American Volunteer Helped to Extinguish Fire in Yugovo
A volunteer from the United States stood shoulder to shoulder with the Bulgarian firefighters and military in the fight against the fire over the village of Yugovo.
For ten days now, hundreds of people, land and air equipment, have been extinguishing the flames in the heart of the Rhodopes.
Among the volunteers is Brendan - born in the United States but living in Sofia. He found out about the fire and decided to go to Yugovo - a place completely unknown to him.
He rents a car and heads for the flames. He has never put out fires and does not know anyone, he does not even speak Bulgarian.
"I decided it was time to do something because it seemed like there was no hope. Life is made up of priorities - work and everything else, sometimes you are given opportunities. "I'm 48 and I've missed a lot of those opportunities," Brendan said.
Backpack with basic provisions and medicines, gloves, mask, hat. He does not even have the necessary special protective clothing.
"Every novice like me in civilian clothes can come with sturdy shoes, cotton pants, and a set of basic items, buy a shovel for 20 leva (BGN) from the store and they‘re ready. Even better ... buy a hoe, ”says Brendan.
Although he is only on the field for a day, he describes the situation as dramatic. At times, volunteers and firefighters face five-meter flames.
"I wanted to stay, the fire didn't go out in a day, but my body refused," Brendan said.
He met another volunteer - Martin Kovachev. He translated and guided him.
"This is my stick that Martin broke for me. He was walking slowly with me all the time because my body gave out, the others were running right in front of us. He broke a long tree in two and gave it to me so I could lean on it. Thank you, Martin!” shared the American.
Brendan says he is impressed with our country and culture, but the reason he crossed the ocean was his family.
"I came to Bulgaria because of a beautiful woman and we have a six-year-old child," Brendan said.
After the experience, Brendan and Martin want to compile a short public protocol and with the most basic means to train anyone who wants to be a volunteer.
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