Called to duty

For Caleb Haught, 25, accepting a position with the Marietta Fire Department was like coming home.

Haught, a resident of Mount Vernon, is originally from the Dart area but moved north in 2000, when his father Marvin, a pastor, was moved to a church in the Mount Vernon area. Haught was sworn in by Mayor Joe Matthews on Aug. 19 and his first day on the job was Aug. 23.

Haught said he’s been learning the ins and outs of the department.

“(I’ve been learning) the trucks and equipment, learning everyday operations,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed it so far.”

Haught hasn’t had any issues learning the ropes.

“They had me climb the ladder (Tuesday),” he said. “It wasn’t too bad; just keep climbing. I would have to say meeting the guys is probably the biggest part I’ve enjoyed so far.”

Chief C.W. Durham said that getting to know so many personalties can be daunting but is important.

“He’s meeting all the shifts and as many personnel as he can,” said Durham. “It’s nice (for him) to get to meet everyone and see how everyone clicks together.”

Haught has experience working with the Central Ohio Joint Fire District and the Fredericktown EMS.

“(They were) part-time jobs,” said Haught. “I’m in school right now (to become) a paramedic. I have another semester.”

Haught said those jobs helped prepare him for a full-time position.

“The only difference is I’ll be working full-time hours; it’s basically the same job description,” he said. “Working there prepared me to jump into this. I had a lot of good experience with those places.”

For Haught, being a firefighter is in his blood.

“My dad was a volunteer firefighter for Little Muskingum (Volunteer Fire Department),” Haught said. “When we moved to Mount Vernon, he joined the Homer Volunteer Fire Department. I’ve grown up around it; it’s always what I wanted to do.”

While he’s taking classes near Mount Vernon, Haught said he’ll still be working at the fire house.

“I decided to stay in college up there (at Central Ohio Technical College),” he said. “Everyone that teaches and is in (the class) are firefighters, so they already know (the schedules firefighters keep).”

Moving away from family hasn’t been as jarring for Haught as some may think.

“It’s exciting to start a new chapter, moving back where my roots are,” he said. “At the same time, it’s still hard living away from family. But dad’s side of the family and friends that are like family to me are down here.”

Durham said Haught’s experience is beneficial for the department.

“He’s going through a 10-day course to get him acclimated to our department, the local layout and response areas,” said Durham. “He has a background in EMS and fire and everyone operates on the same level. On Sept. 7 he’ll be off training and out on a full-duty day.”

Durham said Haught will not be in a long list of new hires; currently there is no immediate plan to fill other vacancies except for the assistant chief’s position.

“We hope to fill that in the near future,” he said.

Haught said it’s always been his intention to come back to Marietta.

“Since we moved away, I thought it would be cool to come back and live in the area again,” said Haught. “(I want to) make this my career and just be here for a very long time.”

Haught said that it’s not hard keeping a passion for firefighting.

“You never know what you’re going to get into on daily basis,” he said. “It’s just an exciting field to be in, that’s what always drove me. I always wanted to help people; that’s something exciting to do.”