Fire-fighting on the frontier

Senior Jules Carrol will be entering the student firefighter program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in the fall.

by Jersey Patterson, Art Director

You’ve got to be strong, mentally and physically. In the world of firefighting, everything can change in a split second. It’s a huge challenge and a risky path to pursue, but one Shorewood student is taking the challenge head on. 

Jules Carrol will take part in the student firefighter program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks next year and is looking forward to the unique experiences the career will provide.  The college describes the program as follows:  “The University Fire Department exists to provide professional fire, rescue, and medical services to our community while developing leaders in tomorrow’s emergency services workforce.”

photo courtesy of Jules Carrol

The tenacity needed for the job was not always something Carrol found in herself, “As a freshman, I was very quiet and shy.” said Carrol via email. Though shyness didn’t stop her from participating in many school activities such as track, cross country, wrestling and being a part of the drumline and band. She has always sought places of community throughout her high school career.

That’s one aspect she hopes to find through the fire fighting program too, “I am really excited about the prospect of getting to work with people who all share the same passion for working as a team to help others.”

But the path to firefighting hasn’t been a straightforward one for Carrol. She started off wanting to pursue a military career,  “As a kid, there were several jobs that I wanted to have but I knew I always wanted to serve in the military.” The strength and courage needed for military service is similar to that needed to be a firefighter, but which of the two she ended up pursuing wasn’t her choice. “During my freshman year, I realized that I was ineligible to serve in the military due to having Type One Diabetes.”

She didn’t let this stop her as soon she realized she was still eligible to be a part of the fire service, “[I] got really excited because most of the things that interested me about being in the military I could find in the fire service.”

After her work as a student firefighter, Carrol hopes to become a firefighter paramedic; continuing with her hopes to, above all else, help those around her.