WGFC "Next Generation" Firefighters Graduate
July 21, 2020

Two volunteer members of the West Grove Fire Company have recently completed a significant milestone, graduating high school in the Class of 2020.

The next generation of firefighters at WGFC comes from an active effort to recruit and train young people in high school, exposing them to the community service that is the hallmark of the fire service. The programs are designed to give these talented young volunteers safe, hands-on experiences that can help shape them in important ways -- starting them early on a path to helping their communities, and also assisting them in finding a career path as they head toward adulthood. In the process, some junior members wind up being long-time contributors to the WGFC.

Two junior members -- Ally Colgan and Anthony Santiago -- recently graduated high school and the officers and members of WGFC congratulate them. Both have already contributed to the work of the WGFC and are taking the next steps on their life journeys.

Anthony Santiago recently graduated from Avon Grove High School. He also is a graduate of a very special program -- the Octorara Homeland Security & Protective Services Academy. The Academy is a three year PA Department of Education approved Career Program of Study. The course prepares cadets for careers in law enforcement, corrections, pre-hospital emergency medical care, emergency management, military services, and firefighting. The program requires cadets to wear uniforms and focuses on discipline and teamwork in a para-military environment. Anthony was active in the stage crew at AGHS. We are proud to report that Anthony joined the US Navy and has already "shipped out" to serve his country.

Ally Colgan graduated recently from the Sanford School in Hockessin. There she participated in field hockey, soccer and track. Currently, she is coaching in a kids soccer program while running calls and training with WGFC, and working at Rita's Water Ice in Longwood. In just a few weeks, Ally will leave for the University of Pittsburgh where she will study nursing.

"Ally and Anthony represent the 'next generation' of volunteer firefighters for West Grove Fire Company," said Eric Felker, Assistant Fire Chief, and who is responsible for the junior members program. "If we can expose young people to firefighting and emergency medical services early on, give them real hands-on experience, it's highly likely that they will embrace community service throughout their lives and, hopefully, be WGFC volunteers for a long time. We are all proud of Ally and Anthony as they move on to the next chapter in their lives."

Congratulations to the Class of 2020, and a special congratulations to WGFC volunteers Ally Colgan and Anthony Santiago!