Students Fighting Fire

Along with homework these two volunteers help the community on there own time

Lizeth Gonzalez, Editor In Chief

Navarrete in uniform at station 10

Photo by: provided by Silvia Navarrete
The average student’s only concern is an upcoming  test and the amount of homework they have to juggle, but for a two students, house fires and the well being of the community are added to their list. Senior
Silvia Navarrete and junior Rasheed Seals devote their personal time to helping the volunteers a the Cy-Fair Fire Department in station 10.

Navarrete joined the department her sophomore year and graduated from the academy her junior year. For Navarrete, becoming a firefighter was more than just having another thing to do after school. Navarrete’s first experience with firefighters inspired her to follow their footsteps.

“It started when one of my neighbors house caught on fire, and that was my first encounter with seeing firefighters,” Navarrete said. “It really touched me how they were willing to risk their own lives to save others. It was really inspiring and I wanted to do it; I wanted to help.”

Navarrete started volunteering when she turned 16  even though she had a full plate as representative of the 2017 class, member of TAFFY, dRAMa Club, Film Club and Key Club. Regardless of her extracurriculars, Navarrete still felt the need to help the community and be apart of a greater cause.

Seals and his friend Edgar Escobar from station 2

Photo by: provided by Rasheed Seals
Seals joined the department in the summer of 2016. Seals became a firefighter in order to further move along his pursuit of joining the medical field. Although the experience is a nice bonus, he took the initiative and devoted himself to becoming a firefighter.

“I first wanted to be a firefighter when I was little, and I always wanted to be in the medical field, and I feel it’s perfect opportunity to move up to that,” Seals said “As a minor I can’t really do everything. What I can do, is everything besides interior fire fighting, so medical calls, cardiac arrest, anything with medical related incidents. 80 percent of calls in this area are medical related so that’s mostly what i’m doing and I like it.”

Being a firefighter takes a lot of time commitment, especially if you are trying to juggle a social life and school work.

“Its one of those things where you have to pick and choose if you really wanna do this and losing a few hours of sleep won’t hurt if it’s your true passion” Seals said.

Though school is from 7am to 2:40 pm, Seals and Navarrete still manage to commit to 24 hour shifts at the fire station. Navarrete finished her Mondays and Wednesdays from 5pm to 10 p.m. academy time, but Seals will finish this three month long program soon.

Seals practicing medical techniques

“Within a sport there’s a game face, and when I’m in uniform or outside uniform I still have that mentality as a firefighter where I have to represent in the station and outside the station,” Seals said.

As a member of a station house, their time there is not only about learning; it is an emotional and physical experience that has helped these students grow from young teens to the young adults they have become over the past few years.

“[Students] need to be aware it’s time consuming and it’s physically demanding, and not only that it can take an emotional toll after seeing certain things, but it’s such a great cause and we’re helping those in need and there’s nothing more fulfilling than that,” Navarrete said.

Serving as a firefighter for Seals and Navarrete is also  a way to make help further appreciate the life they have. Helping the community is a great thing, but appreciating the little things in life has become a big part of their lives.

“It’s a blessing. It is scary at first, the topic is scary but knowing that you saved the person’s life, helping them on anything it is rewarding,” Seals said. “You have a woman breaking down or scared and I consider saving a life as making them happy, giving them the feeling that there safe.”

Although Seals and Navarrete are the same age and they have had stood by other adults in the fire station working hand in hand during fire station calls, Seals has found a role model in Navarrete for being a dedicated firefighter and student just like him.

“Silvia is a really good person she’s [finished her 3 month academy]  and I’m trying to go her route, she’s a great firefighter” Seals said “she’s around my age and she’s still in high school and she has to deal with going to school in the morning and if she can do it, I can do it and she motivates me to get it done.”

For any student who wants to join a fire department, they have to take account the hours, the 24 hours shifts and the physical and emotional toll the program is. But all of it is worth it for Navarrete who persist to help in Station 10 and will not stop for a long time.

“I volunteer because it’s a way for me to help myself out when I’m helping others” Navarrete said “I don’t know how to explain, it like we’re only here on earth for such a small amount of time and I want to make that time worth it. I wanna make a difference; I wanna be there for people.”