Michigan teen to become firefighter after next birthday

SPRINGFIELD, Mich. (AP) - A 17-year-old Michigan teen has completed a nine-month academy program and passed a state-required test to become a firefighter.

The only thing holding Everlee Chandler from officially joining the ranks of the Springfield Fire Department is her age.

Chandler must wait for her 18th birthday in October before running into a burning building, driving a fire engine or being paid by the department.

Chandler tells the Battle Creek Enquirer her father's work inspired her to pursue fire service. Her dad, Fire Captain Chad Rench, was also one of her instructors.

Rench says not many teens have the motivation to perform all of the duties required to obtain firefighting credentials.

Chandler plans to attend Lake Superior College in Duluth, Minnesota, to study fire science. She's interested in a criminal justice career.