Lake Zurich High School Student Media

Bear Facts

Lake Zurich High School Student Media

Bear Facts

Lake Zurich High School Student Media

Bear Facts

From ashes to success

Senior unveils the challenges of firefighting

Behind every goal is a passion, and for some, that goal brings many challenges. Many of these goals come with an element of danger as well, but for some, their passion and drive helps them overcome the fear.

For Tyler Kretschmar, senior, the heat is on as he works harder than ever wanting to attain the skill of firefighting. Kretshcmar’s passion for saving lives stemmed from his experience involving a house fire. Kretchmar started  training at the tech campus at the start of his senior year. Tech campus gave Kretschmar the experience of what it would be like to save lives and home which fit right into Kretschmar’s agenda.

As Kretschmar’s passion grows, the terrible memory lives in the back of his mind, impelling him to fulfill his dream.

“So my mom was cleaning. [The fire] went into the gas line. I hear a big boom. So I headed upstairs and[…]screamed out to my friends to get out, have one of them call 911. And yelled at my mom to get out of the house.. I learned what I needed to do in that situation, to keep myself safe through all that smoke. And helping people out and stuff there was kind of just like, oh, I can do this for a passion,” Kretschmar said.

Kretschmar enrolls into the firefighting program through CLC tech campus and  was given a leadership role as student ambassador.

“I am a student ambassador there so I have a little more like a leadership role in our class. We are, there’s usually two to three in a class. We first help out if there’s like after school activities,  open houses, having kids come in talking to people, stuff like that. We’re kind of like the role models of the class, I’ll say. Where were the ones that they look up to. “Kretschmar said.

As Kretchmar endures the role of student ambassador, what follows are the procedures a firefighter has to follow.

“A 360 check of the house out outer rim of the house. If if we come up with it’s not safe to go in, we weren’t going we’ll just fight it from outside. But otherwise, if it’s safe to go on, we’ll go in search for people inside. If we have, if we know there’s people inside, you go straight to finding them. Otherwise, we’ll just fight the fire where it started and move our way out.”

Patrick Walters, teacher, stands as one of Kretschmar’s mentors throughout his high school life. Walter’s shares his perspectives on Kretschmar’s role in school and in the tech campus.

“I would say when it comes to Tyler, the people who have worked with him are very proud of where he’s come from and what he’s able to accomplish in the last couple of years and working through his challenges,” Walters said. However, the deeper meaning behind him going into tech campus are the impactful lessons that come along with it, specifically, the everlasting advice. One passionate piece of advice in particular tech campus wants to consistently demonstrate is that family and friends should always cling together in order to conspire together.

“Your team comes first,” Kretchmar said.

Growing up, children have dreams and there are multiple obstacles that previously were not thought of. So it does not appear to be the perfect reality.

“The physical portions of the firefighting attack on campus [was his hardest task]. At first it was a lot harder than I thought it was. I wanted to quit. But I decided to stick through it and now it’s like, easier stuff,” Kretschmar said.

Kretschmar’s difficulties are confirmed by Walter’s explanation of the complicated portions of firefighting in reality

“The first step in becoming a firefighter is there are going to be challenges and there’s going to be moments where you get to see some stuff you don’t want to see and some sad things you don’t want to maybe no one else wants to see. But you got to be able to kind of push through and be strong for people for that.” Walters said.

The future holds lots of opportunities for Kretschmar. No matter the risks he has to take, it is not known of him to fly away from it.

“I never had a fear of fire. I’ve always been the kid that jumped into danger versus running away.”

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