Allen Carter has been fighting fires in Valdosta for seven years. Needless to say, he's trained to handle any situation thrown his way.
Allen says, "We do high angle trench rescue, confined space and structural collapse. We also usually have training in HAZMAT at least twice a year."
With all that training comes the ability to respond. Very soon these firefighters will have a new device to detect any type of gas used in an emergency situation as well as a thermal imager camera used to detect fire victims.
Carter says, "In most of the instances we go on scene and it's so smoky you can't see anything going on inside the house."
Not only will this new equipment elevate firefighters’ response capabilities here locally, but firefighters say it will also catapult them as a regional leader in south Georgia and also north Florida.
J.D. Rice, Valdosta Fire Chief, says, "We're on the cutting edge as far as what we do with fire protections and fire service goals. We're leading the state in equipment and training as far as hazardous materials are concerned anyway."
It’s making Valdosta the regional response point for neighboring areas, which will also benefit from the department's new state-of-the-art equipment.
The Valdosta Fire Department received $122,000 to pay for the response equipment.