June 7, 2011
In June 2009, 46 out of 142 children, from six months to five years old, died in a local daycare center fire in Hermosillo, Mexico. Many more were burned.
To respond to this terrible tragedy, a Phoenix firefighter has visited Hermosillo giving workshops to hospital staff on burn treatment and fire prevention. Because of Phoenix’s sister city relationship with Hermosillo since 1976, a Hermosillo Fire Relief Fund Committee was established to raise funds to cover expenses for Hermosillo doctors, nurses and medical students to receive hands-on training at the Arizona Burn Center in Phoenix.
“Out of this horrific tragedy, Phoenix residents and businesses generously donated to our fire relief fund,” said Councilman Claude Mattox, council liaison to Hermosillo. The Phoenix Sister Cities Hermosillo Committee worked closely with our sister city in Mexico to provide treatment and support for victims. But most importantly – our donations are helping create a burn treatment center in their own country – making it easier for families to continue treatment close to home.”
Local businesses and individuals have provided financial support to cover the cost of hosting Hermosillo medical staff visits to Phoenix and fund visits to Hermosillo by the burn center and Fire Department staff to provide the workshops. To date, approximately $35,000 has been raised through the fire relief fund and more funds are needed to continue to support these efforts. No city of Phoenix funds have been used in this effort.
Currently, no dedicated burn treatment center exists in the entire northwest of Mexico. The Mexican and Sonoran governments are in the process of developing a children’s burn center as part of an existing Hermosillo children’s hospital. The Phoenix Sister Cities Hermosillo Committee will continue to support this project once the burn center is built.
Donations can be made out to the Phoenix Sister Cities Hermosillo Fire Relief Fund and mailed to Phoenix Sister Cities, Historic City Hall, 17 S. Second Ave., 4th Fl., Phoenix, AZ 85003. For more information, call 602-534-3751 or visit phoenixsistercities.org.
|Stephanie Ribodal Romero