C9 student pursues a career in fire fighting

Margaret Eley | Staff Writer

Junior C9 student Jamie Jackomis always wanted to be a paramedic, but a visit to Fire Station 13 in Downtown Indianapolis changed her mind.

“Since I was only fifteen I wasn’t allowed to job shadow a paramedic, so I thought going to a fire station would be as close as I could get,” Jackomis said.  “After going [to the fire station] I decided I wanted to become a firefighter. I had an experience there I will never forget.”

This experience for her was a turning point in deciding her future career.

“All of the firefighters were really close. It was like a brotherhood, and that’s something I really want,” Jackomis said. “After going on runs with all of them I realized how cool it would be to be a part of that.”

During her sophomore year, Jackomis went on a tour of Central Nine to look into their firefighter department. She fell in love and now attends C9 throughout the week to train for her dream job.

“For fire safety at C9, we do powerpoints or physical training,” Jackomis said. “We do a lot of bunker drills which is when we put on all the gear and do drills, we are always training for the worst.”

Since firefighting is a male dominant field, Jackomis works hard to prove to her classmates that she belongs there.

“I may be one of the only girls in the firefighter program at C9, but I dominate the boys,” Jackomis said. “I sometimes feel like people assume that since I am a girl I am weaker, but since I’ve always played sports I have no problem keeping up with the strength training.”

C9 has allowed Jackomis to become more advanced in her field and gain the certifications she needs before graduation. She is going to be ahead of other students who want to become firefighters that didn’t do C9.

“When I graduate I will already be certified in Fire Fighting One, Two, and EMS [Emergency Medical Service],” Jackomis said.

Once Jackomis graduates, she still plans to attend college to get a higher education to climb the rankings at the fire stations.  

“Even though I’ll already be certified I’m still going to continue my education,” Jackomis said. “I plan on getting a degree in fire science, I think by doing this it will help me stand out.”

Changes Within Central 9

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Justin Hill ’16 and Mark Green ’17 walk to the buses that will take them to the C-9 facility.

 For years, Center Grove Central Nine students have operated on a morning schedule, taking classes at C-9 before coming to the high school for afternoon courses. That is until the 2015-2016 school year. In addition to all of the CG construction, C-9 students also had to adjust to afternoon classes as opposed to the morning.

  “The difference between a.m. and p.m. is we get more time when we are going to C-9,” Tristen Sexton ’16, an auto collision student at C-9, said. “We do not have to be there until 11:40. C-9 also gets out earlier than Center Grove; we get out at 2:20.”

  Many of the C-9 students enjoy the later time. They claim that it is nice to leave at 2:20 as opposed to 2:50 because they have more time in their evening. Afternoon C-9 classes also give the students more time to get there; they are even able to eat lunch at the school during STaR. Students who can drive enjoy the freedom of lunch off campus before arriving at the C-9 facility.

  Not all students enjoy the later time, though. While C-9 biology medication student Shelby Hooton ’17 said she was fortunate to have smaller classes, medical assisting student Alyce Habens ’16 said she had to adjust to much larger classes. After school sports are also an issue with the new afternoon time.

“If you have sports you have to drive back and you can’t just go home,” C-9 EMT student Maegan Trulock ’16 said. “It is just kind of a nuisance, driving back and forth.”

  For better or for worse, Center Grove Central Nine students now have classes after STaR instead of at the start of first period.

  Visit the Central Nine website for more information at: http://central9.k12.in.us

C-9 students gather outside the East Gym to wait for the buses to take them to the Central 9 facility.

C-9 students gather outside the East Gym to wait for the buses to take them to the Central 9 facility.

Animal Friends at Central 9

In this January 26, 2015 photo: Cocoa, Taylor Houpt's dog, sits on a table during the veterinary career program at C9.

In this January 26, 2015 photo: Cocoa, Taylor Houpt’s dog, sits on a table during the veterinary career program at C9.

Senior Taylor Houpt joined C9’s veterinary program with a love of animals.

“It gives you an idea of what you would be doing if you went into the career. I love working with the animals that people bring in, and I meet students from different schools,” said Houpt.

Houpt joined C9 her sophomore year and remains enrolled today. She has enjoyed her classes ever since.

“She is doing a really good job and really enjoys being at C9. I actually see her enjoying and participating in school! It is a good experience for her, since she wants to be a vet when she gets older,” said Lori Houpt, Taylor’s mother.

Houpt has been working hard and keeping her grades up in order to be prepared to enter the veterinary field, according to Lori. Houpt explained that enrollment in C9 has taught her the necessary skills to be a veterinarian and given her an idea of what to expect in the future.

“Taylor is always very nice and willing to help me whenever I need it. The class is really fun and actually got me excited about learning and also helped me decide that this is the profession I wanted to do the rest of my life,” said Houpt’s classmate Kellie Huggler.