When Dale May graduated in May from Brookfield High School, he knew what he wanted to do.
Ohio Job and Family Services is helping him get there.
May applied for a summer work program, and JFS assigned him to the Brookfield Fire Department because he has an interest in firefighting and emergency medical service.
“He’s been really making a difference down there,” Brookfield Fire Chief David Masirovits told the township trustees July 29. “The guys really appreciate him.”
May started work right after graduation and, because he has graduated from high school, JFS was able to roll him over from the teen program to the adult program, and he will work for the fire department for an additional six months, ending in February, Masirovits said.
“It can go beyond that, if he stays in school,” the chief said, noting JFS pays May’s salary to work 30 hours a week.
“It’s great,” May said of working at the fire station. “Everyone’s nice. Everyone’s friendly. It’s a great atmosphere.”
May said he has been interested in firefighting for some time, and learned about the emergency medical service from his mom, who had pursued training in that line of work, but gave it up to raise a family.
“This really is always what I wanted to do,” he said in an Aug. 8 interview.
May has performed clerical and light maintenance duties, cleaned equipment and vehicles, sat in on training classes, painted, and gone on calls.
He applied to be a member of the Brookfield Volunteer Fire Department under a new provision created by Masirovits that allows people without experience to join so they can learn and pursue the necessary training to become certified firefighters. The trustees approved the application Aug. 5.
“He got his pager yesterday,” Masirovits said Aug. 8. “He’s ready to start going out on some calls” as a volunteer firefighter.
While May will not be able to perform any duties related to firefighting or treating sick or wounded patients, he can run hose and set up ladders at fire scenes and sweep up at accident scenes.
May said the most memorable call he has gone out on was a car fire on Route 7.
promo“That was my first-time call I ever responded to, so it was pretty cool,” he said.
Yet, it was hard to just stand back and observe, May said.
“I wanted to participate, but I know there’s risks without proper training,” he said.
May is enrolled in an EMT school that starts in October at Mahoning County Career and Technical Center, Youngstown – a program that ends in February – and will then pursue fire school. He will have a ready source of knowledge to expand on medical subjects he will encounter in school from the EMTs and paramedics at Brookfield, Masirovits said.
His experience at the fire station familiarizes him with department operations, policies and procedures, and locations within the township and those he would need to know outside the township, such as hospitals, the chief said. That should give him a leg up on getting a job when he completes the schools and is certified as an EMT and firefighter.
JFS also will help him with his training costs, Masirovits said.
The chief said the tasks May is performing are not busy work and directly apply to the duties of an active EMT or firefighter.
“Cleaning equipment is one of the most important things that we do, because then we’re ready to go back out,” Masirovits said.