Answering the call: students pledge to serve, protect

Dania Robinson

In America, firefighters are responding to a calls every 23 seconds. Three-quarters of them are volunteers, risking their lives, to keep the rest of us safe. For seniors Corey Schultz and Tyler Smith, it is commonplace and a part of who they are.

“I’ve been with the Fire Department for about a year now,” Schultz said. “ I’ve had to leave a couple of classes to respond to fires and medical calls.”

Schultz wanted to join because he was inspired by his brother, who was also a volunteer fireman.

“My brother, has been with my fire department for about two years now,” Schultz said. “He’s also a paid firefighter by the College Station Fire Department. After the Bastrop fires, I really want to do it for sure.”

Recently, Smith had to respond to a call near his house.

“My friend was in a car crash and he was unconscious,” Smith said. “I had to check his pulse and then perform CPR. It showed me that i could definitely come across life or death situations.”

After being recruited, new volunteer firefighters typically enter department-run training academies or similar programs.

“Our training consists of a lot of studying, making sure you’re on top of your fitness, making sure that all your equipment is ready to go,” Schultz said. “It’s just a lot of preparation and training,”

Smith says that, in the long run, all the hard training pays off.

“Helping people in the county helps me see how important it is to be prepared for what comes up,” Smith said.

Schultz was in a First Responder’s competition in which he placed second at region, district and state.

“Corey’s success in the First Responder’s competition helped him out a great deal because of some of the skills and tools he learned as being a fireman,” Criminal Justice teacher Gary Parks said.

Schultz said the competition was very beneficial for him.

“Being in the First Responder’s competition really helped me become prepared for real situations that I’ll be in,” said Schultz. “I’m looking forward to helping people and giving back to the community.”