About Baja California

Before becoming a state in 1953, the area was known as the North Territory of Baja California. It has an area of 70,113 km2 (27,071 sq mi), or 3.57% of the land mass of Mexico and comprises the northern half of the Baja California peninsula, north of the 28th parallel. The state is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean, on the east by Sonora, the U.S. State of Arizona, and the Gulf of California (also known as the Sea of Cortez), and on the south by Baja California Sur. Its northern limit is the U.S. state of California.

The state has a population of 2,844,469 (2005 census), and estimated 3,165,776 (June 2009) much more than the sparsely populated Baja California Sur to the south, and similar to San Diego County, California on its north. Over 75% of the population lives in the capital city, Mexicali, in Ensenada, or in Tijuana. Other important cities include San Felipe, Rosarito and Tecate.

Baja California is where it all began, our visit to Tecate in 1999 started us on our path. We began working with the city of Tecate and the Bomberos from around the state. We have been working to bring agencies representing millions of citizens in the State together for more collaborative training and operations. Where borders were distinct and rarely crossed there is now more mutual assistance and development of resources. 

In 2009, we began working with the group Bomberos De San Diego, a group of San Diego Fire firefighters that work in the area doing similar work. We partnered to bring training to Tecate initially and eventually worked in Tijuana Bomberos and were able to organize regional training at both Tecate and Tijuana inviting bomberos from around the area. Today, being one of the largest Cities in Mexico,  we regularly rely on these Bomberos to assist us in our training.

Baja 2001 Day 6 Training Day 3

on . Posted in Baja California

Posting a day late. Training day three was phenominal. Putting everything together we utilized the acquired structure for evolutions and proceeded to run the crews through several different scenerios using the train like play philosophy. Imagining a fire or rescue only goes so far. Marcelo and the other Bomberos De San diego, Omar and Arlo planned and coordinated the day. Aaron from Poway fd along with Blue and Jaime from Tijuana Fire, and adding Rich from Santee fire  presented in addition to the evolution,s the primer for a regional Engineer training course. Called Mechaquista, the engineer position is a revered seat on the engine much like in the US. With alot of responsibility, they are hungry for a structured and standardized training program.

Marcelo has been asked by tijuana fire to help create a standardized training and Tecate is eager to be involved so we will see more of the same  in the future.

The evolutions involved search, quick attacks, back up lines and exposure protection. Using blacked out masks , burning hay, darkness and an actual propane prop we  presented as real a scenerio as possible. In 26 years it is probably as real as you can make it. Hats off to the bomberos of Tecate who took Marcelos vision and made it happen.

Whats next, well leadership is a priority now. Bomberos de San diego and our other brothers who participated will be back to follow up what we have started and continued.

After the completion of training we retired to the Station for a awsome carne asada BBQ. In a relaxed setting we recounted the previous days and made and renewed friendships. We have been coming for the past 11 years have seen many bomberos come and go in Tecate. We remember training past and look to the future with great anticipation. After having our fill, the bomberos presented all who participated with thanks and plaques and certificates of appreciation for their efforts. Recognizing that every firefighter from the US who came down to train and better the lives of the baja bomberos, were doing so on their own time and many using their own vacation time.

After the Widi Widi, which the bomberos call ceremony, we gladly retired to finally get some rest. After three days of early days and late nites we could now recoup. The following day everyone with the exception of Joel and Scott will be back in their homes and departments telling their co workers of the great time had and hopefully recruit future instructors.

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