Wolfeboro Fire Department Chief James Pineo, Adm. Asst. Kathleen La Pierre, Kingswood High School/Lakes Region Technology Center School to Work student Connor Sloat, Firefighter Nate Nichols, Lt. Frank Bellefleur smile for the camera. By all accounts, Connor's internship is an asset to the department. (Photo by Elissa Paquette) (click for larger version)
November 20, 2018WOLFEBORO — Kingswood Regional High School student Connor Sloat is expanding on his early experience as a firefighter in Ossipee, with a School to Work internship through the Lakes Region Technology Center with the Wolfeboro Fire and Rescue Department.
"I love it so much," says Sloat. "It's allowed me to get my foot more in the door and acquire more experience."
His interest began when he signed up as a Junior Firefighter at age 16, and continued as he earned his firefighter designation at age 17, with the encouragement of his dad, Lt. Scott Riley of the Ossipee Corner Fire Department.
A Fire Fighter 1 designation, requiring 160 hours of classroom instruction, involves instruction in Fire Science, using writing and math skills, and he's working toward qualification as an Emergency Medical Technician. In his view, being part of the team in Wolfeboro is helping him get a good preparation for college courses.
Connor says he enjoys keeping equipment clean and ready, and when a call comes in, it's a real "adrenaline rush." It's a "family feeling. We know each other and we get each other's back," he says.
Deputy Chief Tom Zotti, his mentor at the station, adds, "It's been wonderful to have Connor participating in the Experiential Learning program. He has a background in the fire service and was able to hit the ground running with us. His interest is obvious and he is very open to learning the ins-and-outs of our day to day operations. He has been an asset to us in his time here and will be a great asset to a future employer."
Sloat intends to continue his internship next semester as well.