Hispanic Heritage Month: Spring Valley firefighters connect with Hispanic community they serve
News 12 is highlighting how firefighters in Rockland County are connecting with the Hispanic community they serve as part of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Spring Valley Fire Chief Marcos Padilla is Puerto Rican and has been a volunteer firefighter for 20 years.
He is one of nearly two dozen Hispanic people who are members of the firehouse on West Furman Plane.
That enrollment is higher than most firehouses in the county. There are 33,000 people calling Spring Valley home, and 26% of them are Hispanic or Latino.
Padilla says he can use his background to help people when they need it most.
"It's nice for us to get to a call, especially as a chief, to pull up and the people don't really know how to speak English and they don't know how to communicate to you and then I start speaking Spanish then you know, it's like, wow you know he understands us," he says.
The veteran first responder tells News 12 that the department is always focused on one thing.
"We're just out here to help them live the life they want to live and make sure they're safe," he says.