Chariton Fire Department Chief Steve Davis says the most challenging part of his job is keeping everything up-to-date. “In addition to being Fire Chief, I work two other jobs, most of my crew works other jobs,” Davis says. “I’m trying to keep our equipment updated, like our air pack supply which is about 15 years old. They are considered out of date and now I am able to start replacing them.”
Iowa Select Farms is honored to assist in purchasing brand new air packs and bottles with important new technology. Each pack is illuminated with three different colors. Each color represents the amount of air left in the bottle; a green light means it is full, yellow means it is getting closer to empty and red tells the fireman he is almost out of air.
“I’m excited for the safety of our guys these new packs will allow,” Davis says. “With the lights, we can better keep track of our guys.” In addition to the lights, the new air packs have a device on them that will beep if the fireman stands still for too long. New face pieces were also purchased that allow for easier communication when on a site.
Davis has been a volunteer at the fire department for 26 years and Fire Chief for the last three years. He oversees 35 volunteers and says he is proud of their dedication. “There aren’t very many small departments where you can get 20 people to show up on a call, especially when you are volunteers,” he says.
The Chariton Fire Department is no stranger to fame. When it comes to State Fire Conventions, the department has taken first place eight years in a row. Davis says he has a bunch of very dedicated firemen. The Department also has Old Betsy, a horse drawn steam engine that is one of the original four in the world that still pumps. But for Davis, the most rewarding part of his job is knowing he is making a difference.
“We were called on a carbon monoxide poisoning incident, and we were able to get the lady out and she was okay,” Davis says. “But then she had a cat inside, and we revived the cat. She lives and dies by her cat so she was so happy to see it. Seeing people’s faces and knowing we are making a difference in our community is the most rewarding for me.”