Young firefighter following family tradition
Mady Foth, a sophomore at Peabody-Burns High School, is a firefighter-in-training, following in the footsteps of her grandpa, Jerry Foth, and uncle Travis Foth, both of Peabody.
Mady is part of the Peabody-Burns fire department’s cadet program, learning the basics of firefighting but from the sidelines only.
“We’d (fire department) talked about starting a cadet program but none were interested until her,” assistant chief Steve Rose said.
Mady has been with the department six months and finds it very interesting.
“I liked fire even when I was a kid,” Mady said. “I’d go outside and smell a bonfire and try to go find it.”
She and her family camped a lot during her younger years, and she loved the campfires.
Her fascination with fires and a life-changing event helped her decide to join the cadet program.
“My sister lived in Emporia and her house caught fire and was a total loss,” Mady said.
After the fire was out, she took particular interest in the interaction of the firefighters.
“They took us through the house, explaining what happened, what started it — a furnace malfunction — and why,” Mady said. “It was really interesting, watching how they communicated back and forth.”
Rose, a 26-year veteran of the department, said, “Mady will do great if she plans to pursue a career in firefighting.”
Mady is interested in staying in the field, possibly going into a forestry fire position.
Rose said there are two-year fire science programs at Hutchinson Community College and Butler Community College.
“It might be difficult when I’m in college,” Mady said.
Mady has very strict limitations when she’s on a fire scene. She may not suit up, ride in the truck, or participate in any way with extinguishing the fire.
“Right now she’s learning the basics, attending training meetings, and learning from many knowledgeable firefighters,” Rose said.
When at a fire scene, Mady must stay behind the active area with a seasoned veteran to help her understand what’s going on.
“People ask me why I do it,” she said. “Because I like it.”
Youth 16 to 18 who are interested in becoming part of the cadet program can contact Peabody City Hall at (620) 983-2174 and leave their information.
Last modified Oct. 31, 2018