A Special Career Choice

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Photo by Litchfield County Regional Fire School Rachel Davis operates one of the pieces of equipment she has been trained to use.

When she was young, Rachel Davis, now a sophomore criminology major and exuberant young woman, observed the cadet training that her 14-year-old brother underwent at the Connecticut Fire Academy in Windsor Locks. Called “Introduction to Fire Service”, this cadet course trains the student for “recruit level”. Rachel and her brother are seven years apart in age, and so she watched her big brother carefully. The toy trucks they both played with began to take on a whole new dimension for her.

Training as a professional firefighter means you are a cadet for four years. After this time period, you are eligible to join the Fire Academy. Rachel revealed her interest in doing just this, so her next step was to discuss this with Suffield’s Fire Chief at the time, Charles Flynn. Flynn then recommended Rachel take the Fire Fighter 1 course, which she did this past summer.

This concerned young citizen, who grew up in Suffield, said she was always interested in how people could become first responders. Rachel has a phone app called “I Am Responding” which informs all first responders of ALL emergency calls. Rachel attends any and all calls when she is back home in Suffield. She also attends the Monday night meetings held in Suffield at the Fire Academy or at the fire stations in town.

At five feet five inches and 115 pounds, Rachel did not feel at all intimidated in the demanding and often grueling work that firefighting and rescue requires. “No matter the gender, you can do anything. DO IT!” Asked if she believed that this line of work was her “calling,” she did not hesitate in her response. “Always, always, I will be a firefighter.”

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