Nathan Koska showed up at the Dearborn Heights Fire Department’s Beech Daly headquarters June 20 expecting to work out with his colleagues. What he got instead was something far less strenuous – and much more surprising.
Koska was congratulated for his achievements as the department’s first-ever cadet by department brass in front of his family, coworkers, and Mayor Bill Bazzi. The soon-to-be senior at Annapolis High School recently completed Fire I and Fire II training at Schoolcraft College and has been a key member of the department for the last year.
Koska hopes to fulfill a childhood dream to complete his training and become a full-time firefighter. Every Dearborn Heights firefighter is cross-trained as both a paramedic and a State of Michigan-certified firefighter.
“I know these streets so well, the people, the community,” the 16-year-old said. “They’ve had my back this past year while I’ve been in the academy so I can give back to the community. It’s really a great lifetime opportunity I have here.”
Battalion Chief Phil Hall admitted some initial doubt about Koska based on his school and sports commitments and his attending fire training classes at night. But after he and Chief Dave Brogan met with the student, Hall saw his incredible potential.