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For ThunderRidge High School senior Evan Davros, walking into a burning building with his father has always been a dream.
He got his chance April 11 as part of the culmination of his time in the Douglas County Fire Science program. Davros and other students fought a simulated fire at the South Metro Fire Rescue Training Center in Parker.
“It’s cool having my dad there,” Davros said. “It’s kind of surreal really. I grew up in the firehouse. I would see him go on calls and stuff, and now to actually be there is fantastic.”
Davros’ father, Tom, is a firefighter for South Metro. He has worked as a firefighter for 18 years and as an EMT for 20.
“The firehouse is all he’s ever known since he was an infant,” said Evan’s mom, Tina. “We would do the kid swap at the firehouse. My husband would be getting off and I would be going to work. That’s where he grew up.”
Davros was part of the year-long course run through Rock Canyon High School and in conjunction with South Metro Fire, Littleton Fire Rescue and the Douglas County School District.
This year’s program consisted of 14 students from six different high schools: Rock Canyon, ThunderRidge, Mountain Vista, Douglas County and Legend. There were also two students from Arapahoe High School in Littleton.
Students learn emergency medical care, hazmat and ice rescue, as well as traditional firefighting skills.
“It’s an amazing experience, especially to see the youth have such passion for this line of work. Right here we are breeding the next generation of firefighters,” Tom Davros said. “Every other professional firefighter I talk to says the same thing: ‘Why wasn’t this around when I was coming up?’”
Former firefighter George Piccone is the instructor of the Fire Science Program and an employee of the school district..
“They spend a year with me before they get to this point,” Piccone said. “Before they get into this building, they’re ready for it. They’re ready to fight a fire.”
Fire students earn dual credit and are enrolled as students at Red Rocks Community College during the program.
Piccone said the students who graduate from the program have an advantage when it comes to getting jobs in the field.
“In one of the most competitive fields there is right now, fire, they really get a major leg up on everyone when they graduate,” Piccone said. “These days if you don’t have an advanced education, you’re not going to get hired.”
Piccone said nearly 100 percent of the programs graduates are able to find a full-time job in the field.
Evan Davros said he will be attending the University of Colorado in Boulder next year. He plans to major in biology. He would like to go into the military and then become a firefighter when he is done serving.
“(Working with my dad) would be awesome. That’s my dream,” he said.
Tom Davros said he was proud of his son.
“It’s an incredibly gratifying experience to watch him grow,” he said. “Working together would be great. I’d have to be pretty old, though.”
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