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Keel Mountain firefighters get new gear to protect against brush fires

The protective gear is specifically made to help the firefighters get closer to fires while staying safe from fire and smoke inhalation.

Posted: Aug 26, 2019 4:41 PM
Updated: Aug 26, 2019 4:55 PM

The Keel Mountain Volunteer Fire Department recently got new gear to help them combat brush fires.

WAAY 31 spoke with a firefighter about why this is so important for that area.

Credit: Keel Mountain Volunteer Fire Department

Firefighters say brush fires could easily get out of control with the greenery and terrain on Keel Mountain. Recently, they were able to outfit six more firefighters with protective equipment.

“It’s great to just go ahead and get our guys the right equipment, so they can go ahead and just get the job done once instead of taking extra time and have to come back and do it later,” said Justin Cole with the Keel Mountain Volunteer Fire Department.

Cole is the public information officer for the volunteer fire department. He said they had this gear for seven people, but now, 13 people have access to it.

"It was really important because firefighters are our greatest tool that we have. We have no fire fighters, we can't fight the fire," said Cole.

The six protective suits were purchased using a fire assistance grant and cost about $4,200. It comes with pants, face shields, gloves and a fire resistant jacket.

The clothing is made to allow firefighters to get close to wild fires and brush fires, allowing them to work faster and more effectively.

"We've been on scenes where a house will be on fire and the trees are right there, either obscuring the house so we can't see it, or now, the house is catching the trees on fire, or vice versa. Now, the trees are catching your residence on fire," said Cole.

Cole said creating a clear perimeter of about 40 feet from your house to where trees are could save you and your home.

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