building a new one with PCI. 

GMR Sets Off For its 54th Mission

GMR sends 5 volunteers to Lima, Peru

Volunteers Carly Shears and Tom Henke preparing to teach Rope Rescue in Lima, Peru. Photo Credit: Carly Shears via Instagram.

In May of 2018, volunteers with be headed to Lima, Peru, South America to teach Basic Rope Rescue Techniques. Let by Global Mission Readiness and Albany Fire Department Firefighter Carly Shears, this will be GMR’s 7th time to Lima. However, this will be the first time training with Proteccion Civil Internacional (PCI).  Shears will be joined by fellow Albany Fire members Shannon Baker, Tom Henke, Tim Verdun, and Michael Hurley. Baker and Henke have traveled to Africa with GMR in the past. This is Verdun and Hurley’s first time traveling with GMR.

Like with most GMR missions, Train-the-Trainer format will be used. The team has asked to gather responders from different agencies all over the region to train with. While differing skill levels are always present, basic information is presented then built upon. Getting agencies together from around the region also builds stronger relational bonds while working together to increase public safety. Ultimately, the goal is to save more lives and equip more responders.

PCI training with GMR in April of 2012 in USAR. Photo Credit: Alberto Ceceras via Facebook.

To learn more about this trip and follow along, Follow GMR on Facebook and Instagram where trip updates will be posted. You can also donate to this trip by going to the DONATE tab and selecting PERU.

We use cookies to ensure our visitors get the best experience and to learn how they interact with our site. By clicking “Got It” or continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of these tools.