BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — Brock Noaker understands the importance of training.
A 2022 Anthony Wayne High School graduate, Brock already completed his Army basic training by splitting it over the past two summers.
So when it came time to find an Eagle Scout project, Brock looked at the training needs of Providence Township Fire & Rescue, where his parents Adam and Mindy serve as volunteer firefighters.
“I hang out a lot at the fire department, so I know everyone there,” he said.
Taking his dad’s advice to “go big or go home,” the Troop 97 Scout designed and built a portable training prop for firefighters to practice roof venting.
“This will familiarize firefighters on rooftop operations on a training prop that is meant to mimic the average pitch of a residential roof structure,” explained Providence Township Fire & Rescue Capt. Chad Eickholt. “The unique design allows for a normally stationary prop to be portable, allowing it to be easily accessible.”
Constructed with pressure-treated wood, shingles and deck screws, the roof has a space to fit a pallet so that firefighters can practice the proper method for cutting holes and then replace the pallet with a new one.
“To have this is nice,” said firefighter Ryan Meko, as he demonstrated the use of a cutting tool on the roof. “You do a lot of venting if there’s a structure fire. Venting is used so you don’t lose the house.”
Providence Township often shares training with other departments, added part-time firefighter/EMT Merritte Ward. Brock’s portable rooftop will come in handy when teaming up with Grand Rapids, Waterville and Whitehouse on training, he said.
The community project is one of several requirements, including earning merit badges, to reach the rank of Eagle. Brock joined Scout Pack 97 when he was old enough to join and has enjoyed the challenges over the years.
“I liked Camp Pioneer the most. You get a lot of exercise and earn a lot of merit badges,” he said. “I really liked the shooting sports.”
For the past few years, he’s worked part time at the Mail Pouch Saloon in Swanton while also finishing up his Eagle requirements. Now, Brock is headed back to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., where he will spend 11 to 12 weeks training to become a military police officer with the Army National Guard. Once finished, he plans to serve in the Guard locally while working at the Toledo Correctional Institution and earning a two-year degree in criminal justice from Owens Community College. He also plans to cross-train in fire and EMS.
He would be more than welcome to be a volunteer or paid-per-call employee when he’s ready, Eickholt said.
In 2021, Providence Township Fire & Rescue had 358 calls of service with 74 percent of those being EMS calls. So far this year, the department has responded to 142 calls for service, with 77 of the calls EMS incidents.
“Staffing remains the highest concern, and Providence Township is always looking for dedicated individuals looking to serve their community as paid-per-call volunteers, along with part-time firefighter and EMS professionals,” Eickholt said.
Those interested in pay-per-call or part-time positions may visit providencetwpfire.oh.gov or Facebook under Providence twpfire.