Engines of Hope Founder and President, Rinaldy Gutierrez, (see Leadership tab) saw a critical need for life-saving vehicles and equipment for his hometown in his native Dominican Republic. Rinaldy’s vision of care and compassion would eventually extend past his homeland and include our mission to provide life-saving vehicles and equipment to ANY community in need, whether in the United States or beyond.
In 2018, Edgewater Volunteer Fire Department’s Lieutenant Gutierrez quietly set out to secure a critically needed fire engine for his hometown in the Dominican Republic. The Borough of Edgewater at that time put EVFD’s Engine 5 (1988 Grumman - Fire Cat Pumper/Engine) up for Government Public Auction. Using his own personal funds, Lt. Gutierrez attended the auction, bid the highest and acquired Engine 5 for the community and the volunteer firefighters in his hometown. The Edgewater Volunteer Fire Department’s membership generously voted to cover the cost of shipping Engine 5 to the Dominican Republic using donated funds - $3,700 at that time, pre-Covid. A couple of months later, the Borough and the Edgewater Fire Department volunteers followed up by shipping additional equipment to the Dominican Republic in support of Engine 5 (axes, turn-out gear, helmets etc.). Our thanks go out to Edgewater Mayor McPartland, Borough Administrator Franz, Chiefs Chevalier and Jacobsen, Captain Quinton, and the members of the Edgewater Volunteer Fire Department!
In February of 2019, Edgewater Firefighters Stewart, Lewis, Jacobsen, and Henwood travelled with Lt. Rinaldy Gutierrez to the Dominican Republic to train and familiarize the local Volunteer Fire Brigade on Engine 5 and dedicate this critical lifesaving resource to the good people of Loma de Cabrera. As a side note, the day after the Edgewater Firefighters departed the Dominican Republic, Engine 5 responded and extinguished a brush fire in the hills above Loma de Cabrera in the presence of hundreds of residents attending a Hilltop Service for their Patron Saint, Virgin Altagracia.
Our story had just begun. Throughout the world, the one thing all volunteer and professional first responders share is the passion to protect lives and property. A fellow brother or sister first responder in danger or need is a call to arms for each of us. All of us share a passion for protecting our communities - Engines of Hope was born to assist the most vulnerable communities in need and the first responders dedicated to protecting the people they serve.
Engines of Hope is a Non-Profit 501c3 Organization established to Inform, connect, and deliver vital surplus, retired fire fighting vehicles, equipment, and ambulances available within the United States to communities of need in the Americas. Based on the current requirements of most states, fire department engines as well as ambulances that are replaced due to age will not be eligible as front line - first responder emergency units based on updated State Fire Code requirements and corresponding municipal insurance requirements. It is the mission of Engines of Hope to employ best practices and transparency to connect any community of need, whether in the United States, the Caribbean, or the Americas with an opportunity to secure a life-saving fire or medical vehicle critical to safety and well-being of those First Responders and their Communities.
To date, Engines of Hope has delivered 4 Fire Engines to the Dominican Republic and hope to soon deliver additional Life Saving Vehicles and Equipment to ANY Community in Need.
Word of mouth and limited Social Media exposure has already generated many requests including additional towns in the DR, a small town in Georgia and a Volunteer Search and Rescue Squad in New Jersey.
Please help us keep our mission’s goals moving forward.