Guymon High School Firefighter program sees success
GUYMON, OK (KFDA) -The Guymon Fire Department and Guymon high school have what some might say, a mutually beneficial relationship.
Chief Grant Wadley with the Guymon Fire Department says trained firefighters are difficult to come by, and volunteer firefighters are nearly impossible to retain in small rural towns, Guymon is no different.
A few years ago, Guymon saw the need for more volunteers but no applications coming in, so the high school and the fire department came up with the idea to provide a class for seniors so they could “grow their own”.”
“They see what they can do as an individual to help others. In the community it adds more rescue personnel, more fire personnel, more EMS personnel that can respond to emergencies and have a bigger core of people to do that that are trained and qualified,” says Wadley.
The high school class takes students inside Guymon Fire Station Number one.
Monday through Friday at eight in the morning, students are working toward a certification test that comes from Oklahoma State University fire service training division out of Stillwater.
For those interested in furthering their education beyond core classes, this is another option for soon to be graduating students.
“College may not always be the best thing for every kid. Some of these kids really latched on to the program,” says Scott Lathrop, Assistant Chief of Training, Guymon Fire Department.
Other than learning fire fighting basics like how to work the hose and other equipment, students learn the importance of teamwork.
“It is one of the most important things that is part of being a firefighter, because you need your partner,” says Axel Alvarez, Senior at Guymon High School and firefighter in training.
The fire department wants to keep these students in the city after graduation, and this option has much to offer.
“They get to see their individual work pay off in the community by helping others. Whether it’s at a fire scene, whether it’s a medical scene, whether it’s a rescue scene, whatever the case may be, they see what they can do as an individual to help others.
Seniors who complete the class will graduate firefighter I certified.
“We’re kind of growing our own as you say. Seniors are getting a different opportunity than what I ever had. I would love to get an opportunity like this to go hang out at the fire station to work with a guy to see what it’s all about,” say s Lathrop.
With the aid of this high school class, shifts are currently 100% full.
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