Phillip “Phil” Laird II listens to instructions from Lt. Victor Payette during a training session at the Marion County Fire Rescue Operations Center. The session Laird and his classmates were going through last Thurday centered around how to properly vent a roof during a structure fire. Laird is a senior at Dunnellon High, but thanks to the partnership between MTI and MCFR, he’s gotten a jump start on his career in the fire service industry.

As Phillip “Phil” Laird II was in the midst of his junior year, he was mulling his future.

The Dunnellon High School student knew he didn’t want a future that just in a “business, sitting at a desk.”

“I want to see something different every day,” the now senior said. “I want a career where I can make a difference, where I can make an impact.”