Bitten by the fire bug...

Published on Thu, Jan 10, 2002 by Jack Kintner

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Bitten by the fire bug...

By Jack Kintner

Lindsay McDonald of Semiahmoo is the first “firefighter of the month” selected. by The North Whatcom Fire & Rescue Service (NWFRS), which made its official start January 1. The agency combines operations and training resources for fire districts three, five and 13, and is 90 percent volunteer.

McDonald, 21, first got interested in emergency medicine as a junior at Blaine high school through a class offered to selected high school students by Bellingham Technical College. “We rotated through the emergency room at St. Joseph Hospital, and that was when I knew this was for me,” Lindsay said. “To get into the field I signed on as a volunteer firefighter almost as soon as I could, just a week after my 18th birthday.”

That was three years ago. McDonald now plans to attend firefighting school at Chemeketa College in Salem this spring on the advice of NWFRS chief Mike Campbell. “That’s one of the few programs where she can get both firefighting and paramedic training at the same time,” said Campbell.

Career firefighters John Swobody and Lt. Murray Folk both gave Lindsay high marks for dedication and performance. “She did a heck of a job at the King’s Flea Market house fire,” said Swobody, “plus staying out here (at the station) a lot of nights helps us make a faster response, since we don’t have to wait for a full crew to
show up.”.

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