Davey Goodwin, left, and Bella Brassard work on their lines at Region 9. Rose Lincoln/Bethel Citizen

GREENWOOD — Greenwood Fire Department has three high school students on its roster at a time when fire stations are critically understaffed in the region.

Ronald Brassard, left and Davey Goodwin, at a Region 9 fire simulation, are graduating from Telstar in June. Rose Lincoln/Bethel Citizen

Bella Brassard, 17 and her brother, Ronald Brassard, 18, live in Albany and are on the call force at Greenwood Fire.

Ronald plans to work in construction but also fight fires after graduation in June. As soon as he can, he’ll take the “pack test,” a three mile run while wearing a 45 lb. pack in order to get his wildland firefighting red card. He said with the card he can travel anywhere in the United States to fight wildfires.

Bella Brassard credits Ronald with getting her interested in firefighting. The program helped pull her out of her shell. “When I first joined I wasn’t good at public speaking. I was quiet and didn’t talk to a lot of people. After being in Region 9, it’s changed me, made me more confident and made me more of a leader,” said next year’s Region 9 company officer.

Lieutenant Davey Goodwin of Greenwood Fire Department is a high school senior in his third year of the fire science program.  His instructor, Jon Longley, said of Goodwin, “students that want to and really put their nose to it can get their Fire 1 and 2 the first year. Davey [Goodwin] was one of those people.” Despite having completed the program in one year, Goodwin opted to stay on and is a field training officer at R9.

Goodwin hopes to get a full time job at a fire department after he graduates. His father was assistant fire chief and had been on the Greenwood department for 17 years when he retired a few years ago.

At a recent Greenwood fire on Bird Hill Road, Davey Goodwin was in the first engine of four firefighters to arrive. He said, “they had pretty good active fire. Grabbed a nozzle, got the bulk of it knocked down… [we] started soaking the roof creating a vent. Me and another Bethel firefighter went interior.”

He said the Brassard siblings operated a “secondary supply line. They put the wet stuff on the hot stuff. I went in and tried to find people.”

Of fighting fires in Greenwood Goodwin said,  “I’m not going into houses I don’t know, I’m going into my neighbor’s house that I’ve grown up with the last 18 years.”

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