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A Helping Hand

September 5, 2012
By Koty Hutson of Centralia High School Activities

Most high school students do not know what they want to do with the rest of their lives until at least senior year. Between sports and a social life, students do not pay much mind to the future. They think only of the here and now. Even though this is true for many students, it is not true for one individual attending Centralia High School. James Haden Morris, the 5’7”, brown-haired junior at Centralia High School already knows what it is he wants to do with the rest of his life.

According to Morris, he has wanted to be a part of the fire department since elementary school. He plans to “become a firefighter for Boone County and take up residency at a Boone County Station while going to school to be a paramedic.” He also hopes to become a fire marshal somewhere down the road. When asked how long he has wanted to be a firefighter he replied, “I have always wanted to help people, so I knew I wanted to be in the Civil Service.” His dad was a police officer for Columbia, so it is clear that he was a big impact in Morris’s life.

Morris has experienced family health issues at home with his father and stepsister, which have influenced his decision to be a part of the fire department. Morris says that 911 has been called to help his loved ones several times.  He mentions that to watch the first responders come in and take care of them made him want to do what they were doing. He feels that “the reason anybody should ever want to join any fire district is to help.” Morris believes “you take so much out of a community when you live in it,” and he wants to give back to the community he grew up in by helping out.

Morris is in the process of joining the Centralia Fire Department as a cadet because he is only 17; however, with age he will be able to do more than that. He will also, eventually, join the Boone County Fire Department. This is where he plans to remain for many years, but he feels that “if given the opportunity, he will go anywhere.” James Haden Morris is a junior in high school with plans and ambition that some lack. James Haden Morris anticipates the day he will finally get to step into the soot covered uniform and acquire a station four helmet, which will be worn proudly on his call of duty. He knows where he wants to go in life and intends on lending a helping hand wherever the path may take him.

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