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Manteca firefighters mentor students
Station 2 student
Brandon Bean, 17, is assigned to the Union Road fire station. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

There’s definitely excitement for high school ROP students in the Career Technical Education classes assigned to fire stations in Manteca as they shadow firefighters responding to emergency calls.

East Union students Brandon Bean, 17, and Kailey Toliver, 16, are among six students placed at several fire stations from the Academy located at the Manteca Unified School District campus at the corner of Airport Way and Louise Avenue.

Bean has been attached to Station #2 on Union Road and the 120 Bypass under the mentorship of Captain Travis Gooch with firefighter Bryant Kendall acting as the collaborator for the program with the school district.  

Each student is required to work eight hours each week in the fire department where they are learning all the basics firefighters can teach them.

Bean was a lifeguard for two years at the Lincoln Pool across Powers Avenue from Station #1 and watched with interest as firefighters drove their engines out of the facility answering emergency calls.

His interest in emergency medical service came from being on the scene when his mom fell down stairs at their home when other family members were gone.  He is certified in first aid, CPR and AED for heart patients. Bean said he has always been interested in helping others.  His older brother is 21 and attends Fresno State University and a younger sister is a sophomore at East Union High School.

The East Union senior has been on some six red light and siren, code 3 calls, sitting in the back of a fire engine as it was dispatched.  One call was for a fire, three for medical emergencies and another for a vehicle accident with one false alarm.

He said there is definitely an adrenalin rush when you are part of a responding team in the cab of a fire engine.  

“It’s interesting to see how everyone deals with the calls and watch the professionalism of the firefighters,” Bean said.

Bean plans to attend MJC after graduation and take EMT classes before transferring to Sacramento State hoping to get a business degree and paramedic training. 

Kailey Toliver, like Bean, will be in the program through May but hopes to continue in the ROP Health Class during her senior year at East Union.

Prior to riding the 100-foot ladder truck for the first time on Thursday from Station #1 she had been working in administration with Amy Rubio since the beginning of November when she entered the program.  She had the opportunity to ride on a code 3 red light and siren medical call on the east side of Manteca.

She got to wear headphones so she could hear the radio and talk to the other firefighters in the truck.

She, too, plans to get her basic college classes out of the way at MJC and then attend a four-year college on her way into the medical field and become a pediatrician.  Toliver said she has also given thought to joining the military where she would be able to later use the GI Bill to get her education.

She said her dad was an Army medic in the post -Vietnam era.


To contact Glenn Kahl, email