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Teen from Laurel follows father’s footsteps in firefighting



Laurel, Montana — Few adolescents would spend their Saturday morning practicing ice rescue techniques, but Abby Nagel, 18, did just that at Lions Family Park.

The senior at Laurel High School is training to join the Volunteer Fire Department of Laurel, following in her father’s footsteps.

She had to dress up and plunge into the icy waters of Laurel’s South Pond as part of her training.

“This last week I learned how to drive a stick shift for the first time, so that was a lot of fun,” Abby said on Saturday.

The family of Abby includes firefighters. Travis, her father, has worked as a volunteer fireman with the Laurel Fire Department since 2009. His father also served in the Lewistown volunteer fire department.

“I have two brothers that have both been on volunteer departments within their communities as well, so it must be something in the blood,” said Travis.

This implied that Abby had grown up spending a lot of time at the Laurel Fire Department.

“So, they grew up down here at the station too, I think that helped pique the interest for them,” Travis said.

Abby will be able to add the title of fireman to her vast list of accomplishments once she completes her rookie training. She participated in cheerleading and varsity soccer teams at her school.

“I’m also a part-time student at MSU-B doing the University Connections Program,” said Abby.

The National Honor Society member has her hands full with firefighting training as graduation approaches.

“Lot of late nights sometimes with late night calls, but just kind of power through the next day with a lot of caffeine,” Abby said.

She claimed that the job’s easiest task is putting out fires.

“I think the scariest part is with the people. You’re dealing with their property, their house is on fire. You’re trying to save their lives,” said Abby.

Additionally, after Laurel High School, she will balance working as a firefighter with attending MSU-B classes.

“I’m going to be going for elementary education ‘cuz I want to be a kindergarten teacher,” Abby said.

Her father is so happy for her.

“It’s awesome to see youth that are giving back to the community and showing that interest ‘cuz there’s not a lot that do, and then super bonus when it’s your own kid that’s doing it,” said Travis.


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