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Ryan Yost named Rookie of the Year

February 10, 1999

Ryan YostBy ANDREA BROWN-HURLEY / Staff Writer

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer




HALFWAY - Ryan Yost seems at home leaning against the bumper of the pumper engine at the Halfway Fire Company.

Firefighting is more than a job to the 17-year-old Halfway teen. It is his favorite hobby.

The junior honor roll student at Washington County Technical High School was named the Halfway Fire Company Rookie of the Year in January.

"We like to spotlight our younger members because they'll be the leaders of the future," said Fire Chief Joe Kroboth III.

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There are six junior firefighters with the Halfway company.

Kroboth said a number of factors are considered when choosing a recipient for the award. Among the variables taken into account are junior members' activity levels, support for the company, participation in work details and continuing education, academic achievement and personality, he said.

"Ryan kind of fit the bill for all those issues," Kroboth said.

Besides keeping high grades in his Health Occupations courses, Yost said he works part-time at Rack Room Shoes at Prime Outlets at Hagerstown. For the past two years, he has spent every possible free moment at the fire station.

He even sleeps there on the weekends.

Does he save time for any favorite hobbies?

"This is my hobby," Yost said.

Yost leafed through his dog-eared, 600-page firefighters' training manual - a testament to the hours he spent studying to pass the 93-hour course necessary to become a Firefighter 1, which means he can fight structural and car fires, he said.

"You have to know your stuff before you can pass it," Yost said. "There's a lot of math involved."

He began a Rescue Technician class in Clear Spring recently, and will take an Emergency Medical Technician course in the fall, he said. After graduating from high school, Yost said he may study to be a registered nurse or a professional firefighter.

He said attending training sessions with a friend of his mother Debbie Yost at the Clear Spring Volunteer Fire Company three years ago sparked his interest in firefighting.

Yost said he likes helping people, and being able to say he can do something others can't. "Most people run out of fires, I run in," he said. "I like the thrill of it."

Firefighting is not for the squeamish, and Yost remembered spending a day at work with his father, Registered Nurse Dennis Yost, in the eighth grade.

On a gurney was a man with a fractured leg, Yost said. Though the man was in shock, Yost said he saw the bone protruding through the skin, exposing muscles and tendons.

"It doesn't bother me,'' he said.

While helping to extricate a car accident victim, Yost said he came face-to-face with one of the realities of being a firefighter.

"I saw how gruesome and ugly it can get sometimes," he said.

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