Then, W. Travis Burket, Simeon Logan, and Matthew Reynolds got back onto the fire engine and went home.
The three students--along with fellow firefighters Michael Santos and Benjamin Harley, who were also part of that rescue operation--are live-in members of the Indiana Fire Association.
According to Bill Simmons, IFA president, in the 1970s, there were 300,000 volunteer firefighters in the nation; today, there are 50,000.
"We knew we needed to be innovative if we wanted to keep up our ranks," Simmons said. "So, we approached IUP's Safety Sciences Department to see if their students would want to be part of our program."
Today, 16 of the 70 members of the association are IUP students, and six are part of the live-in program. The bedrooms for the students are at the Indiana Fire Association-West substation, along Indian Springs Road. To be eligible for the program, applicants must be employed full-time in the Indiana or White Township area or be part-time or full-time students at IUP. Students must have at least a 2.0 grade-point average. They can live at the substation for four years.
On December 15, 2011, the team was recognized with a resolution of commendation from the IUP Council of Trustees, along with much applause and pride from members of the Indiana Fire Association in attendance, including Simmons and IFA chief Chuck Kelly.
(Pictured, from left, are Simeon Logan, Travis Burket, and Matthew Reynolds.)