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The Student News Site of Lampasas High School

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The Student News Site of Lampasas High School

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Fired Up About Teaching

Haviland Works Final Shift At Station, Becomes Full Time At High School
Morgan Parker
Emergency services teacher Steve Haviland worked his final shift at the fire station Saturday.

For Steve Haviland the sound of a bell meant it was time to save a life. Now the sound of a bell just means class is over. 

At 11:59 p.m. Saturday, Haviland retired from his job as a firefighter and became the full time emergency services teacher. 

“I was getting close to retirement and I knew that I wanted to stay in the job but not be in the job,” Haviland said. “I wanted to teach. Firefighters love to teach, though normally we are not teaching high schoolers.” 

Haviland wanted to be a firefighter from a young age to continue his father’s legacy. 

“I actually knew I wanted to be a firefighter in 1980 when I was in kindergarten,” Haviland said. “The fire department came to the elementary school and let me put on some of their gear. That’s when I knew I wanted to be a firefighter. Also my dad’s a firefighter so it was a legacy type thing.”

Haviland’s career began in 1994 right after he graduated high school. He joined the Air Force and worked as a firefighter there for four years. Then he got a job in Georgia as a civilian firefighter for the federal system. For the past 24 years he has worked for the Fort Hood Fire Department.

“My favorite memory has been being with the guys I’ve worked with for the past 30 years,” Haviland said. “It’s a huge brotherhood. We work 48 hours together. We know more about each other than our families do. I mean, I watch his back, he watches mine. That’s just a part of it. I love the brotherhood.”

Haviland’s wife Liz Haviland also works at the high school as the CTE (Career, Technology Education) director. Her favorite memories made at the firehouse involve their children.

My fondest memories are of when he would take our children for a ride in the fire truck when we would go visit him on-shift,” she said.  “Their faces lit up, and they loved to ride in the big truck. I also have loving memories of them playing in the truck bay where they would jump from truck to truck and swing on a rope that the firefighters had put up.”

Having a firefighter husband hasn’t all been great. Mrs. Haviland has spent lots of time worrying about Haviland’s safety.

There was always a fear in the back of my mind that something can always happen, but there is also a big sense of pride,” she said. “He was on Fort Hood when 9/11 happened, and was not able to come home for two or three weeks. I remember being fearful of what could happen. There have also been many times where he was not able to come home for weeks because big range fires had broken out and he was held over to help.”

He was on Fort Hood when 9/11 happened, and was not able to come home for two or three weeks. I remember being fearful of what could happen.

— Liz Haviland

In Haviland’s class, students learn about what it takes to be a firefighter and EMT. The class competes in bunker drills where they have to put on their gear in less than a minute and fire agility courses similar to the actual entrance courses for firefighters. 

EMT competitions consist of patient assessments where students have to determine what is wrong with the patient and assist them. 

“Last year we got third at state in the EMT competition,” Haviland said. “This year we are better equipped and plan on getting first.” 

  While in Haviland’s class, students can earn their firefighter and EMT certifications. Haviland plays a large role in preparing and guiding students down the CTE firefighter pathway.

Mr. Haviland has been the biggest mentor in my life, and he’s impacted my choice of career path and how I see the world,” junior and president of the emergency organization Wren Garner said. “Mr. Haviland is like a second dad to me. He’s a very encouraging and casual guy. He does his best to help us understand the material and keep us engaged and entertained.”

Haviland’s plans for retirement are to keep teaching and impacting his students.

“I plan to keep teaching at least until my wife retires,” Haviland said. “She’s my boss and I enjoy the kids. I enjoy seeing them find that they like to do this. I want to teach firefighting because firefighting has done me right for the past 30 years and it can do the same for them.”

While Haviland will miss being a firefighter, his fellow firefighters will also miss him and his skills.

Mr. Haviland is known in our family, as well as his firefighter family, as a ‘fixer of all the things’”, Mrs. Haviland said. “He can fix most anything at any time, and his firefighter family is wondering what they are going to do without ‘Mr. Fix-It.’ He is also an excellent cook, and cooked big meals for his fire department family regularly. In fact, he has carried that passion over to his students, as he cooks them a good, home-cooked meal each year.”

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