BUSHLAND, TX (KFDA) - As first responders worked Monday to try to save a man who ultimately perished in a semi crash, among them was a seasoned volunteer firefighter who is 14 years old.
Kolton Kendrick is an 8th grader at Bushland Middle School.
He's a good student, loves to play basketball, and started volunteering as a junior firefighter in Potter County when he was 13.
Kolton was walking through the 8th grade hallway Monday morning when one of his friends told him to look outside.
"I saw the big plume and I called my mom and my dad said, 'go get him I need some hands,'" said Kolton.
He didn't waste any time getting to Potter County Fire State 1, quickly changing from a student to a volunteer firefighter.
"I didn't have to [go], but I wanted to go help," said Kolton.
He and his dad, the fire captain, were first to respond to the semi truck that had just driven off the I-40 overpass in Bushland.
His dad, Mike Kendrick, had him work the hose, and Kolton was the first to actually start fighting the fire.
In his year and a half as a volunteer firefighter, Kolton has already been ranked higher than dozens of other firefighters in the agency.
Last year alone, he went on 160 calls, and by now has helped fight about 50 fires - all while playing basketball at school and keeping his grades up.
"Even the LIT fire from the last wind storm, he stayed out with me til 2 o'clock in the morning, went home, took a nap and then went back to school," said Kendrick. "So he has a lot of drive to do it."
It's a lot of work, but Kolton said it's worth it.
Firefighting is in his blood.
"I've been around it for my whole life and I love helping people."
Kolton isn't the only younger volunteer firefighter in potter county, and they're always taking applications for more kids who want to be junior firefighters, or explorers, with the department.
There's a general need for volunteer firefighters in Potter County.
Anyone interested can learn more here.
A GoFundMe has also been set up for the family of the truck driver who died in this crash.