El Salvador – Friday, Feb 21

21 February, 2014 at 1:55 pm

Completing practical reviews for any of the bomberos that had missed certain components, and the written exam that was prepared by the Justice Institute of British Columbia.
As a team, the Canadians had discussion about the relevance and transferability of some of the questions.  We are hopeful that we will have good numbers of people passing the exam (need 70%). I believe our team needs to have a discussion with the JIBC to ensure that all exam questions are relevant (and thus, fair) and useful.
I took a couple of hours in the day to attend meetings at El Salvador’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
At 2:00pm, we wrapped up the work week, with a closing ceremony where gifts were exchanged with all participants.  The mood is positive, but I believe some worry about the written exam.
As requested, Norm and I had a discussion about CBES having stopped covering the costs of the Canadian firefighter’s hotel costs.  As Abner Hurtado is retiring, we chose to have this discussion with his pending replacement, Joaquin Parada.
Parada was open in his discussion with Norm and me.  He talked about the financial crisis they are faced with, and we stated our case for hotel funding clearly.  He said he definitely wants our program to continue, and that there is true value and benefit to what is being accomplished.  We even suggested that either CBES or the Ministry of Gobernacion could go to hotel owners and ask for the rooms to be donated.  We did the best we could in this regard.  We will have to push this in next year’s planning stages.
After the closing ceremony was finished, we went to Joya de Ceran – ruins that are unique in Latin America and very similar to Pompeii.  Every day life in 500AD is captured here (as opposed to great pyramids). Pots of corn and grain have been unearthed in people’s houses that were covered with volcanic ash.
Dinner at Mark’s suggestion at Hacienda Real.  It was fun.

Jeffrey Moore