Non-profit “Bridge of Hope” coordinates transport
Mike Jeffery and his wife, Geri, are on a mission. Mike is a Battalion Chief for the Kirkland Fire Department and Director of Operations for The Bridge of Hope. His wife, Geri, is Executive Director. The mission of their non-profit agency is to partner with the people of Sierra Leone to provide access to the basic needs of life. One basic need is the safe and sterile transportation of effected and non-effected Ebola patients. The City of Kirkland is donating a surplused Kirkland Fire Department Aid car to the city of Makeni, in Sierra Leone to serve that purpose.
Sierra Leone lies on the west coast of Africa bordered by Guinea, Liberia and the Atlantic Ocean and is one of the poorest countries in the world. Representatives from The Bridge of Hope have made over 20 visits to the country since 2005 bringing medical supplies, fire fighter equipment, and school supplies.
The donated aid car will be used to transport non-effected Ebola patients to Magbenteh Hospital in the town of Makeni. There are only three such aid cars serving the over 5 million people within the country. The Jefferys will coordinate their travel plans to Sierra Leone to coincide with the aid cars arrival and assist with needed training. Once it leaves the Port of Seattle, it will take 6 to 8 weeks to arrive at its destination. Representatives from the country’s Ministry of Health will receive the vehicle which comes with over five tons of donated medical supplies.
Over the years, several Kirkland Firefighters have accompanied The Bridge of Hope into Sierra Leone, assisting with medical care, training local firefighters, and helping to build schools and businesses.