Wyatt Hoyt fights fire to save lives

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Wyatt Hoyt fights fire to save lives

Michaela Zee - Staff Writer, Veronica Barsoomian - Photographer

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With a passion for becoming a firefighter as an adult, senior Wyatt Hoyt volunteers as a cadet at the Los Angeles Fire Department to obtain firsthand firefighting experience. He joined the cadet program last year and has already acquired several techniques and fundamentals from the LAFD.

“I have learned more than anyone can imagine,” said Hoyt. “Just to name a few, I learned how to throw ladders, cut with chainsaws, use rotary saws, suppress fire and set up hose lines.”

Although Hoyt cannot exactly recall what struck his desire to become a firefighter, he enjoys the opportunity of working alongside members of the LAFD and serving the community. Hoyt volunteers every Monday, so he manages his time by completing his homework late at night.

A fire cadet is a trainee who assists local fire departments and gains vital experience from firefighters. The cadet program at the LAFD is filled with many students from other high schools hoping to build careers in the competitive field.

“It is extremely hard to get hired by the Los Angeles City Fire Department,” said Hoyt. “That is why it is so important to get an early start.”

Hoyt recognizes his responsibility as cadet as a great opportunity, and he encourages students to try and join despite difficulties of being accepted into the program. As soon as one becomes certified as a cadet, he or she may ride along in the firetruck and respond to 911 calls. Except for in the danger zones, the firefighters permit the certified cadets to help retrieve blood or heart rates during medical calls. Cadets can also throw ladders and perform other risk-free tasks. Hoyt recently used a nozzle to extinguish a simulated fire.

“This summer, the department held a cadet academy and I was ranked top cadet,” said Hoyt. “I was given the assignment of nozzle member for the car on fire during graduation, and it was definitely the coolest memory I have there.”

Hoyt will continue his path towards becoming a firefighter after high school. If chooses to go away for college, he will have to drop out of the LAFD cadet program. Regardless, Hoyt plans to work at the the Volunteer Fire Department wherever he ends up.