Faces & Places is a weekly series that profiles the people and places of Murray and the surrounding areas. Every person and every place has a story. Let us tell it.
How students find time to give back to the community is often difficult between working and school. Drew Scott, sophomore from Flora, Ill., lends a helping hand whenever it is needed. Scott volunteers at Calloway County Fire-Rescue.
“The volunteers can do anything and everything a paid fireman can do,” Scott said. “I have only been volunteering for the past couple of months, but it has been a blast so far.”
The station and crew handle any kind of situation including fire rescue, car accidents, field fires and water rescues.
“We get car wreck calls more than anything,” Scott said. “The first job on the scene is fire suppression. Once the risk of fire is diminished we can help control traffic. At first, getting called in was an adrenaline rush, then it came down to ‘I have to do my job as fast and efficiently as I can.’”
Scott had not always planned to spend his nights in the Calloway County Fire-Rescue station. Several factors influenced his choice, but after experiencing the fire safety week held on campus, he made a split-second decision and applied.
“My grandfather was an influencing factor in my choice to join to the fire squad,” Scott said. “He was a volunteer firefighter for 29 years and loved it, which inspired me to do the same.”
Scott said being a volunteer firefighter, though rewarding, does have its difficulties.
“There are definitely a lot of late nights at the station, but as a volunteer, you have the option to get involved as much as you would like to,” he said. “Obviously, you don’t have to answer every call because you are only a volunteer, but I say, ‘why not?’”
Not only is Scott’s volunteer work appreciated in the community, it is also beneficial to his education.
“My volunteer work is, hopefully, going to help me get into medical school since admissions process looks into community service,” he said.
Since beginning volunteer work, Scott has thought about his future in the department.
“I definitely plan on volunteering all four years I’m in school and who knows, it might turn into a career path for me,” Scott said. “One thing I would not give up is the fact of all the firefighters are like family; even the surrounding counties support us and we support them. It feels like a sense of belonging within the firefighting community.”
Scott has also done his community work back home and was the recipient of the Byways of Excellence award for advocating lawn mower safety. Scott speaks to area schools since he experienced a lawn mower accident at a young age.
“I don’t want to see someone go through what I had to go through,” he said. “And if they do happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, I want them to know accidents happen and I can be there for them.”
Scott has also tried his hand at volunteering around the world. Through an organization called People to People, he had the chance to clean shorelines in Ecuador, clear invasive species from Alaska and aid with landscaping at a turtle hatchery in Italy.
“I have been volunteering my time to others in different countries, such as Europe and Ecuador since I was in the sixth grade,” Scott said. “I have been around the world several times simply to lend a helping hand to those who need it and I love it. Seeing the smiling faces you get for helping out people in need is so worth the time.”
Scott said he enjoys helping others who can’t help themselves because it makes him realize that no matter how bad you think you have it, there is always someone who has it worse.
“When you think you are down in the ditch, you really are on a pedestal in someone else’s eyes,” he said.
Scott believes that miracles happen every day and anything is possible if you just put your mind to it.
Said Scott: “Whatever you do, do your best.”
Story by Hunter Harrell, Features Editor