High school students volunteer to help put out flames with Junior Firefighter Program

By Natalie Otto
WIBW – March 17, 2017

 

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Sean Rewerts says his father lit the spark inside of him to want to do more.

 

"It was always really cool when I was little, seeing him go out on calls and stuff," said Sean.

 

Sean's father, Nathan Rewerts, is the Assistant Chief of Shawnee County District #4. Sean is among several students fulfilling their dreams a little early, with the Junior Firefighter Program.

 

"I've always liked the aspect of firefighting, and growing up I was always like 'wow this seems like a pretty cool profession," said Junior Firefighter Malcolm Gillum.

 

"They are huge. We are all volunteer so we don't have any staffing. These kids are hitting the fire when a lot of the threat levels are down, so we can all step back and take a break," said Captain Kyle Soldani.

 

The Junior Firefighters participate in training and help with station projects several times a month. They help put out the flames on a Muller auto-transplant semi Friday morning in West Topeka.

 

"We either keep them with us if we want to be selfish or we keep them in the fire service somewhere. If we get them in the fire service somewhere we've done our job," said Soldani.

 

"It gives you a good feel for it, and a lot of good exposure, and I plan on getting my Fire Science degree to become a full-time firefighter," said Gillum.

 

Dedication igniting a flame, in more ways than one.

 

"Just helping you're community out," said Sean.

 

"It's just a certain call to some people, a lot of dedication, but I enjoy every second of it," said Gillum.

 

The Soldier Township Fire Department also has a Junior Firefighter Program. Applicants must be ages 14 to 18 to apply.