HANOVER TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — 17-year-old Ryan Kairo can’t fight fires until he finishes his homework. The high school student was recently recognized by Hanover Area School District for getting perfect attendance on top of being a volunteer firefighter.
Just this year, Kairo responded to around 120 911 calls and he didn’t miss a single day of school.
Kairo is being hailed a hometown hero by Hanover Area School District. The high school senior is the youngest volunteer firefighter at Hanover Township Fire Department. The 17-year-old is often responding to rescue and fire calls that can go well into the night, but he’s never missed a day of school.
“I just like being a part of it,” Kairo said.
For Kairo, this is second-nature. It’s in his blood.
“I just grew up around the fire department my whole life since I was a baby,” Kairo said.
Kairo’s father has been a firefighter for 20 years. Kairo says the day he turned 16, he picked up an junior firefighter application.
“He stuck to it. I took him to his classes. Me and his mom and friends took him to his classes every other night that he had to go and he stuck to it, he kept his word and he kept the commitment,” Kairo’s father, Raymond Masher said.
Now, Kairo and his father get to respond to calls together.
“I’m so proud. More than words could say,” Masher said.
Kairo’s parents say school still comes first. Kairo also works and plays baseball. How does he balance it all? Being present.
“When I was at school, I’m at school and I didn’t worry about the fire department. When I’m out of school, I just come to the calls,” Kairo said.
Hanover Fire Chief Joe Temerantz hopes Kairo inspires more young people to volunteer.
“What Ryan has accomplished along with some of the other junior firefighters is fantastic. And I hope everyone watches this and if we have 10 younger folks knock on the door tomorrow then I couldn’t be happier,” Temerantz said.
What’s next for Kairo? He enlisted with the U.S. Marine Corps to serve his country.