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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Graduates fight summer fires

A siren sounds from down the busy street and cars pull to the side as the fire truck rushes by. The firefighters jump out and use all their force to put out a local fire.

While many only think about firemen or their dangerous jobs when they pull out of the way of a screaming engine, a couple of seniors know full-well the strength and endurance it takes to be a firefighter, including the many hours of training to battle elements of nature and its destructive force.

Two seniors will leave the comforts of high school and try out for a summer job in firefighting after graduation. The U.S. Forest Service will provide the training for those interested in entering the field of firefighting.

Ryan Taylor and Derek Wear signed up to the program after hearing Tom McEntee talk about his experience.

The US Forest Service is how I paid for my college,” McEntee said. “It is the closest to the military I got; the discipline involved was really good for me personally and I ended up doing it for four summers.”

The requirements for the job are that the applicant be 18-years-old and must be in physical shape to pass a conditioning test.

“One obstacle we had to do to get accepted was to walk three miles in under 45 minutes carrying a 45-pound pack,” Wear said. “It was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. I finished it in about 33 Minutes and the average time for most people to finish was 40 minutes.”

Aside from the physical requirements, the boys also had to endure 40 hours of classes in a one-week period.

“The classes were so long and boring,” Taylor said. “On Saturday and Sunday they were 8 hours long and then Monday-Friday it was about 4 hours. It gets really tiring after awhile, especially when it’s one day after another.”

Once finished with the initial requirement, the rookies in training apply can for Blue Card certification, which means new members will perform clean up work, cut lines or create fire breaks and then graduate to more involved firefighting responsibilities.

“What we have to do right now is pretty much cleaning up,” Taylor said. “We are still on call everyday and can not be more than one hour away from the station. But a plus is that we will get to travel the world.”

Though neither boys’ plan to make firefighting a career, both believe it is a good experience and only lasts throughout the summer; the best part? a good salary.

“I do not think I am actually going to pursue a career in firefighting,” Wear said. “I want to be able to say I have accomplished something in my life and firefighting is a great opportunity–plus we make about $15 per hour.”

Taylor plans on attending Cuesta Community College in San Luis Obispo in the fall to study architectural engineering while Wear plans to stay in town and work.

The seniors will leave for Southern California on their senior trip on May 19 at 9 A.M. and will return on Tuesday evening. Graduation is set for May 24 in the Peoples Church sanctuary at 7 P.M.

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