Blake Vershum has been drawn to firefighting since he was little.
"It kind of started when I was younger maybe eight or nine years old," Blake said. "I can remember the lights and sirens go by the fire trucks go by I always thought that was the coolest thing I would stop what I was doing if I was watching TV I'd jump off the couch and run outside and see the trucks and look out the window and I can remember me and my little brother we would sometimes hop on our bikes and try to follow the trucks to see where they were going and try to see all the firemen come off the truck, they were like super heroes to us when we were that age."
Blake has been working at the Northfield Township Fire Station in his hometown of Whitemore Lake for three years.
This year he was supposed to be around less often as this was his first year as a student at Grand Valley State University and a catcher on the baseball team after two seasons at Schoolcraft Community College.
"Being home now, as much as I miss baseball it is great to be back with my family," Blake added. "To be back here at the fire station as well. I would love to still be playing baseball, but it is good being back to my family especially in a crisis like this."
The station can use the extra help. The responsibilities of first responders have become even more important during this pandemic.
"It is definitely different, kind of a different feel which is a good thing it seems like people are taking the right precautions," Blake said. "We don't see anyone out on the roads so it is good to see that people are taking this as they should, real serious and staying home."
Blake says the highlight of his time as a firefighter is at Christmas when they collaborate with the police to provide food and presents for families in need.
"Just to see the smile on the kids faces and the parents were crying because they were so happy," Blake said. "That really meant a lot just to be able to put a smile on these kids faces that might not be able to get another Christmas like that."
Blake is a physical education major at GVSU and wants to become a teacher and coach, but right now he is also considering being a firefighter full time when he finishes school.