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Firefighters
10/6/2017
 
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As hurricane relief efforts in Texas and south Florida continue, and states out west are dealing with the aftermath of wildfires that hit the region in August and September, three local firefighters from Centre County dropped everything and headed out to those areas to help the victims recover from disaster. "Nothing prepares you for it. The photos don't do it justice until you're actually there" Wilson had a family vacation scheduled to visit Florida, until Hurricane Irma hit the U.S. coast. "We decided to keep the plane tickets and go down and help them out as much as we could." Wilson is also a teacher at Bellefonte Area High School. He took personal time off so he could go down and help, but he said that was a drop in the hat compared to what the victims were going through. "I wouldn't have it any other way, If I could have stayed longer I would have." Jordan Parks, who serves with the Undine Fire Company in Bellefonte went to southeast Texas. "I mean if you were in that situation I'd want help. So I signed up and went to help" He said at first his reaction was similar to Wilsons when he arrived. "I had to step back and take a mental photo and say Okay you can do this. But your training kicks in." Milesburg fire chief Corey Bowmaster was deployed to Montana to fight wildfires in the region. "Just seeing the fire and the smoke from the road compared to what we have here you just knew it was a whole different ball game" Bowmaster said states needed massive volunteer efforts due to a lack of manpower. Bowmaster spent nearly a month away from his family. Despite that, Bowmaster said when he got the phone call he knew he was going. All three firefighters agreed that after seeing what they saw, it was a life changing experience. They said if anyone can donate or help in anyway they're encouraged to do so.
  
 
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