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CS grad fights fires in California

For the last three months, Ron Wheaton, 21, of Cedar Springs, is one of ten AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) members stationed at the Strawberry Valley Fire Station in Plumas National Forest in northern California, working with the U.S.D.A. Forest Service to decrease the threat of wildfires to nearby communities and increase recreational opportunities. Specially trained as Type II Wildland Firefighters and chainsaw operators, the team is working under the direction of a fuels specialist to remove hazardous fuels, cut fireline, carry out prescribed burns, and thin trees to restore the black oak population. Members are on call to respond to wildland fires as part of a hand crew or as an addition to the fire engines.

Since beginning their term of service last October, the team has previously served at the Utah Food Bank in Salt Lake City, UT., collecting food donations, conducting warehouse operations, and supporting the 2-1-1 Information and Referral Call Center staff. The team has also served at a Campfire USA branch in Vashon Island, WA., creating a fire buffer around all of the camp’s facilities, removing invasive species, building trails, replanting trees, and widening a fire road.

Ron Wheaton of Cedar Springs with a pile burn. He is with a team in California doing pile burning, hazardous fuels reduction, oak restoration, and trail building.

Unified in their commitment to make the people of America safer, healthier, and smarter, these 10 young adults’ passion for social justice led them to join AmeriCorps NCCC in providing hands-on service to underserved communities.

“It’s been an amazing experience that helped me learn a lot about myself as well as the inner workings of the nonprofit world. The program has given me a greater sense of the possibilities of the individual as a productive member of society,” says Wheaton.

Wheaton, who graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 2007, is the son of Ron and Theresa Wheaton, of Cedar Springs. He said his future plans are to “live an adventurous life of travel and delicious food,” and to attend Grand Rapids Community College in the fall to pursue a radiography degree.

AmeriCorps NCCC is a part of AmeriCorps, a network of national service programs created to improve the environment, enhance education, increase public safety and assist with disaster relief and other unmet human needs.

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  1. […] and to attend Grand Rapids Community College in the fall to pursue a radiography degree.  (More) Explore posts in the same categories: Communications, GRCC In the […]



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