ROCKINGHAM — Senior Kendell Watson comes from a family of firemen — his grandfather, uncle, father and brother are all firefighters. Watson considers it a “family tradition.”
When he was younger, he and his brother would go on calls with their dad. Seeing his dad work and doing his thing made the brothers proud and was the moment Watson knew he wanted to be a firefighter.
“I can’t see myself doing anything else other than that,” he said. “If we can be like (dad) that’s what we want to do. I think me and my brother are living out his dream that he wanted us to have.”
Watson is interning at the Aberdeen Fire Department where he goes on a variety of calls. Recently, he was able to get more training on confined spaces after visiting the Southern Pines Fire Department. He’s also learning more about tower trucks at the Aberdeen Fire Department.
Watson credits what he’s able to apply to his internship with what he learned through the fire academy at Richmond Senior High School with Vic McCaskill.
“If I didn’t take the fire academy, I wouldn’t have any of the classes that I have now behind me,” he said. “(The class) has prepared me to know things by the book and how things should be done. And if I didn’t have that, I would have to start from the beginning.”
After graduation, Watson said he would like to work in Moore County full time and gain more experience. When he turns 21, he hopes to move out closer to the beach and find work along the coast. His dream is to go to New York.
“My mom has been my biggest cheerleader through all of this,” he said.
Watson is thankful for his time in the CTE program and how it has helped him get to where he wants to go. He said he’s seen the program develop from the time his brother was a senior in 2017 to now.
“It keeps kids ready for the future and shows them what they’re getting into,” he said.
Watson encourages more people to get into the fire service. He considers it one of the best jobs he can think of.
“(Mr. McCaskill) is a great guy to talk to about (fire service),” he said. “Without him, I don’t think any of the students who came through his fire academy would be where they are now.”