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10 Rising Hearts: Teen volunteers at the fire department

Caleb Collins serves the community as a volunteer firefighter and future EMT.

A young man in Jefferson County is committed to service.

"I love this job and it means the world to me," Caleb Collins said.

What means the word to the 18-year-old is volunteering with the Dandridge Fire Department.

"I've been doing this for six years now and there is nothing else I would rather do," he said.

Andrew Riley is the Dandridge Fire Chief.

"Volunteerism, a sense of wanting to help the community, and the drive and the energy to do that," he said.

Riley said Caleb comes to the station most days after school, and during Christmas break he showed up just about every morning.

"Most kids are sitting at home playing video games relaxing and chilling. He's been here every single day with our standby guys, our staff that works the standby schedule, helping them with truck check offs and responding to calls and he's not being paid to do that," Riley said.

Caleb Collins 10 Rising Hearts

Caleb said, "Here at Dandridge Fire Department I can have a quiet place to come and study and do my work, but while I'm here I also have a duty to serve my community."

Caleb said he learned his sense of service from his family. His grandfather volunteers with Baptist Builders and Caleb has joined him for disaster relief.

"I was raised in a good Christian home to help anybody that I can and that's what I am living up to," he said.

"He will help anybody for any reason," said Michelle Courtney, Caleb's mother. "He does a lot with the church and the older people. He cuts wood in the winter for them. He loves the fire hall. He is here any time they will let him be here," she said.

She's proud of Caleb's commitment.

He is finishing his senior year at Jefferson County High School then plans to attend Walters State.

"My plans are to reach Paramedic and be a firefighter/paramedic on an engine somewhere in the city of Morristown, Sevierville or maybe Knoxville, anywhere I can possibly get a job around this area. But I'm still continuing to volunteer here," Caleb said.

"Anything that lets him serve in the community he does it," his mother said.

We want to showcase students like Caleb who reach beyond their schools and families to help make our community better. To nominate a student, please send an email describing them and their community service to 10Hearts@wbir.com.

10 Rising Hearts

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