The Student News Site of Buffalo High School

Bison Beat Online

The Student News Site of Buffalo High School

Bison Beat Online

The Student News Site of Buffalo High School

Bison Beat Online

Bison Spotlight: Robby Boettcher

Robby Boettcher
Firefighter program students learn the basics, including putting on and using the gear and becoming familiar with the parts of the fire truck.

Ask a class of kindergartners what they want to be when they grow up, and chances are there will be plenty of them who answer firefighter. For high school students who have been dreaming of fighting fires and riding in the big red trucks since childhood, a new set of courses allows them to get a head-start on fulfilling their dream.

The firefighter program is a new offering for students; the instructor is firefighter Robby Boettcher. He said he wanted to offer the program to give students a chance to figure out what they want to do after high school.

“When I went to high school, there was a lot of pressure to go to college and spend a lot of time in college pursuing something I didn’t know if I really wanted to do,” Boettcher said. “This is a good opportunity for the kids to figure out if fire service is something they’re interested in.”

Students are not obligated to become firefighters after finishing the program.

“The program opens up a lot of opportunities, including free college,” Boettcher said. “Even if someone goes through the fire academy and decides they don’t want to go into the fire service, it does open a door where they can still serve their community and have a lot of college paid for.” 

Students who finish the program will have 23 college credit hours and will be certified as Electronic Medical Responders, which is similar to an EMT. They will also have some hazmat certification, and once they complete a few days of additional training and take a test at the college, they will be certified firefighters.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Boettcher said. “Where I work, we have kids ride out with us at the fire station, and I’m excited that we can offer this program in Buffalo.” 

Boettcher said he works from an extensive fire curriculum that covers the basics of firefighting.

“We cover fire behavior and fire safety, everything that you need to know to become a firefighter,” Boettcher said. “Everything from how to put your gear on the right way to how to cut holes in roofs to how to stretch out a fire hose.”

When Boettcher is not teaching, he works on an eight-man crew and says he loves the camaraderie.

“It is a brotherhood; we really do treat each other like family,” Boettcher said. “We can call on each other, even off duty, and we will be there for each other.”

For professional firefighters, it does become a lifestyle.

“We do everything together, eat together, shop together, take care of the fire station equipment together,” Boettcher said. “It’s not like the movies. It’s not all glamorous. Sometimes it doesn’t even seem like an emergency, but to the person calling, it is.”

Boettcher said he is glad he gets to do what he does.

“I love doing it because you get to help people. I did it as a volunteer before I started getting paid to do it, and now it’s getting paid to do something I already love doing,” Boettcher said. “To me, it’s the best job in the world.”

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About the Contributor
Jozalynn Easton
Jozalynn Easton, Reporter
I like to read, play sports, and run in my free time. My favorite hobby is playing backyard football with my cousins, running and training. My favorite food is steak with mashed potatoes and green beans. I am in band, volleyball and color guard. In my spare time, I like to sleep, practice, read, listen to music and watch American Housewives with my mom.