Four New Firemen for Sweetwater

Staff Writer

Four new firemen have been hired on at Sweetwater Fire Department and have hit the ground running and are already at work. They are David Gray, 28, Dylan Mauzey, 25, Eric Medina, 25, and Jaylin Gilbert, 20.
Gray is from Abilene, married with two children. “I want to make a difference. That is my sole reason for becoming a firefighter.” Gray is the both the oldest of the four and the first hired six months ago.
Before coming on board, a firefighter has to pass a written test as well as a test of physical endurance to replicate some experiences they will face out in the field.
The endurance test includes the firefighter candidate putting on a bunker coat, harness, SCBA, and helmet. The candidate has to climb a tower with a backboard and trauma box to the third floor, exit the window and descend the 35 foot ladder to the ground then climb back up. Once on the third floor, the candidate has to raise a rope with a hose and nozzle attached and place it on the floor. The candidate then has to gather the trauma box and backboard and descend to the ground. Once there, they pick up a fire hose and carry it fifty feet to the hydrant and back, raise a 24 extension ladder and latch it on the top rung, followed by the simulated pike pole pull, then the Kiser sled, the smoke house crawl with a covered mask, carrying the jaws one hundred feet, and end with coupling and uncoupling some fire hose. It is a pass or fail type of course where timing is key but as long as the competitor completes the course in under ten minutes.
Gray completed his endurance test six months ago. “It was not that challenging.” Gray said of the test. He was hired on and started to go on fire runs immediately.
Mauzey’s family hails originally from Trenton, in north central Florida. He then moved to Colorado City and is planning to marry his girlfriend, Marla Wilson. “I started with the Colorado City volunteers. I really enjoyed the work and enjoyed the training. I thought I should make it a career, help better myself and better the community.” Mauzey has started taking courses on his own for EMS when he saw the advertisement for Sweetwater firefighters. He completed his endurance course within 9 minutes with time to spare. The endurance test was a challenge for him but a challenge he enjoyed. It was a thrilling experience for him to race up the ladder three floors high. Being in EMT school currently with Gilbert, he and his co-worker will be finished in June. “I hope to serve my community and will do so to the best of my ability and will lend a helping hand to anyone who asks.”
Medina is single and a resident from Sweetwater, having grown up here. Medina has had prior service in the military and served as a combat medic and felt it was a great transition to become a firefighter. He has worked EMT rotations in Austin. His endurance time was around 8:20. “I used to coach cross-fit. I liked it all as a whole. It’s put together very well.” Medina said. He will start to go out on runs after fire academy and becoming certified. “I look forward to serve and help people out in my home town.”
Gilbert is married to Mara, no children. He is also from Colorado City. Firefighting is in his family DNA. “My great grandfather and great uncle were firefighters for about thirty-five years between them in Arizona. My uncle was an EMT there for about fifteen years as well.”
Gilbert has not worked EMT before and is about halfway through the course. His endurance test time was 7:45. His favorite part of the endurance test was the Kiser sled where a sledgehammer is utilized. He and Mauzey will start to go on runs after being certified. “I can’t wait to serve the community. We’re always here 24/7 whenever you need us.”
Fire Chief Madden expresses eagerness regarding his new employees. “I’m really looking forward to getting the guys trained and getting them out into the community. I think it will be very beneficial for the community and the fire department.”