[EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW] Onondaga College Student Shares His Stories of Firefighting and Training
Clinton Native David Scoones has been training and working as a firefighter at Onondaga Hill, by the Onondaga Community College Campus. We talked to him about what it's like being a young firefighter and what he's already been exposed to.
First of all, we have to give a big "Thank You" to Jim Scoones, the Second Assistant Chief at the Clinton Fire Department. A few months ago, he gave us a tour of the station, told us a little bit about a day in the life of a firefighter, and even showed us all their firetrucks and emergency vehicles. While we were there, his sons stopped by. Michael Scoones is a junior firefighter and showed us how fast they have to get ready when a call comes in, and we interviewed David Scoones who has been a firefighter for Onondaga Hill while he goes to college. You can see his full interview in the video (at the top of this page).
In the interview, David told us about how he has had to leave class to go on calls. We asked him if he lived at the firehouse when he wasn't at school, and he responded with "Yes... Well, sort of." He explained they have a bunk house and they all have "duty shifts," where they have to be at the house from 8am to 6pm and take care of things, go on calls, and all that.
It seems like David has to do a lot as a firefighter and it even seemed a little overwhelming to Naomi Lynn. But David assured her that the amount of training they do is unbelievable, and it just becomes second-nature. He added,
...The two people that usually doing the training are top of the line. Like, they go by-the-book, no shortcuts.
As for the things David has had to do so far, well it's a long list. He's used the "Jaws of Life" and things of that nature during internships before classes each summer. They go through everything from radio and communication to actual fire training. Any skill they would possibly need or might have to use at one point or another, they learn. David has also had to use Narcan for a heroin overdose during a EMT ride out.
We also asked David about memorable moments he's had so far. The one that really stuck out to us was when he explained how much he has to use CPR and how he thought he wouldn't really have to use it that much (or at all for that matter). He explained that he probably does it about six times a month, which sounds like quite a bit. But there's actually a reason behind that (he goes more in-depth in the video at the top of this page).
Being a firefighter is a stressful, hectic, and courageous job, there's no doubt about it. But can you imagine still being in college and having to deal with all that, on top of being a young adult. It sounds like a lot of pressure and a lot of hard work. But because of people like David, people who have the passion to do such a dangerous (but important) job, we're able to live safely and happily. And if there is an emergency, someone will be there to answer the call and come to the rescue. Many firefighters have told us (during "Firefighter Friday") that it's been increasingly difficult to get new members to get involved with the fire station and become firefighters. So we definitely want to thank David for what he does already, and we hope his story will inspire more young adults to become part of their local fire station. With all the hard work it is, how stressful it is, and all that, there is a payoff. We've been told time and time again that there is no greater feeling than the pride you can have for doing a job like this. And we thank ALL the firefighters and service men and women out there for all that they do for us.
Thanks David Scoones for talking with us, and sharing what you've been through already as a young firefighter.