EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) — East Palestine Fire Chief Keith Drabick sat down with First News Weekend Anchor Megan Lee to talk about the recovery and the future of East Palestine after the Feb. 3 train derailment.

Drabick said despite the circumstances, his community has remained strong.

“The town is rebuilding. We’re getting there and everybody is pushing forward, and it’s so inspiring to see,” he said.

Drabick says the support to his department and other local leaders has been helpful. He even received a thank-you gift from a local artist and resident during the First News interview.

“Everybody just an outpour of support and help and we couldn’t have done any of this without everybody’s help. … My people here are just phenomenal.”

You may be wondering when East Taggart Street will reopen and ‘road closed’ signs will be gone. Drabick says the timeline of reopening this street all comes down to keeping people safe.

“We don’t want anybody to get hurt whether it be the workers down there, the public. So it’s just safer to keep that closed. I know it’s a huge inconvenience, but we have to look at safety overall first,” Drabick said.

As far as the future of the village goes, Drabick hopes to see long-term monitoring continue.

“I want to see the remediation continue, I want to see the clean up continue, I want to see the studies continue, you know, looking at that long term whether it be medical, soil, air — all of that long-term study — water, everything,” he said.

As you enter and leave the village, a sign reads, “East Palestine, The Place to be … Come Back Soon” — A message Drabick strongly agrees with.

“I think this town is going to be better than it ever was. I really do.”