Speech to Text for Palmetto volunteer firefighters improve fire rating
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even when they're not dispatched to a fire or a medical call...firefighters are still training so that their next call to action is quick and life saving. earlier this month, a local volunteer fire department improved its community's fire rating which in turn saves homeowners some money. wtva's daniella oropeza joins us with how they made it happen. emily, several factors go into improving a community's fire rating. made up of all volunteers...the palmetto old union fire department did it. and i geared up to brace the heat for a close look at one way they made it possible around tremendously ." palmetto old union fire department) palmetto community, lee county) nat sound "that's a great accomplishment for a volunteer fire department to do something such as that." chief of the palmetto old union fire department, jeff pearson, has been a volunteer firefighter for 19 years. "it's been something that i've always wanted to do and i'll continue doing until i can't anymore." last saturday... his department - along with the belden fire department - participated in a training exercise. "i like to get the guys in at least yearly on an exercise like this to where they can stay active and know the dos and don'ts inside an actual structure." and this time...i went in with them. nat sound to get the smoke going...barrels of hay were set on fire. we then put our gear on, equip with an air pack. different groups went inside the home at a time...conducting a search pattern to find the victim and bring them out. nat sound now, this fire happened about two minutes after we got out of that mobile home, and you can see how quickly it got big and how quickly it spread. now, i'm told these training sessions happen about once a year and these homes are donated to the fire departments by members of the community. "this one here was an abandoned structure. it had been abandoned for quite awhile. so, we got in touch with the land owner and he wanted it gone for sure so we thought it'd be a great opportunity, you know, for our department to do some training and burn it up and get rid of it for him." this training along with how much water their trucks can haul, how many hydrants are in the community and how much man power they have...effect their fire rating...which recently improved...meanin g homeowner's insurance reflects that. "palmetto stayed at a nine for quite awhile. we've came in. we brought in alot of new hands and turned the department around tremendously." and i did speak with residents about the improved rating. one in particular explained why he's thrilled. they can be being volunteers." palmetto community, lee county) "i'm excited because that's going to reflect on my insurance premiums. these guys are right on top of it the best they can be being volunteers." again, the palmetto old union fire department is made up of all volunteers. pearson tells me all lee county fire departments - and those in the surrounding counties - are hurting for volunteers. if you are interested and would like to know more...pearson says just reach out to your community's fire chief and ask about attending their meetings. emily, back to