Punxsutawney Students Involvement as Future First Responders


When there’s something strange, in high school. Who are you going to call? FFRC!

FFRC is our Future First Responders Club, made up of students who have a passion for helping others and who want to be involved in our community by helping out with our local first responders.

Within our school, we have several students planning to become a first responder. Many aspire to protect the people by becoming a police officer, or to save lives by becoming a firefighter. Currently, we even have some students who are already involved with local fire departments as junior firefighters. Evan Mohney and Ciara Toven, both members of this club, assume positions of volunteer  junior fire fighters at McCalmont Township Fire Department. Together these students along with many others, and our school resource officer and club advisor, Ryan Miller, created our Future First Responders Club.

“Communication between myself and students is positive and continual,”said Miller.  

“I make efforts to instill in students that there is pride in public service and my goal is to open doors for them to have successful futures. Being an advisor for the FFRC and SRO at PAHS has been one of the most rewarding assignments thus far in my career,” Miller stated.

“I am already a first responder with the McCalmont Township Fire Department, so I saw the club was coming to the school and I joined,” Toven added.

“This club has allowed me to meet many different people that do the things that I like to do. It is pretty cool to have all the same types of people in one place,” stated Toven. 

According to members of the club, FFRC works to give the students an early head start into helping our community. For example, they shared a large day of remembrance in honor of September 11th, and most recently they organized fire prevention day at our local elementary school.

Toven states, “I know at fire prevention at the elementary school we start getting the kids familiar with the club now. So once they get into 9th grade, they can join the club and start their FFRC adventure”.

They also host the yearly mock crash towards the spring in hopes to prevent students from drinking and driving. This specific club works hard to bring awareness to these massive issues in hopes to make our school and community a safer place. They are starting to bring awareness to our first responders as early as elementary age. This will show the kids that it is never too early to help out in your community. 

As members have stated, FFRC also works to give our young responders opportunities they may not have elsewhere. For example, several students received emergency certifications such as CPR, and they got to visit a 911 dispatch center. They often get to work with people of all ages, gain experience, and show people what they actually do. They may be young, but the world is at their fingertips. 

“My favorite part about our club is being able to have the opportunity to partake in and experience many different things related to being a first responder. For example, things like going to the 911 Dispatch Center or helping with Fire Prevention Day at the elementary school,” said Mohney. 

Members add that FFRC is working to build interest in many students, and open their eyes to opportunities to change lives. They work to show that everyone can help, and add extra protection over our community. It is something that you can continue to contribute later into your life.

“The mission of the FFRC is to provide opportunities to current students interested in public safety career fields such as Emergency Medical Services, Fire Fighting, Law Enforcement, Corrections, Public Communications, and Military Service by hosting unique events and training to complement existing educational programs offered on campus,” stated by Miller. 

“The FFRC activities have included CPR/First Aid Training, Stop the Bleed Training, Red Ribbon Week, Mock Crash, and Military/First Responder Appreciation events just to name a few,” added by Miller. 

“I plan to continue to be a volunteer firefighter here at McCalmont and potentially to be one somewhere else wherever I end up moving and settling down later in life,” Mohney stated. 

He is one of many, along with our other FFRC members, who made the commitment, and plan to honor it well into the future. It is never too late to help within the community. Everything helps, including supporting the local community responders, and our club. 

“The FFRC welcomes any students that have an interest in public safety, any of the numerous activities that we participate in on campus or sim ply looking to meet other students,” said Miller. 

They have taken the time, took advantage of opportunities, and dedicated part of their lives, all while being students. Everyone can make an impact, big or small. The real question is, why not you? Take the time to learn about our club, the members would love to talk to you!