Like many little boys, Noah Applebaum used to wave in awe whenever a sparkling red fire truck roared by.
But Applebaum, 18, never got over his fireman phase, so two years ago he signed up for the Los Angeles Fire Department’s Cadet program, and today he is a badge-wearing cadet, sleeping at Fire Station No. 94 in the Crenshaw District most weekends, training junior cadets and riding along on calls to help firefighters at the scene.
He’s already got a full uniform. He asked for, but didn’t get, an ax for Chanukah, and when he talks about his work, he speaks with the military seriousness of a fireman.
“At first I wanted to be a fireman because I wanted to be a hero; I wanted to save lives. But now it’s more that I actually want to help people. I don’t care about the title. I just want to give the best-quality care I can give to the people of Los Angeles,” said Applebaum, a senior at Milken Community High School.
Applebaum also plays drums at Sinai Temple services, is on Milken’s varsity tennis team and snowboards. He said most of his fellow students don’t know about his life in the fire department.
He is a certified EMT (emergency medical technician) and can suit up in 75 pounds of gear in less than a minute.
But it’s not all about being a superhero.
Story continues after the jump
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