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COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. – There is one Cherokee High School graduate walking across the stage Friday night who has a lot to brag about. Due to his hard work in the classroom, he is ready to start his career protecting us.

Justin Timmons has put on his training clothes for the last time. A graduating senior, Justin has spent more than two years studying Fire Science at the Colbert County Career Tech Center in Cherokee.

“It has a heavy emphasis on training and stuff like that,” said Timmons. “Every aspect of training means that you are learning how to save someone’s life and how to protect your own life while helping other people.”

Timmons finished at the top of his Fire Science class this year. He completed certifications in Firemanship, Emergency Care Provider, and Volunteer Fire Fighter courses. That’s pretty good for someone who just decided he wanted to be a career fire fighter one year ago.

“It’s one of those things where as you are taking the class you grow into it and you start to love the job and love the things you do,” Timmons explained. The Alabama Fire College has recognized Justin’s drive and his ability. They have awarded him the only full scholarship to Rookie School in the state for a high school graduate. He earned the highest score in the state on the SkillsUSA Firefighting Written Exam to help qualify for the scholarship. Sixteen Fire Science programs across the state competed.

“It not only gives them the ability to have a career straight out of high school, but also it teaches them a lot about, as Justin said, brotherhood, and about life-saving measures,” said Fire Science Instructor Michael David Smith.

As soon as he finishes the five-week course, Justin Timmons will be ready to work for any fire department in Alabama.

Timmons also received an applied technologies scholarship to Northwest Shoals Community College. And for good measure, Timmons was named the Buffalo Wild Wings Scholar-Athlete of the Year for his success on the gridiron.