Franklin's First Responders--Making a Difference One Call at a Time
Updated: Mar 21
By Lily Lovette and Paige Ordway--Eagle Staff Writers
Helping save lives is something that doesn’t sound like a role you take on as a high school student. However, some students around Franklin County have found a passion for volunteering at local first responding locations.
Junior Bralynn Beamesderfer began volunteering at the age of 16 at the Glade Hill Fire Department. She reports that her motivation to volunteer comes from her family members.
"I grew up running calls with my papa who is a lifetime member at Glade Hill volunteer fire station with 10 other of my family members," Beamesderfer said.
Like Beamesderfer, senior Todd Clements decided to volunteer at the Boones Mill Fire Department because of family.
“My family’s always been in the Fire Service…I take it as a family heirloom and continue it,” Clements commented.
Junior Cody Hamilton began volunteering at the Burnt Chimney Fire Department when he was 16. He found his love for the Fire Department through saving lives and making memories.
“It was the pride that comes with it and the willingness to save people’s lives, and the memories,” Hamilton shared.
There seems to be a variety of activities for volunteers at local fire departments to do. Ranging from washing trucks to controlling traffic, it all depends on the fire department and community needs.
“As a junior member, you are limited in what you can help with until you complete Firefighter 1 Class [training] so I do things like help with traffic control and help the older [members] who need help doing things," Beamesderfer explained. "Once I complete Firefighter 1, I will be able to go into a burning building and be involved with HAZMAT and fire sense.”
Clements explained that sometimes the work is less than glamorous.
“There's some things you hate and some things you don’t [like] washing the truck," he said. "A good presentable truck looks good especially on yourself,” Clements continued.
More than just a clean ride, Clements added that the way a firefighter carries themself, both inside and out, matters.
“Just keep the generosity and professionalism," he advised. "If you’re wearing the shirt, you want to stay professional."
To be able to volunteer at the majority of fire departments in Franklin County, volunteers must be sixteen and have a clean background.
“You fill out an application through Public Safety and they will assign you to a department closest to your address. They will do a background check on you and you will attend meetings once a month at your department,” Beamesderfer explained.
Some students have also started to volunteer for EMS. Senior Natalie Davis volunteers as an Attendant at Cave Spring Rescue Squad.
“I wanted to get an introduction to the medical field since I had some interest in it and knew that this was a great way to get patient contacts in high school. It’s pretty rare that high school students can actually treat patients, so I think it’s a cool opportunity,” Davis enthused. "I do what the Attendant In Charge says for me to do. I can take blood sugar, vitals, CPR, and give basic medications - anything a nationally certified EMT can do.”
The qualifications for EMS are a bit different compared to the fire departments. To be able to join Cave Spring Rescue Squad volunteers have to be sixteen but must be working on obtaining their EMT certification. Once their accepted, volunteers must receive their EMT certification within six months of joining in order to keep their position.
Anyone interested in volunteering can turn in an application and stop, drop, and roll into one of Franklin County’s first responding locations.