Steve Poole, the Valley's First Responder for June

The fire chief at Punkin Center has been serving his whole life

MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. - "It says on all of our trucks, 'We volunteer because we care.'," says Steve Poole.

In the community of Punkin Center, the Poole family has been a fixture of service. Delores Poole says, "We were the beginning of what we have now."

What they have now is the Punkin Center Volunteer Fire Department. It was established 43 years ago.

"My mom and dad helped build station one in 1974. I was seven," says Steve Poole. "So, I've been doing this since I was seven years old."

Today, Steve Poole serves as the Fire Chief at Punkin Center. "He's a great guy," says Junior Explorer Jackson Poole. "It's great to be around him. He's a great teacher."

Not only does he lead his current department, he is also training the next generation through a Junior Explorer program.

Dakota Munger is one of those Junior Explorers. He says, "We train on what we would possibly encounter on a fire call, wreck call."

Jackson Poole adds, "We do a lot of pump training and do a lot of cold zone training. So we lay out tarps and equipment."

Steve Poole says, "You could go up to the schools up at Danville and you see junior explorer shirts all over the place. It's what they love to do."

That love has been passed down from a community of volunteer, a family devoted to service. "Proud of my kid," says Steve's mom Delores. "Just proud of my kid, always. He's a good leader and he loves the community."

And that's why Fire Chief Steve Poole is the Valley's First Responder.

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