“Running Red Lights is Pretty Cool”

Trevor, future firefighter, talks about his experience with fires.


Trevor Obershaw

Trevor helping to minimize a fire in action!

Elesia Guerra, Editor-in-Chief

An emergency call comes in. The firemen hastily load into the firetruck. They respond to the emergency immediately by relieving the fire. For senior, Trevor Obershaw, this routine is one of which he plans to make his future career. 

Trevor gained a spark of interest in the firefighter profession when he was around eight or nine years old. He used to rent DVDs from his local library with the most notable one being called “I Love Firetrucks.” By frequently watching these videos, he realized that he was fascinated by fire trucks and wanted to learn more about the profession. At around eleven years old, he used to play firefighter video games which shaped his future career path. Recently, Trevor has done all-day ride-alongs which has built his experience and allowed him to emulate being a fireman on a more serious level. 

Trevor’s experience has come from the independent research he has done and the connections he has, including the ride-alongs. The connections he has are with people in the fire service all over the country which includes Ohio and Pennsylvania. He did all-day ride-alongs at the Lenexa Fire Department and at Station 41 in Kansas City. During the three ride-alongs he has done in the past year, Trevor imitates what the firemen do. He checks the firetrucks and cleans the firehouse. When a call comes in, he hops in the firetruck and goes to the emergency with the other firefighters. Trevor said “Running red lights is pretty cool” during his experience with riding in the firetrucks and quickly driving towards the fire. At the emergency, he usually stays with the driver and assists him with stretching hose lines and getting water from the hydrant to the truck. He also aids by grabbing tools for the firemen. 

With the Johnson County Community College, Trevor got to experience being in a live burn. The live burn was when he went into a tower that was set on fire by burning palettes and straw. He was an observer that found the training dummy victim and took out the fire as he helped with the hose. 

As wildfires are seen as a continued concern, Trevor stated that “we need to do more control burns and there needs to be regulation of how many trees there are.” Many forests have trees that lose their fire resistance. Trevor mentioned that people need to cut down trees to make them not as thickly dense because it is a problem. Too many trees make them more vulnerable to fire. 

Trevor’s role models or inspiration are the leadership and teamwork he recognizes. He is inspired by the people he did the ride-alongs with, specifically the senior firemen. It is not just one person that Trevor looks up to. He admires the whole team because it is a group that works together to succeed. Trevor plans to go to Johnson County Community College for his education. He wants to obtain his associate’s degree in fire science as well as get the required certification to become a fireman. Trevor said that he wants to make an impact by being the strongest, smartest, and best firefighter that he can be.