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Find a need…


Two Panasonic ToughBook laptop computers no being used at El Faro and El Mayor fire stations.
Two Panasonic ToughBook laptop computers no being used at El Faro and El Mayor fire stations.

The phrase, “find a need and fill it” originated with Ruth Stafford Peale, wife of the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale, author of The Power of Positive Thinking. The phrase is commonly used by entrepreneurs but applies equally well to volunteer work.


Steve Rose, of San Juan Capistrano Rotary, has been finding needs and filling them for the volunteers fighting fires near El Faro, and El Mayor fire stations in Baja California, Mexico.


It started with some protective gear and surplus equipment from the U.S. donated to the El Mayor volunteers. That was followed by training and more equipment. Then a refurbished "wildland" fire truck that was part of a District grant.


The "wildland" fire fighting truck donated by San Juan Capistrano Rotary as part of a District Grant.
The "wildland" fire fighting truck donated by San Juan Capistrano Rotary as part of a District Grant.

Most recently, it was two ruggedized laptop computers with specialized fire fighting software.

One of the computers will be used at the El Faro Fire Station while the other is for the El Major Volunteer Station.


Maps, weather, fire behavior, thermal images, videos and more can be digitized and accessed via these mobile computing devices, placing critical, decision-making photos and videos or real-time imagery at incident commanders’ fingertips and greatly improving on-scene communications.


The Panasonic ToughBook computers, valued at more than $4,000 each, are equipped with wi-fi so they can be used to communicate between incidents, hospitals and other stations. They can withstand water, being dropped and other types of abuse. Volunteers at the fire department will also be able to start taking courses online to further their specialized firefighting skills.


Special thanks our partners Baja Bridges who supplied all the fire fighting equipment and to Computer Banc for giving us such a great deal on the computers.

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