McDanel was born and raised in Norman and always grew up respecting firefighters and the job they did. He said as a child, he looked up to them and they have always set a good example for kids.
“I want to serve people and serve the community I grew up in,” he said.
Firefighter recruit Noel Mohrmann also said he wanted to find a way to give back to the community. Mohrmann said he’s looking forward to being part of a fire department, getting to know all of the guys and being part of a “brotherhood.”
Another recruit, Dylan Terhune, also said he was looking forward to meeting all of the guys he’ll be spending a lot of time with.
“My favorite thing has been building relationships with other firefighters in my class and firefighters in the department,” Terhune said.
Terhune also looks forward to the excitement that comes along with the job and the opportunity to help people.
Recruit Matt Brown had several reasons for wanting to become a firefighter: the teamwork aspect, the brotherhood, the adrenaline rush and the strategy of fire service.
When the recruits were going through live burn evolution training, Brown said he saw a good mix of all of the reasons why he signed up for the job.
“Everyone was excited. It helped bring everyone together and everyone was ready to go,” Brown said.
Station 9 update: The new recruits will be filling the remaining 15 positions that were added when the half-cent Public Safety Sales Tax (PSST) was passed by Norman voters in 2008. Thirty firefighter positions were added when the sales tax passed. The other 15 positions were filled when Station 8 opened in 2011.
Station 8 also was part of the PSST. The tax funded the construction of two new stations, Station 8 on the west side of town and Station 9 on the east.