LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. — On Wednesday two brush fires broke out in Lehigh Acres. They both threatened nearby homes, but were quickly put out. One of the crews, which responded to the fires, included former cadet and now firefighter, Colton Bass.
In the middle our interview about the Lehigh Acres Fire and Rescue District's cadet program, Bass had to leave mid-interview to go put out a brush fire. He's one of three former cadets now serving their hometown alongside other Lehigh Acres firefighters.
"It's rewarding. Still, I can remember playing baseball at the park over there off of Williams and all that," Bass said. "Hearing the fire trucks and ambulances go by always looking. You gotta look."
Lieutenant Keith Bisguonis trained Bass as a 16-year-old cadet. Two years later, after Bass got certified, Bisguonis now rides with him to each scene.
The cadet program started three years ago and encourages kids who grow up in Lehigh Acres to serve in their area. It's open to kids ages 14 to 20.
Bisguonis said it gives, "a sense of protecting where you're from...you could be helping your neighbor one day."
The program teaches kids the basics and even sponsors some to get their firefighter certification. When Lieutenant Bisguonis talked about Bass's work on a busy day for their district, a smile spread across his face.
"We had a busy day today and he performed exactly as we expect him to perform," Bisgounis added.
Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District is selling calendars to support their cadet program. Their goal is to raise more than $3,000 to support the cadets training, education and equipment.
As for the fires, no one was hurt and they burned a total of around five acres.