Junior firefighters push for a UTV, to combat wildfires for local fire department

Local News

CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — At 17 years old, Derek Frabel, Dylan McCloskey and Nolan Weaver are not like most juniors in high school.

When they aren’t hitting the books, they are at the Walker Township Volunteer Fire Department, serving their community as junior firefighters.

“We enjoy it a lot. We have a lot of old guys around here that are just showing us the way of things and it works out really well,” said Derek Frabel, a junior member of the Walker Township Volunteer Fire Department.

The three high schoolers had an idea a few months back, to try to get their department a UTV, for fighting wildfires, but they say it wasn’t easy.

“A lot of people around our community were a little hesitant on it because we are juniors trying to go out of our way doing it,” Frabel added.

One local bank believed in them, and the Jersey Shore State Bank cut a check for $300, to pay for the UTV.

One junior member says their hard work to achieve this can serve as an example to other young people.

“I think it inspires a lot of other young people to that they can do this kind of thing to no matter how old you are,” said Dylan McCloskey, another junior member of the Walker Township Volunteer Fire Department.

The trio are an inspiration to many, but for them, it is a call of duty.

“I’ve always wanted to serve my community, my country. And I found the fire department down here, and I thought it might be a good idea to get into it now that I’m a little younger,” Nolan Weaver, the third junior member of the Walker Township Volunteer Fire Department.

The Walker Township Volunteer Fire Department chief says they are the backbone to a department.

“Without a good junior program, volunteer fire services in jeopardy,” fire chief Chris Roan said.

The chief says these three young men have the Walker Township Volunteer Fire Department in good hands.

“They’re the future, of not only this company, but a lot of companies,” Roan continued.

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