Odessa, TEXAS (ABC Big 2) – After being selected from the applicant pool and going through training, the Odessa Fire Rescue has a new set of rookies to add to the team.
“I always wanted to be part of something bigger than myself. And I couldn’t think of anything other than giving back to the very community that I grew up in,” says new OFR member Raul Mendoza.
Like Mendoza, some are joining to give back. For others, their reasons are very different.
” I was in a car accident in 2019 for Christmas and my mom was really badly injured and OFR responded. And they treated her really nicely. And I’ve always known I wanted to be a part of the medical field,” says new OFR member Dafnay Betances.
But these seven men and women have gone through the process to become part of the OFR family.
“These kids, they never slowed down–doesn’t even seem like they had a bad day. Which is good, I love to see that because it tells me that this is where they want to be,” says OFR Training Chief Martin Moya
Each awardee had a loved one come up and put a pin on their uniform, and all seven received the helmets they’ll be wearing from now on. Some of their biggest supporters were in the seats, cheering them on.
Of course, they’ve also got a lot of support from the people who watched them progress.
“It’s like, now my kids are going to college. So yeah, I’m definitely proud of them,” says Mendoza.
The training chief says these members will get about a year of more experience before the rookie shields come off their helmets.