Helmets For Firefighters Whose Station Burned

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SUMMIT, Ala. (WHNT) -- Volunteer firefighters in Blount County with new protective suits made sure some of the old gear will go to good use.

The Summit Volunteer Fire Department donated all their previously worn helmets to Flat Rock firefighters.

A substation of the Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department in Jackson County caught fire in June, burning tens of thousands of dollars worth of gear.

Despite being nearly two hours away, and outside of WHNT News 19's coverage area, Chief Paula Robertson said her firefighters wanted to help.

"We saw it on the internet feed from your station, and when my fire department members informed me about it, my first thought was our brothers are in need, and we need something to do something to help them," Robertson said.

Flat Rock has two fire stations so they did not lose all their gear, but flames destroyed about a dozen helmets.

"We have just recently gotten new turnout gear from top to bottom," Robertson said.

"We're going to donate 10 of our old helmets to the fire department so they can keep doing what they do."

Flat Rock's chief, Chris Talley, said other volunteer departments also called to offer assistance.

"A lot of places all over the United States really," he said.

"We've heard from these guys, made a lot of new friends, and we're greatly appreciative of what they're doing for us."

Talley said insurance should also help cover some of the loss, so the Tri-Community firefighters will be ready and willing to pay it forward in the future if needed.

"We'd love to help anybody that we can help in the future," he said.

"I hope we never have to help anybody because we don't want to see anybody go through what we're going through.

"But if we could ever help anybody, we'd be just as humbled to do it as we could be," Talley said.

Chief Robertson said it is just part of being a volunteer firefighter.

"Doing what we do, you have to trust everybody, they're your brothers, and it doesn't matter whether they come from Blount County or any other county," she said.

"When one's in need, we're all in need, and that's our way of helping them do what they have to do."

Flat Rock residents do not need to worry about their protection.

The volunteer fire department continues to provide service and mutual aid is available from neighboring departments as well.