Fire District 9 volunteers help steer students in right direction

Published 7:22 pm Saturday, April 4, 2015

Washington Parish Fire Protection District No. 9 volunteers recently spoke to Mt. Hermon School sophomores, juniors, and seniors on during their enrichment period.

WPFD9 volunteers spoke about various volunteer opportunities in the area, including, but not limited to, the WPFD9 Junior Firefighter Program.

WPFD9 volunteer Barbara Kerbow, who is also a Mt. Hermon High School teacher, emphasized the importance of volunteering in the community and how through volunteering, students will help others but will also help themselves.

Not only will they gain fulfillment through helping others in need, but it can also help them gain knowledge and experience that will aid them in choosing their future careers, she said.

For example, students interested in the medical field could volunteer at a hospital to explore careers in the field of medicine and determine if they really want to pursue that field. Those interested in becoming a veterinarian or a vet tech might volunteer at an animal shelter or veterinary office. Those interested in construction might volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and, of course, those interested in firefighting or emergency medical services may want to volunteer at their local volunteer fire department.

“Every young person should explore all of their options while they can in order to determine what their true passion is,” Kerbow said. “Volunteering is one of the ways you can do this.”

Kerbow smiled and told students that they should try to choose a career that they love because they will be doing it a long time.

Valerie Morgan served as an example of how the female students should not limit themselves to careers formerly considered only for males. She is an active volunteer firefighter and EMS volunteer with District 9.

Harold Campbell, who began with WPFD9 at age 16, spoke of how volunteering led him to his career choice. He explained how volunteering has blessed his life and how it makes one feel part of a greater good.

He also discussed how it helped him explore career options that he may not have otherwise explored. He also discussed how opportunities he received while volunteering ultimately led to his current position as a full-time paid member of the Independence Fire Department.

“By becoming a WPFD9 junior firefighter volunteer, I was able to achieve my dream of becoming a fireman. I wanted to share this with the students in hopes that it will help them as it did me,” Campbell said.

Campbell said he is now doing what he loves and loves what he is doing.