Community Matters: Burlington Fire Dept - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Community Matters: Burlington Fire Dept

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In the pursuit of building a career, one firefighter found a way to help her community.

Or was it the other way around?

Tonight in our Community Matters series, Jennifer Kleen takes us to Burlington where one young firefighter is giving back AND setting records.

Blazing her way to the career of a lifetime, Jennifer Schaefer is willing to do whatever it takes.

(Ken Sisk, ND State Fire Marshall's Office) "Jennifer Schaefer broke a record as the youngest person in North Dakota to take and pass the firefighter 1 essentials 5 test."

(Jennifer Schaefer, National Junior Firefighter of the Year) "It's amazing how you've been training and training and then you finally get to do the real thing and you realize it's not as hard as you thought it was going to be."

(Ken Sisk, ND State Fire Marshall's Office) "She holds certifications in extrication, instructor 1, first aid, CPR, AED, water rescue, fire ground communications and hazmat awareness and many more."

As senior at Des Lacs Burlington High School, Schaefer reflected her father's decision to volunteer four years ago and ignited her passion for service at Burlington Rural Fire Department.

(Jennifer Schaefer, National Junior Firefighter of the Year) "Control the scene. Help whoever is in need of help and get out as soon as possible because we may needed within an hour of getting called or in five minutes."

Schaefer was named the National Junior Firefighter of the Year, she was number one of more than 3,000.

(Jennifer Schaefer, National Junior Firefighter of the Year) "Burlington is a smaller community and we don't get recognized all that much at a national level."

Junior firefighter no more.

Schaefer tested to become a senior firefighter this year and Chief Karter Lesmann gave her Incident Command of her first call.

(Jennifer Schaefer, National Junior Firefighter of the Year) "When the time to perform arrives, the time to prepare has passed."

The heat of the moment is only part of the job.

(Ken Sisk, ND State Fire Marshall's Office) "She spends as much time as possible at the fire station helping with truck checks, fire maintenance..."

(Jennifer Schaefer, National Junior Firefighter of the Year) "To me, being on the fire department is very important.

(Ken Sisk, ND State Fire Marshall's Office) "...filling out reports, shoveling snow and whatever else is needed to keep the department ready for the next call."

(Jennifer Schaefer, National Junior Firefighter of the Year) "Not only for volunteering but being there for those who were there for me. After it is all said and done, seeing a smile on their face puts a smile on mine."

Serving for smiles and preparing for performance, Jennifer Schaefer's career in public service is taking off like wildfire.

For Community Matters, Jennifer Kleen, KX News.

Schaefer will be attending the National Volunteer Firefighters' spring meeting in Alexandria, Virginia to receive her award.

She hopes to work toward a Bachelor's degree in Fire Science and one day become an arson investigator.

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