Casey Norlin was presented with his Firefighter II certificate by the Colton Rural Fire Protection District #70 at last Thursday's drill night. Norlin has been a member of the local volunteer fire department since 2011.
"This was a big accomplishment," Tim Behrens, president of the volunteer association, said. "Especially considering he was in dental school when he was going through the training."
Norlin, who is a 2007 graduate of Colton High School and a 2016 graduate from the dental school of Oregon Health and Science University said he was committed to earning the level of firefighter II that included three months of training, practice on weekends, hours of online exams, reading, lectures and quizzes. He was doing all this during his senior year of dental school with boards and exams.
"It was the most stressful time of dental school," Norlin said. "But it was worth it. When you think about it, both careers are spraying and putting out inflammation."
He also said it was important to him to advance his firefighting skills, stating one of the things that matters the most to him is serving his community. Norlin is also an advanced EMT with the department.
When asked for an emergency call that was memorable, Norlin's sense of humor came through.
"We (Colton volunteer firefighters) had taken a patient to a local emergency room. While I was there, a patient on blood thinners came in with a tooth out and bleeding that wouldn't stop. I asked what was going on and told the emergency room doctors I am a dentist. The ER personnel told me they had tried having the patient clamped down on gauze, but the bleeding wouldn't stop and they were considering suturing. He asked what I would do. I told him we do some cauterization, but would suggest he try a wet tea bag in the area. When we were leaving, I saw the ER person rooting through the coffee and tea section of their break area. It made me smile and it did work for that patient."
Besides being an important part of the Colton volunteer emergency responders' team. Norlin works for Clackamas County Public Health, is a dentist with the Oregon National Guard, does dental screening for the dental assistant technician course at Concord College, is a dentist on-call and fills in for the Dentist off Main in Molalla when needed.
One more story from Norlin:
"I stopped one night when driving home from work to help some people who had run out of gas. I helped push the car off the road and it was then the driver realized that I had been a responder when they had an allergic reaction to a bee sting. I really enjoy those connections."
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