LAUREL HILL — Almarante Fire District Deputy Fire Chief Ryan Jaycocks says his new turnout gear is a much needed upgrade.
“It’s great to have it,” he said. “Getting those new boots (on), they feel like tennis shoes.”
He and many of the department's 14 volunteer firefighters wore the new personal protective equipment — purchased with FEMA aid — during an open house on Saturday.
With the acquired equipment and volunteer training, the department has received a new Insurance Services Office, ISO rating of 5/5X on a scale of 1 to 10.
“That’s a really great score for us to get; we worked hard for it,” Jaycocks said.
The goal of Saturday’s open house was to show residents that the department can handle any type of emergency.
Especially since Almarante has nearby communities' help when necessary.
“Every time we get a fire … we get our neighboring departments (in) Blackmon, Laurel Hill and Dorcas to come with us and assist with whatever is necessary, just like when we assist them,” Jaycocks said.
Open house attendees enjoyed munching on cooked chicken and trying their hand at dunking Fire Chief Charles Carroll.