Students Battle Issues That Come with Battling Fire

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Sydney Cook, Legacy Media

Ivory Morgan, Staff Writer

A toddler is trapped in a blazing building with no sight of her mother or father. Her cries for help mean nothing and heard are by no one. She is completely hopeless. If that thought is not frightening enough, imagine being a student in high school assigned the task of rescuing this girl with only the assistance of fellow firefighters.

Many students would shudder at the thought of another person’s life depending upon how well they do their job. But for a few students who are members of the many Spring Fire Department stations, such as senior Ray Gore, putting someone’s life ahead of theirs is just one of the job requirements.

“I almost feel more responsible for people’s safety than my own,” Gore said. “I am always on my toes, because I don’t want to be that guy that saw something and didn’t say anything and somebody got hurt or killed because of it.”

Sydney Cook, Legacy Media

While worrying about someone else’s safety, the students must be cautious of their own as well. Senior Blake Thompson, who works alongside Gore at the Station 77 Fire Department, admitted he has had second thoughts about his passion because of the dangers of it.

“There are times when I double think ‘do I want to do this? Is this worth my life?’” Thompson said. “But then I think again, ‘I signed up for this. It’s my job’.”

Though they may love their job, some students made it clear that their parents do not share the same enthusiasm. Senior Cody Rogers, who works at the Station 75 Fire Department, said that his mother is always worried, but has become accustomed to her son going out on calls. However, Gore’s parents have an opposite take on his job.

“They think it’s great,” Gore said. “They know that I’m passionate about it and they’re very supportive of it. Anything that they can do to help me with it, they do.”

The Gore family has been involved in firefighting for many years now, which may explain their stance when it comes to Gore’s job.

“My dad has been a firefighter his whole life,” Gore said. “I’ve been hanging out with him at fire stations riding trucks since before I could walk.”

Though danger may be the main issue firefighting may bring, it is not the only issue for the students. According to Thompson, the students must maintain their grades in order to participate in the action.

“It’s not easy,” Thompson said. “We have to pass all our classes with a C or above. If we don’t, our Captain suspends us and we can’t run calls until we get our grades up.”

For Gore, along with maintaining his grades, it is also tough to maintain a good amount of rest.

“It can be challenging sometimes, trying to balance friends and school, and then keeping up with training and grades,” Gore said. “I’ve come to school a lot of times working on ten to fifteen minutes of sleep that I got in the parking lot before the bell rang. Sleep is definitely a big thing.”

Sydney Cook, Legacy Media

Although the students encounter various problems with the job they love, it is clear that the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to firefighting.

“I want to protect and serve my community,” Rogers said. “Knowing that you saved someone’s life, tyyhat means a lot. It will hit you pretty hard.”

Gore shared similar thoughts as Rogers, along with adding a few of his own.

“Being a firefighter is more than just putting out fires or cutting people out of cars, and it’s definitely more than getting peoples cats out of trees,” Gore said. “Whether it’s in my area or not, it’s all about helping somebody. Whether it’s carrying groceries for some old lady or putting out a burning house, it’s all about helping people.”