Shelburne Volunteer Fire Department member Lauryn Ouimet was honored last weekend with the annual Captain Charles Taylor Youth Firefighter of the Year award from the Vermont State Firefighter’s Association at its yearly banquet.
The award recognizes a firefighter under the age of 18 who shows outstanding commitment to the fire service and the community. The Shelburne Fire Department nominated her and she was chosen by a committee of the statewide organization.
Lauryn is 17 and will be a senior at Champlain Valley Union High School this fall. She also attends Burlington Technical Center’s criminal justice program. She joined the department at age 15 and holds the rank of Cadet Firefighter, according to Shelburne Fire Chief Jerry Ouimet, who also is Lauryn’s father.
Once 18, a young firefighter becomes a full-time active member of the department, he explained.
Chief Ouimet said Lauryn is a third-generation firefighter. “My dad was a firefighter. I also have two brothers that were in the fire service,” he said.
Lauryn plans to study criminal justice in college and has interests in victimology, homeland security and arson investigation.
In nominating her for the statewide honor, Ouimet said the department recognized Lauryn’s dedication and her ability to juggle her responsibilities as both a student and a firefighter.
“One of the most difficult parts of being a cadet firefighter is juggling the responsibilities of being a full-time student and attending the required weekly fire department trainings,” Ouimet said. “For the last two years Lauryn is one of the highest in the department for training attendance and is still able to maintain her honor and high honor grades at CVU.”