Posted April 25, 2020
Social distancing measures keep the fire station quieter than Calvin Knowlton and his colleagues are used to. Of course, that calmness can change at a moment’s notice when an emergency calls comes through.
“Things are different now, but we are always ready for whatever type of call may come through,” said Knowlton, 27 of Amherst.
Knowlton is a part-time firefighter-paramedic for the city of Amherst, a post he’s held for the past year. This month, he was sworn in as a full-time firefighter-paramedic for the city of Fairview Park. He graduated from LCCC’s paramedic program in December 2019 and said the program prepared him well for the realities of a career as a first responder.
“LCCC really got me ready for this job. They pushed me and they really want you to succeed,” he said.
He expressed gratitude for program paramedic program coordinator Dawn Sgro, and instructor AJ Gray. “They go above and beyond to get every student graduated and certified,” Knowlton said.
Training at LCCC was a final step in reaching the career he’s always wanted. After six years in the Navy and completing fire academy the Medina County Career Center, Knowlton felt ready to tackle paramedic training.
“I lived a bit of life before this, and I came to LCCC ready to settle down and start my career,” he said. “Some people may see community college as a stepping stone, but for me it was the final step toward the career I’ve always wanted.”
It’s a career that was inspired by his father, Bob Knowlton, who has served as a firefighter-paramedic with North Ridgeville for the past 28 years.
“My dad is a career firefighter and so is my uncle. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do,” he said.
The coronavirus pandemic has added extra precautions and challenges, but Knowlton said he’s proud to be able to help others in their time of need. When he goes out on calls, full body protection gear is required. Even then, he carries with him a concern for his family.
“It’s always in the back of your mind that you may be bringing something home to your family. None of us take this lightly,” he said.
While Knowlton is making an impact his community in big ways, he stressed that everyone can be helpers during this crisis.
“You don’t have to be first responder to help your neighbor,” Knowlton said. “Little acts of kindness go a long way.”