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Blazing a trail to success

April 28, 2001

Lolita Harper

CIVIC CENTER -- Not many high school seniors know exactly what they

want to do with the rest of their lives, but Robert W. Morgan has known

since he was 5 years old.

"I just remember seeing the look of pride in the firemen's eyes at

Fire Service Day," Morgan said. "I knew right then and there what I

wanted to do."


Morgan, 17, has tested and proved that desire while participating in a

Regional Occupational Program in fire science through John Burroughs High

School. One of the top-scoring students in his class, Morgan recently was

awarded a gold medal in the Los Angeles County ROP Student Recognition

Program. The future firefighter competed against 30,000 students from 22

school districts and took home the highest honor in the fire science


"I'm very proud of Robert and this whole group," said Fire Inspector

Kelly Chulick. "The gold medal really shows what a good program we have."

The program, taught Wednesday and Saturday mornings at the Burbank

Fire Training Center, started two years ago. Fourteen students enrolled

this semester, 11 of whom were returnees from last semester.

In addition to academic learning about basic firefighting techniques,

students were challenged with the physical aspects of the occupation,

Morgan said.

Morgan will be honored during the Industry Educational Council Awards

May 7 for his outstanding work in fire science.

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