PHOENIX – The Valley Hispanic Bomberos, a nonprofit group of Hispanic firefighters, is rooted in culture and tradition with the goal of protecting their communities while mentoring others to join them in fire departments. .
The organization is made up of approximately 1,200 members, and many of them serve the same communities in which they grew up.
âAs an organization we like to focus on the neighborhoods most of us grew up in, you know – I grew up in Maryvale,â said Greg Morales, vice president of Valley Hispanic Bomberos. KTAR News 92.3 FM.
Morales is proud to organize and lead community events in neighborhoods with high Hispanic populations.
These events vary from drowning prevention, to car seat safety and anything firefighters can help educate their communities.
âThey relate to us, they see us as Hispanic firefighters and we go out and talk to them,â Morales said, adding that many members of the organization are bilingual.
But the Bomberos focus on more than community service.
The group also takes pride in mentoring, encouraging the next generation to become firefighters in their communities.
Morales and Valley Hispanic Bomberos President Danny Fraijo are both products of the mentorship program.
Fifteen years later, the two continue to help aspiring firefighters learn more about the job and prepare them physically and pedagogically for careers.
âWe coach them on how to get the best of themselves to participate in this interview, to be successful in becoming a firefighter,â said Fraijo.
Once a person is hired, they join a family of firefighters and the Bomberos don’t take this lightly. They are there for each other for everything, in good times and in bad times.
Earlier this month, the fire department’s link was fully visible when the Bomberos lost one of their own.
On September 6, Phoenix firefighters announced the passing of firefighter Miguel Angulo, a 15-year veteran who died after a long battle with COVID-19.
Firefighters from across the valley have rallied around Phoenix firefighters to support them after Angulo’s death. During this difficult time, the Bomberos have also supported his family and plan to continue doing so for the foreseeable future.
âIt’s not just a Bomberos business, it’s a firefighter family business,â Fraijo said.
The Valley Hispanic Bomberos currently have no community events planned due to COVID-19, but the non-profit group continues to mentor aspiring firefighters.
Those interested in joining the mentoring program can contact the group management through their social networks.