By Bailey Greubel
It takes a lot to know what to do in life years in advance. But for 22 year old Keanen Davila, he knew since his childhood that he was going to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a firefighter.
Davila was originally offered a spot on the Quincy Hawks Baseball team his freshman year of college after graduating from St. John Vianney High School in St. Louis in 2014. After accepting the offer, he attended Quincy for two whole school years, including two baseball seasons, before he made the decision to move home and join the academy.
The St. Louis Fire Department requires its members to go through both EMT and Paramedic schooling before diving in to the fire academy. For Davila, this took roughly one and a half years to complete before working as a full time Paramedic through Christian Hospitals. On December 4th, he graduated from the Fire Academy and received his Firefighter I and II certificates.
“I decided to leave Quincy because it was time to start doing what I wanted to do with my life,” said Davila. “Student loans were building up as well, so that was why I chose to leave after my sophomore year as opposed to getting into EMS after I graduated,” he continued.
His decision to move back home was one of the hardest choices Davila said he’s had to make. After creating great relationships with the people he had met at Quincy, and letting go of a game he’s played for years, he was not totally ready to move on.
“I liked the small town of Quincy and the coaches that made me feel welcomed,” said Davila. “I just miss all the aspects of the game. Being able to compete…being able to throw a runner out. I also miss the guys, they made it the great experience that it was.”
The Academy itself was a whole new world. Keanen had grown up around his dad who always brought his fire crew back to the house, so Keanen knew exactly the kind of people and environment he was getting himself in to. But when it came down to the hard work and dedication that went in to his schooling, he realized it was a very unexpected work load.
“At times, peoples lives are at stake and I’m the face they turn to which can be difficult as a new medic,” Davila explained when asked about the difficulties of his new position. “But I did enjoy the fact that it felt like I was on a team again doing my part each day so that we could all succeed and stay safe,” he continued.
Davila has recently started to apply to different departments all around the St. Louis area. He currently works on the 911 and Transfer trucks for Christian Hospital EMS. He continues look up to his father, and looks forward to being hired on to a department.
Firefighters and Paramedics put their lives on the line every day as first responders. Their hard work and dedication to save others continues to be an inspiration for many.