BANGOR – For two weeks, 28 students are learning what it truly means to be a firefighter. It’s an effort to recruit more people to the emergency response field.
“They’re here to hone in on their skills and to get all the essentials that they need to get their pro board certification,” said Chris Beaumont, the fire science department chair at Eastern Maine Community College (EMCC).
It doesn’t matter the temperature outside or the heavy protective gear. These students are determined to graduate from the Penobscot County Fire Academy.
“The men and women who are here getting trained will be able to bring something back to their community,” said, “Hopefully they will set the hook for one or two other when they get back to join as well.”
This academy is essential for firefighters entering burning buildings. For students like Robert Mello, he’s currently living his dream as a firefighter. When he’s not at EMCC, he’s on call at the Holden Fire Department.
“This is what gets me into my live in,” said Mello, “Without this I am not a firefighter. This makes me a fireman.”
Since he was a kid, he’s had his heart set on making this happen.
“Ever since I was 9, I thought the career was quite interesting,” said Mello.
It’s a place where fear must be overcome.
“It’s really great to be here,” said Mello, “I’ve worked very hard to be where I am today and I am very proud of the department I represent now and where I am going to be in a few years.”