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Cornelius on the call

Texas High junior volunteers as a C-5 for Red Lick Fire Department
Lyric Curtis
Junior Isabella Cornelius poses in front of a fire truck wearing her protective uniform. She volunteers at the Red Lick Fire Department in addition to being a full-time high school student.

Blaring sirens sound, marking the arrival of EMT services, police officers and firefighters. First responders are the first to arrive, saving lives, and they will be the last to leave, assessing the damage left in a disaster’s wake. The job may be demanding and oftentimes dangerous, but it’s vital nonetheless.

Among those willing to step up the call is Junior Isabella Cornelius. She volunteers as a C-5 firefighter for the local Red Lick Fire Department.

“Being a student and a firefighter is a fun experience and works well given my busy school schedule,” Cornelius said. “We have meetings every Monday at 6 p.m. to discuss matters for the week.”

The C-5 volunteer firefighter program gives interested young people an opportunity to learn about the basic duties, daily life and procedures of becoming a firefighter.

“You just have to go out and search for stations that allow young people the opportunity to learn,” Cornelius said. “The C-5 program has given me a great opportunity to pursue what I love.”

Her passion for being a first responder blossomed at a young age.

“Ever since I was a little girl I’ve always wanted to be a firefighter,” Cornelius said. “I heard about volunteer opportunities, and so my mom and I searched for a service that could do volunteer work.”

While her drive and adoration for firefighting started young, it never burned out. Isabella plans on becoming a firefighter in the near future.

Isabella’s dedication to her department shows her commitment and passion towards the things she loves. No matter the time of day or what she’s doing, she’s on call and ready to provide support for her community. 

“Isabella’s impact is evident through her continued training, help at the stations and contributions to calls, including on several occasions saving one’s life,” Cummings said.

Isabella’s involvement in the volunteer work shows her true dedication to the fire department.

“Isabella is quite involved in the fire department,” father Lucas Cummings said. “[She] participates in various tasks such as refilling trucks, operating pumps, changing air packs, providing traffic control and providing medical response.”

Being a part of the fire department means you’re on call and ready to get up and go in the blink of an eye.

The C-5 program has given me a great opportunity to pursue what I love.

— Isabella Cornelius

“We have an app that dings our phones and lets us know when we have a situation,” Cornelius said. “Since I do go to school, I don’t answer the calls I get during the week, but during the weekend or just after school, as soon as I get a call I’m up and on my way to the station if there’s a situation. It gives us an address, and depending on the type of call we get, like a medical call, sometimes we have to perform CPR or help tend wounds until appropriate services show up, or if it’s a fire we go and put it out.”

Though being a part of a fire department is fairly new to Isabella, she takes pride in the hard work she does for the community.

“I love it, I really do,” Cornelius said. “You don’t get paid to do it obviously, but it’s not all about the money. It’s about making people happy and providing extra help and support for the community.”

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About the Contributor
Lyric Curtis
Lyric Curtis, Visual Journalist/Staff Writer
Senior Lyric Curtis is a first year staff writer in THS Publications. She is also a first year photographer for the publications team. Curtis is a member of the varsity softball team at THS and has actively participated in Leader In Me for 4 years. She enjoys taking photos, hanging out with friends, laughing at any and everything and listening to her all-time favorite artist, Frank Ocean. Curtis hopes to pursue a career in dental hygiene and attend college at Texas A&M University at College Station. She wants everyone to feel heard and accepted because life is tough!

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  • M

    Mary Ann D.Feb 12, 2024 at 4:15 pm

    Absolutely fabulous! Way to go Young Lady. My Father actually helped start the C5 VFD, and he would be mighty proud of you too.

    • I

      Isabella CorneliusFeb 26, 2024 at 10:19 am

      thank you so much ma’am!