Oklahoma nonprofit for visually impaired helping put out fires in California with manufactured fire hoses

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NewView Oklahoma is the sole producer of the hoses used by the U.S. Forest Service. A huge job to help battle those wildfires our west."

"On a good day if everything's working right we can get around two a minute,” Employee Chris Ervin said.

There are about 20 full-time employees in the hose department at NewView Oklahoma.

And just like Chris Ervin the workers here are visually impaired or legally blind.

"There's not a lot of places that are for the visually blind to get hired at. That's what's good about this place is getting the chance to do something that actually means something," Ervin said.

It means something because all of these workers know the fire hoses they manufactured here are battling the destructive wildfires going on in California.

"These are saving people's lives and property and everything like that you know?” Employee Jesse Lester said.

"When fire season is in full swing, the U.S. Forest Service consumes over 1,500 hoses a day and nobody in America can make 1,500 hoses a day. We build their inventory up in California and the west coast," Dennis Loney, vice president of business development & Operations at NewView said.

It's a year-round effort with all the equipment adapted for people with vision loss.

"On the coupler machines there's a light and a beeper and all four coupler have a beeper so a person that's blind, they know it's the correct PSI when it beeps,” Loney said.

"This is a sifter box. This is a recent project we started producing here at NewView Oklahoma. The Red Cross hands these out to people who've lost their homes. They can sift through the ashes to find their valuables."

They’ve already sent out 14,000 sifters to the American Red Cross with 10,000 more on the way.

The CEO of NewView Oklahoma believes they were called in to help because of all of the other products made here.

"It's kind of created this niche for us in disaster recovery products and so some of our first aid kits and personal hygiene kits. So not only do we do stuff for fire safety, we also do stuff for hurricane relief and other natural disasters,” President and CEO Lauren Branch said.

"Makes you take pride knowing somebody's life is dependent on a good fire hose."

Oklahomans doing their part to offer relief to those affected in California.

NewView Oklahoma produced more than 4,000 miles of hoses last year. To put that number in perspective...the hose would stretch across the united states and back to Oklahoma City.

NewView also offers low vision clinics and rehab care.

For more information visit https://nvoklahoma.org/.

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