STINNETT, TX (KFDA) - The Stinnett Volunteer Fire Department is recruiting teenagers for their new Junior Firefighter Program.
Izaiah Gonzales was the first member of the program. His dad and PR Director for the Stinnett Volunteer Fire Department, E.C. Garza, said he hopes Izaiah sets an example for others.
"When kids get involved they tend to take a sense of ownership for what they're doing and gives them a sense of pride," said Garza. "It also gets them to also start thinking there's more to life than just video games a football."
Izaiah's mom and firefighter Sonya Gonzales echoed that statement, saying this is a great way for kids to do their part.
"It kind of helps get them involved with the community and realize that we need a lot of help in this community," said Gonzales. "Also hopefully it will model future firefighters to join volunteer fire departments."
President of the Stinnett Area Volunteer Firefighters Association Lieutenant Gena Wells said she hopes this program will help bring in volunteers.
"We're hoping that it also maybe might help bring their parents into the fire service," said Wells. "If they can't volunteer on a fire, the whole family can somehow help with the community."
Garza added that he hopes these boys will step up when others decide to retire.
"We have a lot of seasoned fire fighters that have been 20, 30 years fighting fires, they're not going to be able to do that the next 20, 30 years," said Garza. "That's what I'm hoping on this, that we can get these kids to come in and they can be the ones in 20, 30 years training the next generation."
Junior Firefighters will attend meetings, learn how to operate the trucks, roll hoses, wear equipment and help with emergencies.
Izaiah said this is their way of getting involved.
"There's not much kids that actually do stuff with the community," said Izaiah. "We actually do stuff besides sitting on our couch and watching TV."
To qualify as a Junior Firefighter, you must be 13 to 17-years-old, maintain a C average and reside in Hutchinson County.
If your child would like to be a Junior Firefighter, contact Lt. Wells at (806)886-8302 or Sonya Gonzales at (806)471-4593.