SCHUYLKILL HAVEN, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Firefighters save lives everyday, but we can’t expect them to rush into our burning homes without the proper equipment. That’s why a fire company in Schuylkill County is celebrating today. They’ve just found out they’re getting brand new gear. Eyewitness News reporter Haley Bianco found out how the gear will be used now and by future firefighters.
“When you guys are running out of the building, we’re running into it. It’s at 3 in the morning when you’re sleeping, and we’re up out of bed ready to go,” said Greg Semanco, Liberty Fire Co. President.
After years of passing down old sets of gear, Liberty firefighters decided it was time to go shopping. With the help of a federal grant, the volunteer fire team gets state-of-the-art gear.
“We rely on it every day,” said Aaron Schimpf, assistant Fire Chief.
The new gear is lighter and more advanced, making the brave act of fighting fires a little bit safer.
“We want to make sure that our firefighters are safe, and we want to make sure they’re sent home, back to their families,” said Schimpf.
The new fire gear is expected to last for the next 10 years. Meaning, today’s firefighters get to use the gear, but so will future firefighters.
8-year-old Chase Williams has grown up watching his dad save people in Schuylkill County, and hopes he’ll get to wear the gear one day.
“He looks really brave and I kind of want to be like him when I grow up,” said Williams.
Williams tells me he wants to be a firefighter as soon as he can, which is in seven years. Until then, he says he’ll keep learning from his dad.
“It makes me think of him as like a really cool superhero,” said Williams.
In order for firefighters to be superheroes they need the finances for expensive equipment. One way they get that money is through fundraisers, like the fourth annual BBQ Bash.
“Fundraisers really help keep us alive, and they really keep paying the bills,” said Jen Schaeffer, fundraiser coordinator.
Firefighters say it’s fun to get to know the community they serve at events like this one.
“I just can’t get enough of helping people. Everyday there’s something new that we have to help someone, and I absolutely love it, it’s the best job in the world,” said Schimpf.
Now that new gear is taken care of, the fire company can focus on fundraising for their next purchase, a new truck.