PEACH COUNTY, Ga. — New gear for a new season, the Peach County Fire Department is ready for another busy summer.
Firefighter Keionta Tate is heading into his fifth year with the department and he says he's ready to break in his new gear. "This gear that they've been getting recently, it doesn't take but a couple weeks -- just gotta wear it and train it a couple times and then it gets worn pretty good."
With the heat rolling in, breaking in new suits isn't nearly as important as making sure the whole team is on time and drinking plenty of water.
"I mean, you can get away with it without it being the summer, but the summertime, you gotta hydrate. If you don't hydrate, then eventually, you may fall out and cause a hazard to other firefighters," says Tate.
Luckily, they have help from their explorer lieutenants, who are also at the scene.
"We run the triage for the firefighters that are coming in and out. We get tools, we gather equipment that they need inside, and we do train similar to them, but it's not as detailed," says Travis Emmert, one of the explorer lieutenants.
Emmert is still in high school, but he's in charge of the lieutenants, and says they play an important role. "Us being the non-suppression, the support group, we're the main ones checking on them, making sure that they're good, they're hydrated, and ready to fight fire if they need to."
Tate says between drinking enough water and rotating with crew members at fires, their training will pay off once again.
Along with the new gear, the fire department is also getting a tanker truck that should pump more water to put out fires faster.