Get to know your volunteer firefighter | Guest Column

Lenora Johnson   - Contributed photo / Ron Garner
Lenora Johnson
— image credit: Contributed photo / Ron Garner

By Sheila Harley, SJ Fire & Rescue

Special to the Journal

Lenora Johnson is a senior at Spring Street International School.

She is taking several advanced placement core classes and an American sign language class in the afternoon two days a week. Her senior project was to make sure that Spring Street School had an updated fire-safety plan and that all the 5th and 6th graders, and staff, can operate a fire extinguisher.  Lenora was involved in fire safety at Friday Harbor Elementary school, the Safety Fair, and participated in the San Juan Island “Every 15 Minutes” presentation, which is a national program educating students about the dangers of drinking and driving.

Lenora is what the fire department calls a cadet. She has undergone all the training and testing it takes to be a firefighter at the local level, but has to wait to take the national exam this summer, after she graduates.

Why, might you ask, would a young girl go into firefighting?

Lenora has been in the community for about 10 years and felt that she wanted to give something back.

She finds firefighting to be rewarding and says, “It takes the right kind of person to be a firefighter.”

She says that a person must be committed and willing to undergo all of the training required to safely perform his or her duties. He or she must have a good sense of team work, display leadership, and follow directions of his or her officer.

Lenora invites anyone who is interested in learning what it’s all about (no matter your age) to come to the fire station on Mullis Street to visit us, or call the station at 378-5334 for more information. San Juan Island Fire Rescue is always looking for volunteers to join them in protecting life and property.


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