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Gill Hall VFC earns state accreditation

| Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 9:02 p.m.

The Gill Hall Volunteer Fire Company in Jefferson Hills has earned accreditation through the Office of the State Fire Commissioner.

“It's a pretty big deal for us,” said Adam Galis, assistant chief at the fire company. “It's not just something that they hand out. For us, it really is a great recognition to receive.”

Gill Hall was recognized by the Office of the state Fire Commissioner earlier this month by having about 30 percent of the firefighters earn national certifications for passing advanced courses, Galis said.

Gill Hall is one of 38 fire companies out of 219 volunteer organizations in Allegheny County to earn the accreditation, which is good for three years.

“We do this obviously for ourselves, for Jefferson Hills,” Galis said. “It's critical that our residents know that as well.”

The fire company started working toward the accreditation two years ago, Galis said.

There are multiple certification levels one must earn by taking courses in order to become a firefighter, Galis said.

Volunteers must pass basic firefighting courses to receive the lowest level of certification, Galis said. From there, the state and county offer different levels of more advanced certifications.

Gill Hall firefighters took the advanced courses mostly through the South Hills Area Council of Government, Galis said. The distinction makes Galis proud of the volunteers at Gill Hall.

“We're much more than a local fire company,” Galis said. “We don't want to be average. We want to provide the highest level possible.”

Laura Van Wert is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5814 or at lvanwert@tribweb.com.

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