Occupational Goal: Firefighter
Nate Buchanan has dreamed of being a firefighter since he was five years old. “The year was 1998; I was five years old when I received my first pair of firefighting bunkers. I had made up my mind when I got older that I was going to be a firefighter, and my goal hasn’t changed. I come from a strong background of firefighters in my family. I have an uncle, grandfather, great grandfather, great uncle, and many close friends that are firefighters. I have researched and made goals during high school to understand the area of firefighting and to plan out my education based upon my research. I have tried to take classes that would benefit my firefighting dreams. I can’t believe that back 13 years ago I had a little kid’s dream, and now is the time to implement my dreams with action such as continuing to meet my goals and plan for my career,” said Nate.
While planning his high school schedule, Nate made sure he took classes that correlated with his goals for a career as a firefighter (CTE Firefighting Pathway.) “My CTE courses in high school helped pave the way for me to get started on my [college] education after I graduate,” said Nate.
Nate has been involved with many service projects throughout high school. “This year I earned the rank of Eagle Scout. With my heart set on firefighting, I chose to do my [Eagle] project to benefit the Morgan City Fire Department. I organized a donation drive at local businesses to collect hygiene items for kits to provide to the Morgan City Fire Department. These kits contained 30 items that would benefit families if they are unable to return to their home due to fire, flood, power outage, or other natural disasters.”
To plan for his future, Nate has been shadowing the Morgan City Fire Chief and the Morgan City Fire Department. “Firefighting is in my blood. I love being on the scene with my grandfather and learning from him and my fellow firefighters. The pungent smell of smoke really gets me excited to get my career moving. When I was five I became an honorary member of my grandpa’s fire department. I have many friends that I admire, and take the knowledge they provide for me to heart. I have never wanted anything more in my life than to be a firefighter, and now it is truly within my grasp,” said Nate.
In May, Nate received a CTE Scholarship and Tuition Award to attend Utah Valley University (UVU). At UVU he plans to study firefighting and become certified as a firefighter. Nate plans to begin his career immediately after graduating from UVU.
There are over 1 million firefighters in the United States. In Utah, approximately 85 percent of firefighters are volunteers, and approximately 14 percent are career firefighters. Employment of firefighters is projected to grow 9 percent nationwide and 3.4 percent in Utah through the year 2020.
UtahCTE.org wishes Nate all the best as he prepares to become a firefighter. During the past few weeks, as fires broke out in Utah and surrounding states, we thank each firefighter who has battled each blaze. We appreciate the training, skill, expertise, and dedication of each firefighter who has worked under unimaginable conditions to protect the public. Thank you!