Retired fire chiefs assist community - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Retired fire chiefs assist community

November 10, 2006

Valdosta - More than two hundred volunteer fire fighters make up Lowndes County Fire and Rescue.  But there's something special about two of those volunteers.  "I pulled my time on the trucks, I served as chief. I had 36 years and retired," says retired chief Lloyd Nolan.

Lloyd Nolan and Robert Coombs are both retired fire chiefs.  Together they have almost 70 years of experience.

So, when they were asked to head up the special services department, it was an offer they couldn't refuses  "I was asked if I'd be interested in it, and I just left the fire service so I went right back into it," Coombs says.

Nolan adds, "You get it in your blood over a period of years, and it's hard to get out. Then when somebody like Chief Fielding asks you to do something, you just don't turn him down."

In special services, they lead the Explorer program which trains high school and college students to become fire fighters in the future, and they travel around the county educating kids on fire prevention and safety with the help of some special friends.  "The kids learn from it, and you're saving lives. That's the main thing from it, you're saving lives!" Nolan exclaims.

Although these volunteers have spoken to thousand of kids and helped train new firefighters over the last few years, they still want to do more.  "Right now we have a program in fire prevention that goes up to 5th grade. Our Explorer program starts at the 9th grade and goes up. So right now, we don't have a program that's in between. And I'm hoping to get something started," says Coombs.

Nolan agrees.  "I'd like to get some more programs going and expand our explorer program."

Nolan and Coombs are showing no signs of slowing down, so you can expect to see new and expanded education programs in the near future.

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