As the Southern Boone community continues to grow and expand in all directions, the volume of calls at the Southern Boone Fire Protection District has also increased and so has the need for a larger force of volunteers.

The fire district is made up entirely of volunteers. These men and women with other jobs or school to attend have chosen to train and be prepared to help keep their community and their neighbors safe at a moment’s notice.

The department is preparing to start the annual recruit class of Junior Firefighters in order to help meet this need. According Lieutenant Brandon Heyen, training will be held twice per week plus some weekends beginning in mid-June and ending July 19th.

Heyen went through the Junior Fire Program himself almost 10 years ago and has been overseeing its recruitment and training processes for the past three years.

The class provides a basic training for fighting fires, vehicle extraction, and responding to medical emergencies. The recruits are primarily formed of volunteer students from the local high school, who have decided to serve their community as emergency responders.

To be eligible for the Junior Fire Program, students must be 16-years-old, have a drivers license, maintain a C grade point average at So Bo Co schools, live within the fire protection district, and be able to meet the strenuous physical requirement of training. During school hours, students must sign out at the principal’s office in order to respond to a call and they must return to class immediately following.

~ There’s more to this story in today’s Journal ~

By Jessica Travlos