LAWTON, OK (TNN) - What does it take to be a firefighter? Two women who happen to be volunteer firefighters joined Lawton Fire Department recruits as they work to get their certification and better serve their communities.
Lawton Fire Department recruits, and two volunteer firefighters, have been working hard in class since January.
“For me, this is kind of a completely new experience," said Caitlin Clauson, a volunteer firefighter with Apache Volunteer Fire Department. "So, I’m kind of having to learn everything from scratch, from the ground up.”
Clauson said after working four years as a ranch hand, she felt called to do more.
“I wanted to be able to widen out and to help the community," said Clauson. "I thought it was time to try something new, so I decided to try this.”
Christine Boothe, a volunteer firefighter with Medicine Park Volunteer Fire Department, said she wanted more training so she could feel more confident on scene.
“It’s been fun hanging out with these guys," said Boothe. "Of course, I’m one of the older ones in the group, and being one of the few females, it’s been a little bit different, but they’ve been very accommodating and kind and patient with me. The physical part of it has been the hardest thing for me, like getting out there and trying to keep up with them physically, because it can be extremely demanding at times.”
Her excitement about firefighting has also sparked some interest in her two teenage sons.
“They wanted to come here and learn about the agility test and kind of what it takes to be able to get on with Lawton Fire Department, and maybe work on those skills so that next time they come around to hire and they’re old enough, maybe they’ll become firefighters,” said Boothe.
One of the Lawton Fire Department recruits, Antonio Martinez, said if you are interested in joining LFD, make sure to do your research so you are prepared.
“Get into some classes, some EMT, Firefighter 1, but EMT is probably the best thing to get into,” said Martinez. “Get involved in the community, help out. There’s a lot of people that let you do tours. A lot of people do internships. Just try to get involved, and do a lot of research, too, in your departments. I did a lot of research into Lawton... Finding out that they’re building two new stations. It’s a great time to be a Lawton firefighter right now.”
LFD will be accepting applications through April 26th. You can pick them up at Lawton City Hall.