A Foundation scholarship is helping Kaylee Downs of Rochester achieve her dream of becoming a firefighter and paramedic. (Courtesy photo.)

A Foundation scholarship is helping Kaylee Downs of Rochester achieve her dream of becoming a firefighter and paramedic. (Courtesy photo.)

A future NH firefighter is achieving her dreams

Kaylee Downs of Rochester is earning a degree in fire science from Lakes Region Community College with help from Charitable Foundation Scholarships.

Kaylee Downs is a risk-taker who wants to help others. Her father is a full-time firefighter and paramedic in Dover, so he nudged her in the same direction. She realized it was her calling too when a captain let her work the hose line at her first fire.

“I loved being able to put out the fire,” she said, “being right up next to it, feeling the heat.”

Kaylee intends to graduate in May with a degree in fire science from Lakes Region Community College. With her certifications in firefighting and emergency medical services also in hand, Kaylee plans to seek work in one of New Hampshire’s bigger — and busier ­— fire departments.

In addition to her studies, Kaylee works part-time for the Milton and Barrington fire departments as she pays her own way through school. Financial assistance in the form of a Charitable Foundation scholarship is a difference-maker. “I almost leaped for joy when I got that in the mail,” she said.

Adventure is one of her motivations. “I get to run into things that everybody is running out of,” she said. But service to others — and the heartfelt thanks even a routine call can produce — is her ultimate reward: “I get to make people happy.”