It is a normal occurrence for teens to have jobs during their high school career, but you don’t commonly think of them being volunteers for the local fire department. Delphi has not only one, but five teens on the volunteer fire department including Eli Bender, Cason Bishop, Tyler Bishop, Hunter Guiney, and Micah Lawless.
Eli, Cason, and Micah have all been on the department for a few years and joined for various reasons. Both Eli and Cason had a parent on the department and wanted to join because of that. Micah’s story of joining is slightly different. A few years back, Micah witnessed a neighbor’s house going up in flames and became inspired by the brave men and women rushing into the house to save the family and extinguish the fire. All three of these boys not only had their parents’ support when they decided to become a cadet, anyone on the department under the age of 18, but they all encouraged the boys to help the community and become a part of it.
It isn’t easy to become a cadet. There is a lot of job-specific training you have to go through. For instance, trainers give you scenarios and the team has to figure out how to solve the problem. There is also training on some of the tools they use, such as the jaws of life and how to pump water and operate the trucks. They have training on how to operate the air packs, and they participate in fire suppression training. According to the DCHS cadets, the time and hard work involved in training is worth it. “I like knowing that I have a future in my life and that fire fighting is always an option,” Micah commented. While others, like Cason, enjoy it because he likes the rush of adrenaline and sharing moments with his father.
Being on the fire department doesn’t add to the regular stress that comes with being a teenager, according to all three boys, but they did admit that it was stressful. Cason explained that you are not required to show up for every fire, so if you have something else going on, someone else will be there to take your place for the evening.
“The most rewarding part of being a firefighter is seeing what actually goes on. As you see on tv, firefighters are saving cats out of trees, but here you see the training and the other calls of men getting hurt and helping the people that lost something,” said Micah.
Eli agreed by saying, “[The most rewarding part is] helping the community and giving back.”
But just like everything else, being on the department has its downsides. For some it’s rolling the hoses, for others it’s figuring out how to function as a team, and for some it is how under-appreciated they feel for the job they do and the lengths they go to help protect our community.
We are lucky to have these boys helping to serve and give back to the community by being on Delphi’s volunteer fire department. If you are 14 years or older and interested in being a cadet alongside these boys, you can stop by the fire station and request an application, or if you are 18 or older, you can join the fire department with the same process.