Alex Gonzalez

Alex Gonzalez
Class of 2020
Fire Rescue

Reflections and Future Plans 
Favorite Memories at West

I have many wonderful memories from my time in the Public Safety Academy including making lots of new friends, spending lunchtime with Captains Hill and Rafols, going outside during the school day for challenging activities such as ladder & hose drills, riding in the OW firetruck for the parade, and attending the 9-11 Dedication Ceremony, but my most favorite memories were from my ride-a-longs.  I learned so much from the firefighters at Stations 1, 3 & 4, including some valuable hands-on experience and got a good glimpse of what my life as a firefighter would be.

Favorite Skill/s Learned in Academy As an Olathe Fire Explorer, I had already learned quite a few skills before entering the Academy but I found learning about the fire engine and wall breaching very interesting  My most favorite skill of all was the Denver Drill which was developed in response to a LODD where a firefighter was trapped in a small storage space and could not escape.  The Denver Drill taught me how to work together as a team to successfully rescue a firefighter or person from a confined space.  It is learning and training for drills such as these that will help be safe in my future career.
Future Plans  I plan on attending K-State University in the fall and will major in Athletic Training with a possible minor in Trauma Studies.  While in college, I also hope to work part-time with the Manhattan Fire Department as a Student Firefighter.  After college, I plan on moving back to Kansas City and getting a job as a firefighter (hopefully with the Olathe Fire Department).
Advice for Incoming
Academy Students
My advice, if you are serious about a career in Public Safety, is to make the most of your time in the Academy.  Be an active participant, listen, ask questions, get to know your leaders and most of all, have fun.  Work hard to obtain your certificates while you are still in high school.  And even if you decide that a career in Public Safety is not for you, the academy will have taught you many important life skills such as discipline, interviewing, public speaking, team work, problem-solving and decision making.  You will leave the academy with many life-long friends that you will forever consider “family”.