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Jayden Fangmeier (left) helps Osage fireman Joe Gibbs (right) with a fan, while Osage Fire Chief Kurt Angell watches.

STEVEN THOMPSON THE PRESS-NEWS

OSAGE | In July, Jayden Fangmeier became the junior firefighter for the Osage Fire Department.

Fangmeier, 17, who is a junior at Osage Community High School, comes from a line of volunteer firemen. His dad, Brian, has been on the Osage Department for 30 years, and his grandfather, Dave, served on the Osage, Waverly and McGregor volunteer fire departments.

“It was something I was interested in, and something I’ve always wanted to do,” Fangmeier said. “I get to help around the fire station, can go on calls and help around a fire scene.

“I do all the training everyone else does. I do all the monthly trainings too, but I can’t go out on car accidents or go into burning buildings.”

Kurt Angell, Osage Fire Chief, said, “We just started the program. It’s a good way to get young people exposed to the fire department. Once a junior fire fighter turns 18, leaves school and goes off to college, they have already had experience in firefighting.”

At 18, they can also become a full member of a department, when there is an opening.

“It helps to have their manpower on the scene of a fire, because they can go and get tools so veterans can fight the fire. They are allowed to handle hoses at a fire, and we always have someone shadowing them at all times,” Angell said. “Jayden has enthusiasm and seeing a young excited firefighter brings enthusiasm to the whole department.”

Excited with his new position Fangmeier said, “Basically it’s just like a family around here. All the other volunteers are always here for me, and always showing me new things.”

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