WILKINS TWP. (KDKA) — A junior firefighter is learning the ropes from Captain Chad Hoover, at Wilkins Volunteer Fire Department No. 3. Captain Hoover is in charge of the Junior’s program, and on Thursday he was training the first protégé of his kind.

Jose Perao is a foreign exchange student from Brazil.

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“My host family told me about it. My dad is a retired firefighter,” Perao explained.

“He approached us, saying he was an exchange student and he wanted to get involved. He wanted to volunteer for a fire company, and he’s been fantastic,” Hoover said.

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The junior firefighter says there are very few volunteer fire departments back home in Brazil, and he’s having a great time.

“Everyone here is very good, very special. They have been treating me very good,” he said.

He’s blown away by the firetruck and even more impressed with his fellow volunteers.

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“People that really love what they do, who really like to help their community,” Perao said.