Student receives Firefighter of the Year awardBy Emily Beckett Published 12:40pm Monday, December 23, 2013
Cook is completing fire training through the Public Service Academy at LeCroy Career Technical Center in Clanton.
He started the program in August and is about halfway through the basic 160 course required to become a volunteer firefighter, after which he plans to complete a five-week bridge course with Alabama Fire College to become a certified firefighter.
Clanton Fire Chief David Driver is one of Cook’s instructors in the Academy.
“I feel like he deserves the award,” Driver said. “Any time we ask him to do anything, he’ll do it. Sometimes, he’s the first person to do it.”
Cook said he hopes to complete a separate course to earn Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)/paramedic certification.
Cook said his mother, who passed away when he was 3, served as an EMT/paramedic in Maplesville.
Although he considered careers in storm chasing and the military when he was growing up, Cook said his focus eventually changed to the firefighting field.
“I like helping people a lot,” Cook said. “It comes from my family.”
Cook said he spends about two or three hours at Jones each week, washing fire trucks, attending business meetings and helping handle calls.
He said has not been able to assist with any house fires or drive a fire truck because of his pending graduation from the Academy, but he has been able to go on a medical call and several motor vehicle accident calls.
“He does have a good work ethic,” Driver said. “I think any fire department would love to have him. We’re very proud of him.”
Cook said he feels he can calm people down in emergencies, which is one reason he has found firefighting to be a good fit for him career-wise.
“You’ve got to stay positive about everything,” Cook said. “I just want to do something that I love. I just feel like God’s calling me to do firefighting.”