A volunteer from the United States stood side by side with the Bulgarian fire service and military in the fight against the Fire above the village Jugowo.
Hundreds of people, land and air equipment, have been extinguishing the flames in the heart of the Rhodope Mountains for ten days.
Under the Volunteers is Brendan – born in the USA, but lives in Sofia. He found out about that Fire and decided to go to Yugovo – a place completely unknown to him.
He rents a car and heads for the flames. He’s never put out a fire and doesn’t know anyone, he doesn’t even speak Bulgarian.
“I decided it was time to do something because it looked like there was no hope. Life is made up of priorities – work and everything else, sometimes you get opportunities. “I’m 48 and I’ve missed a lot of those opportunities,” said Brendan.
Backpack with basic supplies and medicines, gloves, mask, hat. He doesn’t even have the special protective clothing necessary.
“Any newbie like me in civilian clothes can come with sturdy shoes, cotton trousers and a set of basic equipment, buy a shovel for 20 Leva (BGN) in the store and it’s done. Even better … buy a hoe,” says Brendan.
Although he is only on the field for one day, he describes the situation as dramatic. Once in a while, Volunteers and firefighters face five meter high flames.
“I wanted to stay that Fire didn’t go out in a day, but my body refused, “said Brendan.
He met another volunteer – Martin Kovachev. He translated and guided him.
“This is my stick that Martin broke for me. He walked slowly with me the whole time because my body gave way, the others were running right in front of us. He broke a long tree in half and gave it to me so that I can lean on it, thank you, Martin! ”shared the American.
Brendan says he was impressed with our country and our culture, but the reason he crossed the ocean was because of his family.
“I came to Bulgaria because of a beautiful woman and we have a six year old child,” said Brendan.
After the experience, Brendan and Martin want to create a short public protocol and use the simplest means to train everyone who is a Volunteers.