Former Drug Addicts Serve as Volunteer Fire Fighters

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"Fire fighters are the ones who run into a fire when everyone else is running away"

Narconon California volunteer firefighters in San Diego County

as a kid I always I wanted to be a fireman

Our Appreciation for Firefighters has gone off the charts this week in Southern California! Many of these courageous individuals are Volunteer Firefighters.

Among them is a unique team made up in part by of former heroin & meth addicts, graduates of Narconon California drug rehabilitation centers. In addition to their duties at the rehab center located in rural San Diego County they've stepped up to the plate to face new challenges; wild fires and medical emergencies.

"I have witnessed the generosity and commitment to the community by Narconon. Not only are most of our firemen from Narconon but we have on the Board a valued member of that facility .The dedication of these people is to be applauded, and restores my faith in human kindness!" noted Bobbi Witt, member, Board of Directors SSVFD.

Battalion Chief Knight noted "Over the years we've assisted in handling some of the larger fires; Cedar, Border, Camino, Witch Creek and Poomacha. But the small fires in our own neighborhood get the same attention. About 80 % of calls to the station are medical emergencies. Our crew is trained in First Aid, & some are also Certified EMTs. Once at a nearby senior community, an 86 year old man was having difficulty breathing; it turned out to be a heart attack. Using CPR and a defibrillator we were able to save this gentleman's life." We've worked hard to keep our response time within ten minutes. In a soft voice and a shy grin he adds "as a kid I always I wanted to be a fireman".

"Over the past few years, the majority of our Firefighters have been staff members from Narconon" commented Board Member Connie Cole in a recent letter to Narconon California's Director. She continued, "They are such upstanding citizens and are a wonderful reflection of our station to all they come in contact with."

Firefighter, Jon, said "When I was handling my addiction at the rehab center I'd see the rescue truck on the highway; responding to a call. I knew they were going to save people's lives. Now I can help others too. And I've been drug free three plus years."

"We respond 7 days a week, 24 hours a day to any local emergency--fire, car accident, or medical emergency that might come up" remarked Kyle Whitaker, the 2nd staff to join the Department. "I was given the privilege of joining the Volunteer Fire Department a few years ago. Firefighters are the ones who run into a fire when everyone else is running away. You can either do it or you can't. It took every bit of my Narconon training to the test as well as all of my nerve. A few years prior to this I'd let methamphetamine take control of my life, I didn't care about anything much less helping other people. It saved my life and being a volunteer firefighter will always be a highlight in my life."

For more information about the Narconon drug rehab program, please visit


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Catherine Savage
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