As many children in the Lincoln County School District headed back to school on Tuesday morning, Sept. 3, 34 new Lincoln County fire recruits started classes that evening.
The class of 2020 began its journey at the St. Clair Station in Lincoln City and will be training with instructors at multiple firehouses throughout the county for the next five months.
These enthusiastic future firefighters will have the opportunity to be the first line of defense to serve their communities combating fires, responding to medical calls and motor vehicle accidents, and be at the ready for any natural disaster that may hit the coast.
“Volunteer firefighters are the backbone of our fire service on the coast and throughout the United States,” said Captain Jim Kusz.
The National Fire Protection Association estimates that there were approximately 1,056,200 local firefighters in the U.S. in 2017. Of the total number of firefighters, 373,600 (35 percent) were career firefighters and 682,600 (65 percent) were volunteer firefighters.
“These new recruits in the next few months will be serving the communities and surrounding areas of Lincoln City, Newport, Toledo, Siletz and Waldport,” said Division Training Chief Jamie Mason. Mason is coordinating the countywide academy and feels this group shows a lot of promise. “They all seem to have a great attitude. Some of them could have a future in the fire service as a career; that’s how I and most paid firefighters started, as volunteers,” said Mason.