Teen Firefighter Profiles

July 30, 2006

Christopher Mowen, 15, of Marion, Pa., planned to spend as much time as he could at the fire station over the summer before beginning 10th grade in August.

Christopher's father, Ray Mowen Jr., is a firefighter, and since Christopher was 9 years old, he has gone with him to the station.

"Firefighting has been in my family for a long time," he said.

Christopher volunteers at the Mount Aetna Volunteer Fire Co., where his father works part time. When he is 16 years old, he will be able to take courses through the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute.

Until then, he mostly observes and helps firefighters with their air packs, tools and whatever else they might need at an emergency scene.


"I just love it," he said. "As soon as the bell goes off, I start running. You just never know what the call is going to be."

Keith Cooper, 16, of Hagerstown, will take courses in August through the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute for Firefighter 1 certification.

While studying over the summer, Keith said he also plans to spend a lot of time volunteering at the Maugansville Goodwill Volunteer Fire Co., where he has been a member since he was 14.

Keith was accepted to Washington County Technical High School, and said he will focus on carpentry there, but plans to continue volunteering at the station.

"It's fun," he said. "Knowing that on the calls I go on, I can help people."

Keith said he is thinking about becoming a paid firefighter after he finishes high school. He said he will continue to volunteer, though.

"I just like how much fun it is, and how much I like helping people," Keith said. "I just love everything about it."

Mike Schultz, 17, of Hagerstown, will be a senior at North Hagerstown High School.

After school and on weekends, he will be doing what he did last year - volunteering at the Longmeadow Volunteer Fire Co., where he has been a member since he turned 16.

"I had a friend who volunteered here," he said. "And it looked like a lot of fun."

Mike recently was certified in CPR and hazardous materials operations, and also received his Firefighter 1 certification through the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute.

"It's taking a big part of my life," Mike said. "I'm here as often as possible."

He said his next step might be to study for training as an emergency medical technician.

"I'd like to explore both sides of this," Mike said.

Davon Middleton, 17, of Hagerstown, is a recent South Hagerstown High School graduate. He has been a volunteer firefighter at the Funkstown Volunteer Fire Co. for more than a year.

Davon is studying to receive Firefighter 1 certification through the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute.

He also works part time, and said that over the summer, he is spending as much time as possible at the fire station.

"If I'm not scheduled to work, I'm here," Davon said.

Davon said he hopes to be a paid firefighter when he's older, but also would continue to volunteer in Funkstown.

"Right now, I know what I want to do," he said. "I want to assist people and help out."

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