Joseph E. Branco, formerly of the Hoboken Rotary Club, spoke last week of that club’s mission in 2012 to the Dominican Republic, in which, in collaboration with the Hoboken Fire Department, it provided “turnout gear” (fire resistant protective equipment firefighters wear while combating fires) to the fire department in Boca Chica, a municipality located 19 miles from the nation’s capital of Santo Domingo.
That mission began, he said when Ralph Eusebio, a firefighter with the Hoboken Fire Department, visited Boca Chica, where his uncle is a major in the Boca Chica Volunteer Fire Department. While there, he noted that that fire department, composed of 70 volunteers, either lacked the necessary protective equipment with which to fight fires, or had equipment that was outdated. Working together, the International Fire Relief Mission, the Hoboken Fire Department and the Hoboken Rotary Club collected more than $100,000 in firefighting protection equipment, which was then transported by members of both the Hoboken Fire Dept. and the Rotary Club to Boca Chica.

Speaking at the Jersey City Rotary club’s meeting on February 23, Joe said that the Hoboken Fire Department and the Hoboken Rotary Club are planning a second mission to Boca Chica in July, where it will help renovate the fire station. During that time, a room in the fire station will be named in honor of the Rotary Club.


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