For years DeafDigest has always felt that the deaf
that want to actually fight fires are being discriminated
against. These deaf fire fighters at volunteer departments
are relegated to small fires, equipment operation and
other back room responsibilities.
Well, in Mark S. Kite, Sr, who is deaf, we have a
Deaf Chief of a hearing volunteer fire department.
He supervises his crew of 75 volunteer fire fighters
at the Yukon Volunteer Fire Company, located in the
Pittsburgh area. He was elevated to chief first week
in 2009. He was with the company for 31 years.
Is he a deaf person, functioning as a hearing
person? No! He is deaf and uses ASL and when communicating
with hearing he relies on careful speech and lip reading.
Of course, there are hand signs that fire fighters use to
communicate with each other during fire fighting.