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Awarded firefighting scholarship


Electric City volunteer fire Chief Mark Payne, left, appears at the fire hall with "structural fire" scholarship winner Joshua Reeding, right. Reeding is one of two throughout the entire state of Washington to receive the structural training scholarship. - Roger S. Lucas photo

An Electric City man has received one of two scholarships offered by the state to study structural firefighting.

Joshua Reeding, who recently moved to the area from Victorville, California, won an 11-week training scholarship recently, and will be going to the North Bend Fire Center for instruction. The training runs from April 7 through June 25.

"It is a great honor for Joshua and for our volunteer fire department," fire Chief Mark Payne told the Electric City Council last week.

Reeding was a volunteer fireman in California and won the scholarship with a 500-word essay explaining why he should be selected.

Reeding pointed out to those making the selection that he was interested in "giving service back to his community." His wording in the essay attracted the judges' attention and their positive response.

The scholarship winner is an electrician for the Bureau of Reclamation.

Reeding stated that when he received word that he had the job, he and his wife, Abbigail, came to the area and "fell in love with the area."

Victorville is a high-altitude desert area, and this is considered a low-altitude desert area.

"We think this is a beautiful area, with the canyon and the water," Reeding said last Friday.

Currently, Reeding holds a lieutenant position in the department.

"My grandfather, while I never knew him, was a firefighter, and that may have influenced me," Reeding stated.

Payne said the scholarship was worth from $4,000 to $5,000.

The training will take him to North Bend for classes each week on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Reeding works 10 hours days at the Bureau, four days a week, Mondays through Thursdays.

When his training is complete, Reeding will be structure-fire certified.

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