Austin Vliet ’17, Student Life Editor
The fire service is all about companionship, camaraderie, brotherhood, and bravery and the South Lyon Fire Department exhibits all of these characteristics and more.
The fire department offers a special cadet program to high school students who are 16 years or older. This program allows students to get the full fire department experience without spending the thousands of dollars to acquire all of the certifications to become a firefighter. The cadet program is followed by a program called on the job training (OJT), this program is split up into specially designed chapters to test members on different categories of the department.
If you decide to become a member, it is a rather rigorous and time consuming process that requires complete dedication. There are nine different modules that will test you on how well you know that specific section. You will, however, also be assigned an experienced firefighter to guide and help you through this process.
It is definitely expected that you give the fire department approximately six hours of your time a week as well as an average of one module per week. After just three modules, you can start responding to calls just as a normal firefighter would. This program is designed for people who are interested in this career field but not yet committed. Being given this opportunity allows you to have both your fire academy class and EMT class paid for; that is approximately $6100 of schooling that the fire department will pay for.
South Lyon high school alumni Brittany Tooman has been on the fire department for three years now and has gone through the cadet program. When asked what was so great about the program, Tooman said, “It teaches you life lessons and shows you how to do things not every average 16 year old girl knows how to do like running a chainsaw or using hydraulic equipment.” Not only will you learn how to operate a chainsaw or hydraulic tools, you will also learn how a fire hydrant works, how to operate and talk over the radio, and how to use the airpacks that firefighters use to breath out of.
Senior Zach Dobrick is also a member of the fire department and has gone through this program. Dobrick was asked what his favorite thing about being on the department, he said, “Being able to be apart of a team like this and contributing to a bigger picture is a great feeling.”
All in all, the cadet program gets those who join onto the fast track to making a difference in your community and leads you to a life long career.
If you are interested, applications can be picked up at the fire station or found at www.southlyonfire.com under “Join our Team”. If there are any questions, email the fire chief at email@example.com