Valley firefighters are in Porterville so local crews can recover from their loss

Local News

PORTERVILLE, California (KGPE) – Firefighters from all over the Central Valley and the state are taking on the duties of the Porterville Fire Department while they grieve the loss of two of their colleagues.

“The fire service can seem big, but it’s actually pretty small and pretty tight-knit,” said Clovis Fire Department’s Captain Tim Lesmeister.

“And, when things like this happen, you do whatever you need to to support that brotherhood and the family that we’re a part of.”

On Friday, crews from Bakersfield and Clovis were on duty in Porterville to cover the city’s calls, taking care of not only the community but their Porterville fire family as well.

“After a fire, even just a small structure fire, there’s a lot of clean-up the people probably don’t realize that goes into what we have to do to be able to get our rigs back in service to be operational and ready again,” said Clovis Firefighter Matt Baker.

Teams were out washing rigs, repairing and putting away gear, hoping to ease the burden.

“Our goal, for when they come back on Monday, is just to let them come in and not have to think about all of the cleanup and equipment maintenance that needs to be done. Make it as easy to come back to work as possible,” said Capt. Lesmeister.

Knowing they can’t do it all, and that in the end, only time will help the Porterville Fire department to Recover from this tragedy.

“We can’t fix anything,” said Bakersfield Fire Captain Larry Eichner. “But we can get the time off and give them the ability to recuperate a little bit.”

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