Home Youth service Plainfield Fire Department gets a youthful infusion

Plainfield Fire Department gets a youthful infusion

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Published: 04/09/2022 12:36:24

Modified: 04/09/2022 12:32:36

PLAINFIELD — Two young men, Nate Woolridge and Roscoe Weeks, joined the city’s fire department, becoming regular firefighters last month at the age of 18.

“Bringing them both in now as regular firefighters…is a huge plus,” Fire Chief David Alvord said.

Alvord said Plainfield no longer has as many younger members as it once did and very few choose to get involved in the fire service. However, Woolridge and Weeks chose to participate in the department’s junior firefighter program, which is aimed at 14 to 17 year olds.

“They’re included wherever we can do things with them,” Alvord said.

Alvord said Woolridge and Weeks had expressed interest in Basic 6 training, a highly recommended training for new firefighters, which the chief said is unusual. Because they were underage when held in Plainfield this year, Alvord signed waivers for them both to participate.

Woolridge lives on his family’s farm in Plainfield, and he said it’s not fair for another person to help them with a fire if he is unwilling to work for his community.

He also described firefighting as a “good way to give back to the community”.

As part of her Basic 6 training, Woolridge had to go into a burning building.

“It was pretty fun,” he said.

Along with becoming a regular firefighter, Woolridge also became an Eagle Scout last month, and his Eagle Scout service project involved planting 15 trees around town.

Weeks said he chose to become a regular firefighter “to help people.”

“I love the training, getting to know everything on the truck and learning how to use it properly,” he said.

He also said he enjoyed the hands-on aspect of the Basic 6 training the most.

Weeks currently works as a union operator at Peckham Industries in Springfield, while Woolridge works on her parents’ farm and plans to go to college. The two intend to remain Plainfield firefighters.

Bera Dunau can be reached at [email protected]