Face in the Crowd: Austin Rich

Senior Austin Rich talks about his firefighter class and offers inspirations for others.

Caroline Hung, Centerspread Editor

Have you always wanted to be a firefighter?

No, I haven’t. I saw the class last year. After taking it, I could see myself doing this for my whole life. It’s fun to be able to try the skills you’ve learned the same week you learned them.

Are you ever scared of going into live fire?

Not really. By that time you become comfortable with the people in your class and have seen them doing the same things…if something were to happen, they would have no problem pulling you out!

What does the course teach?

We do all the practical stuff. Definitely all hands on. Right now, we are rolling and unrolling hoses. But later in the year, we will get into search and rescue and even go into live fires.

What do you think of the firefighter gear?

Heavy, but you get used to it  quickly. It even gets comfortable after a while.

What are your plans after high school?

Everett Community College for my fire science degree. Then, transfer to Central for a degree in para-medicine.

Do your parents support this choice?

Yes, they do. They are a little worried that I would run into a burning building, but they like the idea that one day I might save a life.

It seems like you know your plans for the future. Any advice for those who haven’t?

Find something you love and make a career out of it. Don’t try to do it for the money. If you do what you love, the money will follow.